The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has mandated the use of Virtual Identification from July 1.
Virtual Identification is a 16-digit random number that is tagged to one's Aadhaar number. The owner of the Aadhaar number has complete control over this number and can generate, replace or revoke it at any time.
"It will not be possible to derive the Aadhaar number from the Virtual ID," the UIDAI had said in January.
The circular stated that Virtual ID was put in place to ensure more layers of security for Aadhaar number holders to ensure their privacy, as they carry out various procedures with the Aadhaar number that require authentication.
There will only be one active and valid Virtual ID for an Aadhaar number at any given time.
How to avail the virtual ID?
Virtual ID can be generated from the UIDAI website, an Aadhaar enrolment centre or the m-Aadhaar app.
One must have the mobile number linked with the Aadhaar number in hand to receive the one-time password (OTP) to authenticate the Aadhaar virtual ID. The service has been active since April 2.
Virtual ID can be given in place of a person's original Aadhaar number from July 1 onward. There are two types of an Authentication User Agency -- Local AUA, which involves limited KYC, and Global AUA, which can access e-KYC using the Aadhaar number.
AUAs are government entities or other public and private legal agencies registered in India that makes use of Aadhaar authentication services provided by the UIDAI.
Local AUAs include non-life insurance companies, prepaid payment instruments (PPIs), non-bank financial institutions (NBFCs) and telecom operators.
All banks, including regional banks, small finance banks, commercial banks, rural banks, cooperative banks and payments banks, come under the global AUA category. Life insurance companies and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) are also global AUAs.
However, use of Virtual ID for availing services of global AUAs is optional for all users.