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Aadhaar to facilitate paper-less bank account opening

Money Oct 24, 2013

Have an Aadhaar card? Axis Bank now allows e-KYC to open account

By Bindisha Sarang

What do you need to do to open an account with Axis Bank? Just showing your index finger.

Yes, literally. If you have an Aadhaar card, you can now use the new e-KYC facility launched by the bank to open a new account.

Axis Bank along with Visa has now introduced biometric (fingerprint) based eKYC offering to Aadhaar registered individuals to open bank accounts.

How it works:
1) To open an account with Axis Bank all you need to do is, walk into the bank branch.

2) Provide your Aadhaar number to the banker, who will submit it on the UIDAI server.

3) Do a biometric scan of your finger on the biometric reading device connect to UIDAI server vis Visa Network.

4) Then authentication, online validation and your identity is confirmed at the back end via Visa Network.

Representational image.

Representational image.

5) You get see a transaction receipt on the screen, which has all your demographic information stored with Aadhaar, like your name, address, date of birth, gender, mobile number along with your photograph and a transaction number.

6) The banker will then login into Axis Bank system, submit the transaction number (at this point you e-KYC sis done) and you get a new bank account welcome kit on the spot with the bank.

In short, instead of submitting a number of photocopies for proof of address and proof of identify, all you need to do is show your fingerprint instead.

"A key challenge for the customers, while opening bank accounts is providing address proof, identity proof and physical copies of documents. eKYC simplifies the KYC process and provides a seamless customer experience to the Aadhaar registered individuals to open bank accounts,"Shikha Sharma, MD and CEO, Axis Bank said in a statement.

"The same e-KYC facility in the future can be used to buy Mutual Funds as well as insurance policies, as both Sebi and IRDA agreed to allow Aadhaa eKYC as valid identity proof,"Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, UIDAI said.

RBI had notified eKYC as an 'officially valid document' under anti-money laundering laws on September.

The information needed to be provided in the application form for a savings account will be minimal due to this facility.

For availing of other products, like loans, from the bank you will have to provide additional documents. If the bank intends to cross sell additional products, you will have to do the finger scan again, since the eKYC process cannot take place merely with the customer's consent.

For this, either you would have to visit the bank, or expect a bank correspondent to visit you, if such a facility is provided by the bank in your area.

What we think:This spares you the headache of the paper KYC procedure. Axis is the first bank to offer such a facility. More banks, fund houses and insurance companies are expected to offer e-KYC facility in the future.

For those who already have an Aadhaar card and are comfortable with safety features of this facility, this looks like a good and convenient way to open an account. For those of us, who are still paranoid of the data safety and privacy regarding Aadhaar, there is always the regulation paper KYC option.

by Bindisha Sarang

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