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Aadhaar will now be used as identity proof, for bank KYC [India] [Times of India]
[October 23, 2012]

Aadhaar will now be used as identity proof, for bank KYC [India] [Times of India]

(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) NEW DELHI: Submitting photocopies of identity and address proof for opening a bank account, buying insurance or getting a mobile connection could soon be a thing of the past. Instead, it would all be there at your finger tips.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is ready with electronic know-your-customer authentication (eKYC) service which will pave the way to provide identity and address proof by just providing your fingerprints for biometric identification.

Officials said the facility of a one-touch eKYC could start as early as next month after government and other agencies, such as Reserve Bank of India (RBI), notify the new norms that explicitly provide for Aadhaar as a valid identity proof.

So, when a bank asks for your ID proof to open an account, all you will have to do is tap on a device that reads fingerprints and the information will be transmitted electronically in an encrypted form. The front desk will receive a message saying that the information has been received and has matched with the data available, explained an official.

Under the Aadhaar authentication process, the 12-digit number, along with other attributes, including biometrics, are available with the Central Identities Data Repository. Once the information is sought by scanning the fingerprints, the platform will sent a "Yes" or "No" message to the vendor which could be a bank or a telecom company.

Officials said that the finance ministry has been critical of RBI creating ambiguity over the use of Aadhaar as a valid ID proof for financial transactions. Now, the regulator will issue a comprehensive circular detailing the new norms.

Similarly, an official in the UID Authority said that the cabinet secretariat has also asked government agencies, including the ministry of external affairs, to accept Aadhaar for various activities, including for issue of passports.

While eKYC will start with the use of fingerprints, future plans would enable mobile phone cameras to scan the iris and use the data for verifying the information available on the platform.

Apart from doing away with the need for photocopies, it will also usher in efficiency, make the transaction secure, stamp out possible forgery and do away with unnecessary paper work.

The need for the eKYC service arose especially in the telecom sector as the government norms mandate that service providers validate the documents submitted by consumers. "There are security issues involved here and telecom company executives are at times reluctant to certify the authenticity of the information. So, we got a demand from the industry," said an official.

If the system takes off, it will also solve the problem for financial service providers as banks, mutual funds and insurance companies are moving to a common database.

(c) 2012 Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited

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