Indian banks prepare to launch voluntary biometric Aadhaar authentication

Some banks in India are planning to relaunch Aadhaar-based biometric authentication and KYC processes for opening new accounts in the coming weeks, The Hindu Business Line reports.

An Ordinance passed through Cabinet at the beginning of March approved Aadhaar for the checks by banks and telecoms on a voluntary basis, and while some financial institutions are awaiting the publication of new guidelines by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), some have begun planning to relaunch the enrollment platforms they had used previous to the decision to block Aadhaar use in the private sector by the Supreme Court.

Kotak Mahindra Bank is planning to build consent into its popular 811 account-opening platform, its Chief Digital Officer Deepak Sharma told the Business Line.

“My take is very soon we will be able to offer, with least amount of friction, a journey closer to, if not exactly the way it was before the Aadhaar verdict,” Sharma says.

A representative of Fincare Small Finance Bank says it will likely relaunch its digital account opening feature next week. The bank had launched a digital savings account that customers could open online in five minutes with Aadhaar-based eKYC, and acquired nearly 12,000 customers, many of them in September and October of last year, just as the Supreme Court verdict was being delivered.

Banks contend that in addition to making account opening easier, the superior customer authentication capabilities of Aadhaar help with preventing money laundering, according to the Business Line.

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