How to Open a Bank Account in India (2024) (Online and Offline)

Looking for how to open a bank account in India online and offline? Read through this article!
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Bank accounts aid in the safekeeping of your funds. At the same time, they let you receive interest on your deposits, which helps you compound your investment or savings. You need to know some fundamental facts to comprehend many important details regarding banking benefits in India, such as choosing a bank and opening a bank account in India that meets your needs or how to use the various services that a bank offers. We've attempted to fill that void with this article. We've also shared our perspectives on some of the most often asked questions in this field near the end of the article.

Introduction

A bank account can be opened in one of two ways: online or offline. One can either seek a new bank account in a nearby branch or begin the process online by going to the bank's website.
Selecting a bank depending on your preferences, submitting appropriate paperwork, and financing your account are all steps in the process of opening an account. You can start using your account after the formalities are completed, saving time and money.
However, before beginning the process, a person must first decide which type of bank account they wish to open, such as savings, current, or fixed deposit account.
Furthermore, the individual must guarantee that he has all of the necessary supporting documents to open a bank account. Although some paperwork may differ from one bank to the next, there are some standard criteria for opening a bank account.

- PAN card, Voter ID, Passport, Driving license, or Aadhaar card as the documents of proof of age and identity.

- Banks and financial institutions require recent passport-sized pictures.

- A driver's license, a utility bill in the applicant's name, a voter ID card, a passport, and other documents as residential proof.

In this article, our experts will provide insights on various things you need to know and understand before deciding how to open a bank account in India. This article shall help you make an informed decision about choosing a bank and opening an account and how you can use it to its full extent without any hassles.

Table of the Top 5 Banks in India

S No.

Bank Name

1

HDFC Bank

2

State Bank of India

3

ICICI Bank

4

Axis Bank

5

Kotak Mahindra Bank
 

Table Of Contents

  1. Different Types of Banks in India
  2. Eligibility Criteria to Open a Bank Account
  3. Documents Required to Open a Bank Account 
  4. Different Types of Bank Accounts in India
  5. Different Services Offered by a Bank
  6. Things to Consider while Opening a Bank Account 
  7. Important Bank Features in the Modern World
  8. How to Open a Bank Account in India Online?
  9. How to Open a Bank Account by Visiting the Nearest Bank Branch?
  10. How To Start Using A Bank Account?
  11. Frequently Asked Questions
  12. The Bottom Line

Different Types Of Banks In India

Financial institutions, Like banks, deal with deposits and loans in a country. There are several different types of banks in India, each with its own roles and responsibilities. Below-mentioned is the different types of banks that are present in India:

Central Bank

The Reserve Bank of India is our country’s central bank. Each country has its central bank responsible for overseeing all of its other financial institutions. The principal role of a central bank is to serve as the government's bank and supervise and regulate the country’s banking system. The functions of the central bank of a country are as follows:

  • Guide other banks in their regulation
  • Issuing currency in the country
  • Implementing monetary policies
  • Supervising the financial system of the country

Cooperative Banks

Cooperative banks are governed by the laws enacted within the state by the state government. They are responsible for providing short-term loans for agriculture, business, and other purposes. The principal purpose of a Cooperative bank is to enhance social welfare by providing low-interest margin loans. Cooperative banks are arranged in a three-tiered system:

  • Tier 1 (State Level) – State Cooperative Banks
    • These banks are funded by RBI, the government, and NABARD
    • Concessional CRR @ 3% and SLR @ 25% applies to such banks
    • Owned by the state government
  • Tier 2 (District Level) – Central/District Cooperative Banks
  • Tier 3 (Village Level) – Primary Agriculture Cooperative Banks

Commercial Banks

Commercial banks are those banks governed by the Banking Regulation Act of 1949. Their basic business motive is to earn profits. They receive deposits from individuals, businesses, and governments and use them to generate loans for those in need. They can either be owned by the government or the state or any private company. They usually have a unified structure and are further classified into three types:

  1. Public sector Banks – This is the kind of bank where a minimum of 51% stake is owned by the Government or the Reserve Bank of India.
  2. Private sector Banks – These are banks where a minimum of 51% stake is owned by a private organisation, individual, or group.
  3. Foreign Banks – These are banks with their headquarters in foreign countries and branches in India.

The below-mentioned is a list of commercial banks in India:

Commercial Banks in India

Public Sector Banks

Private Sector Banks

Foreign Banks

State Bank of India

Allahabad Bank

Andhra Bank

Bank of Baroda

Bank of India

Bank of Maharashtra

Canara Bank

Central Bank of India

Corporation Bank

Dena Bank

Indian Bank

Indian Overseas Bank

Oriental Bank of Commerce

Punjab National Bank

Punjab & Sind Bank

Syndicate Bank

Union Bank of India

United Bank of India

UCO Bank

Vijaya Bank

IDBI Bank Ltd.

Catholic Syrian Bank

City Union Bank

Dhanlaxmi Bank

Federal Bank

Jammu and Kashmir Bank

Karnataka Bank

Karur Vysya Bank

Lakshmi Vilas Bank

Nainital Bank

Ratnakar Bank

South Indian Bank

Tamilnad Mercantile Bank

Axis Bank

Development Credit Bank (DCB Bank Ltd)

HDFC Bank

ICICI Bank

IndusInd Bank

Kotak Mahindra Bank

Yes Bank

IDFC

Bandhan Bank of Bandhan Financial Services.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.

National Australia Bank

Westpac Banking Corporation

Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait BSC

AB Bank Ltd.

HSBC

CITI Bank

Deutsche Bank

DBS Bank Ltd.

United Overseas Bank Ltd

J.P. Morgan Chase Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

There are over 40 Foreign Banks in India

Regional Rural Banks (RRB)

These banks were created primarily to help the poorer and less fortunate members of society, such as marginal farmers, labourers and small businesses. They mainly operate at the regional level in several states, but they may also have branches in urban areas. Their key characteristics are:

1. Providing financial help to the rural and semi-urban regions of our country

2. Pension and wage distribution to the MGNREGA workers

3. Banking facilities like locker, debit cards, and credit cards

Local Area Banks (LAB)

These banks were established in India in 1996 and run by the private sector to make money. Local Area Banks are governed by the Companies Act of 1956, and there are currently just four of them, all of which are based in South India.

Specialised Banks

Some banks in our country are introduced for specific purposes only like:

  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) –  This bank assists small businesses in obtaining contemporary technology and equipment.
  • EXIM Bank – This bank can provide loans or other financial help to overseas countries exporting or importing goods.
  • National Bank for Agricultural & Rural Development (NABARD) – People can turn to NABARD for any type of financial help for rural, handicraft, village, and agricultural development.

Small Finance Banks

Small Finance Banks, as the name suggests, are banks that provide loans and financial help to micro industries, small farmers, and the unorganised sector of society. The Reserve Bank of India oversees the working of these financial institutions. Below mentioned is a list of the small finance banks in India:

AU Small Finance Bank

Equitas Small Finance Bank

Jana Small Finance Bank

Northeast Small Finance Bank

Capital Small Finance Bank

Fincare Small Finance Bank

Suryoday Small Finance Bank

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank

ESAF Small Finance Bank

Utkarsh Small Finance Bank

  

Payments Banks

The Reserve Bank of India conceptualised the concept of Payments Bank as a newly developed form of banking in our country. Individuals having a payments bank account have the chance of depositing up to Rs.1,00,000/- in their respective accounts. However, this account cannot apply for loans or credit cards. Payment banks provide multiple services like internet banking, mobile banking, ATM card issuance, and debit card issuance. The following is a list of our country's few payment banks:

  • Airtel Payments Bank
  • India Post Payments Bank
  • Fino Payments Bank
  • Jio Payments Bank
  • Paytm Payments Bank
  • NSDL Payments Bank

Eligibility Criteria to Open a Bank Account

Customers must meet certain requirements to open a savings account in India.

  • Indian nationality status.
  • To be eligible, the person must be at least 18 years old.
  • If an account is to be opened for a child, their parents or legal guardians can open the account on their behalf.
  • A legitimate identity and address proof that the government has approved is required of the applicant.
  • Following bank approval, the applicant must make an initial deposit, which will be determined by the minimum balance requirement of the savings account they have chosen.

Documents Required to Open a Bank Account 

Documents for Basic Savings Account for an Individual:

  • Two recent passport-size pictures
  • Documents proving your address and identity. Only one copy is required if the document is included under both address and identification evidence.
  • If the addresses are different, you must supply address proof documentation for both your mailing address and your permanent address.

Type of Document

Photo ID Proof

Address Proof

Aadhar Card

Yes

Yes

Passport

Yes

Yes

Driving License

Yes

Yes

Voters ID Card

Yes

Yes

Job Card by NREGA signed by an officer of the State Government 

Yes

Yes

Letter issued by National Population Registry 

Yes

Yes

Documents for Basic Savings Account for a Hindu Undivided Family:

  • Copy of the Aadhaar Card or the Form 60 of HUF.
  • Declaration from the Karta of the HUF.
  • Proof of identification and proof of address of the Karta of the HUF.
  • Prescribed Joint Hindu Family Letter signed by all Spencers.

Documents for Joint Basic Savings Account:

  • Address proof and identity proof for both applicants who are opening the joint account together.
  • Address proof of only the first holder of the account is sufficient if there exists a relationship proof between both holders.

Different Types of Bank Accounts in India

1. Savings Account

These are savings accounts designed to assist people in saving money. Anyone in India with an Aadhaar card and a PAN card, both of which are required to open a bank account in India, can open a savings account.

Limit - The amount of money that can be saved in a savings account is unlimited. Depending on your bank, the number of transactions you can do may be limited.

Balance - In most circumstances, a consumer must maintain a minimum balance to keep a savings account. Only a few accounts are exempt from minimum balance requirements.

Interest is paid on deposits placed in a savings account by the consumer. This rate differs from one bank to the next. Any bank that provides a savings account is required to give a minimum interest rate of 3%.

Benefit - Savings accounts are the most convenient way to generate interest on money that is sitting idle in banks.

2. Current Account

Current accounts are typically used by businesses to transfer funds between different financial accounts on a regular basis. These accounts are best suited for daily commercial transactions by corporations and company owners.

Limit - There is no limit to the amount of money that can be deposited into a current account. There is no transaction limit on current accounts.

Balance - A current account's minimum balance requirement is higher than a savings account's.

Interest - Consumers do not receive any interest on their current accounts.

Benefit - These accounts allow for an overdraft, allowing customers to withdraw more money from their accounts than they have available.

3. Salary Account

Banks open these accounts at the request of large enterprises and businesses that pay their personnel through the banking system. Each employee is entitled to have a salary account into which their employer deposits their monthly salary.

Limit - There is no limit to the amount of money that can be put into a salary account. Each employee is paid based on the amount of money they get from their coworkers. Employees can conduct independent transactions between this type of bank account and another.

Balance - Salary accounts have a zero balance, which means that employees can withdraw all of the money deposited to the account at any time.

Interest - Employees do not earn interest on their salary accounts.

Benefit - These accounts can be changed to savings accounts at any time. After three months of inactivity, banks have the discretion to convert these accounts into savings accounts, which are governed differently.

4. NRI Account

Non-resident Indians who want to keep a bank account in India can open one of these accounts. There are three different types of NRI accounts available:

(A) Non-Residential Ordinary Account (NRO)

Deposits in Indian rupees are held in these accounts. The funds were deposited with the help of revenues earned in India.

Limit - There is no limit to the amount of money that can be deposited into an NRO account.

Balance - Any balance amount can be maintained.

Interest - Both the principal and the interest earned on that principal are subject to taxation.

Benefit - The rate of conversion has no effect on these accounts. The NRO account can be used to open a current, savings, or fixed deposit account for an NRI.

(B) Non-Residential External Account (NRE)

Deposits in Indian rupees are held in these accounts. On the other hand, the money deposited is not from proceeds gained in India; rather, it is earnings or savings from the non-resident Indian's home country.

Limit - There is no limit to the amount of money that can be deposited into an NRE account.

Balance - Any level of equilibrium can be maintained.

Interest - Both the principal and the interest earned on that principal are not subject to taxation.

Benefit - These accounts are affected by a potential change in conversion rates. The NRE account can be used to open a current, savings, or fixed deposit account for an NRI. 

(C) Foreign Currency Non-Residential Account (FCNR)

These accounts hold deposits in Indian rupees, which have been authorised by the Reserve Bank of India, the country's central bank. Any NRI or person of Indian ancestry who earns money in a recognised currency can keep deposits in that currency.

Limit - There is no limit to the amount of money that can be deposited into an FCNR account.

Balance - Any level of equilibrium can be maintained.

Interest - Both the principal and the interest earned on that principal are not subject to taxation.

Benefit - These accounts are affected by a potential change in conversion rates. The FCNR account allows an NRI to open just a fixed deposit account with a minimum maturity of one year.

5. Recurring Deposit (RD) Accounts

Consumers who are interested in earning interest on their money open these accounts as deposit accounts. These accounts also referred to as RDs, are one of the simplest ways to generate a larger income than that granted by savings accounts.

Limit - The minimum deposit required to open an RD varies by bank. Consumers can choose a monthly minimum limit of INR 1,000 and open an RD account with any bank they like.

Balance - RDs are deposit accounts that allow customers to withdraw a monthly amount determined at the start of the account's term.

Interest - Every month, a specific sum is taken and deposited in the RD account, which earns interest monthly. This interest is frequently higher than that offered by savings accounts.

Benefit - The RD's variable duration makes it a cost-effective financial solution for consumers. Consumers can deposit money in an RD for a period of six months to ten years and earn interest on the amount placed.

6. Fixed Deposit (FD) Accounts

These are accounts that are set up to earn interest on deposits for a set length of time until they mature. Fixed deposits are one of the safest ways to save and collect interest on unused funds.

Limit - There is no limit to the amount of money that can be deposited in a fixed deposit account. The bigger the money allocation, the higher the interest paid at the account's end of term.

Interest - A lump sum of cash is invested in an FD account's balance.

Balance - The bank will give you interest on this deposit. Once the FD's term is finished, the interest is paid. When a consumer breaks an FD in the middle of its term, they risk losing the interest and generally just receive the principal amount.

Benefit - FDs are low-risk, high-return investments. Due to the fixed duration benefit that a bank receives in the case of FDs, most banks in India give an FD interest rate that is greater than a savings account and RD interest rates.

Different Services Offered By A Bank

Banks and financial institutions are a component of the corporate sector on the inside. No corporate organisation can conduct business without a bank account or a financial transaction. The following are some of the most common services provided by banks:

1. Deposit Facilities:

Account opening, cheque issuance, nomination facilities, death claims, stop payment instructions, payment of periodic interest, and other requirements would all be involved in current, savings, and term deposit accounts.

2. Credit Facilities:

Term loans, cash credit, bill discounting, automobile loans, agriculture loans, corporate credit, retail loans, guarantees and letters of credit, and a range of other need-based credit facilities are all available from banks. Credit requests, services, and sureties, interest rate regulation, service charges and other terms and conditions, enhancement requests, penalty waivers, one-time settlements, and so on are all examples.

3. Remittances and Payments:

These would include transfers of funds from one account to another, transfers of funds from one city to another, bill payment, bill collection, and problems with modern payment systems such as Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), Electronic Clearing Service (ECS), National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), and Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Transfers (SWIFT), among others.

4. Export, Import, and Foreign Exchange Facilities:

Banks offer a variety of domestic financial services as well as foreign banking services. Individuals and businesses can use export and import credit, foreign letters of credit, cross-border payments, currency exchange, remittance from abroad, and other services.

5. Investment Banking and Wealth Management:

Personal banking, asset management, executor and trusteeship arrangements, and other services are among them.

6. Auxiliary Services:

Banks' auxiliary or subsidiary services include safe custody and safe deposit locker facilities, solvency certificates, insurance, mutual fund services, credit and debit cards, and gold coin sales.

Things to Consider while Opening a Bank Account 

The following important considerations will assist you in selecting the appropriate savings to account for your needs:

1. Rate of Interest 

When compared to other investment options, savings accounts often provide the lowest interest rates. Even after the Reserve Bank of India deregulated interest rates in 2011, most banks continue to provide low savings account rates of approximately 4%. While some private banks advertise 6% or greater rates to entice consumers, it is always a good idea to read the tiny print before picking a bank.

2. Minimum balance required 

Public sector banks typically have no or modest minimum cash-balance requirements for accounts (Rs. 500-1,000); however, most private players would require a higher minimum balance (Rs. 5,000-10,000 or more). Choosing a bank that does not need you to deposit a large sum of money is preferable.

3. Bank/financial institution networks 

Web-based applications, which have expanded into the financial sector in the form of net banking or mobile banking, are thriving among the present generation. However, some transactions need you to visit a branch, and having a bank with a large network of branches is useful.

4. Ancillary charges 

After you've used up your free quota (25-50 cheque leaves) for the financial year, some banking institutions charge you for ancillary services like SMS alerts, duplicate ATM cards/PIN numbers, and cheque books. When you open a savings bank account, be sure you are fully informed of these fees. However, a more transparent bank is preferable to one that appears to be low-cost but hides many charges.

5. Debit card benefits 

Most banks provide discounts on their debit cards to differentiate themselves from competitors, ranging from cash-back offers to insurance coverage. However, some banks charge annual fees on debit cards, while others waive the fee if annual transactions exceed a particular level. Banks, for example, offer gold and platinum debit cards, which come with a slew of perks but generally come with a yearly price.

6. Doorstep banking facilities 

With today's demanding schedules and stressful lifestyles, several private banks provide services such as cash/cheque pickup, demand draught delivery, and documentation pickup at their customers' doorsteps. For account deposits, banks have begun to offer doorstep cash collection. Certain banks may also deliver demand draughts to the designated address, but all of these services come at a price you should consider before opening an account with that bank. Several banks have established priority banking verticals, with specialist relationship managers catering to high-net-worth customers.

Important Bank Features in the Modern World

Certain bank-account capabilities are required if you want easy access to your money and the ability to pay payments, make rapid transfers, and keep track of your balances. When opening a new bank account, keep the following in mind:

1. Debit Card Facility

You can use a debit card to make purchases without needing to carry cash. You can go to the ATM or obtain cash back at the cashier if you need a few dollars. According to a Reserve Bank of India survey, 30% of customers prefer to pay with debit cards. Check to verify if a debit card is included when opening a new bank account and if there is a price for having one.

2. Online or Mobile Banking Facility

If you want to keep a tight eye on your finances, having the ability to check your balance from your smartphone or laptop is crucial. This is especially crucial if you wish to avoid costly overdraft fees.

3. Mobile Cheque Deposit

You can avoid having to go to the bank by using a mobile cheque deposit. You simply take a picture of your check with your smartphone and, with a few touches of a button, the check is deposited without the need to go to a teller window or even an ATM. When depositing with a mobile device, remember that certain banks require a longer check wait period.

4. Online Bill Payments

If you're tired of writing cheques, online bill pay is another feature to look for in a primary bank. According to data from the Reserve Bank of India, 80% of consumers who had paper checks on hand did not use them once in 2017, while three-quarters used internet banking. The trouble of writing cheques and sending them is eliminated when you pay your bills online. Even better, you can set up automatic monthly payments so that you never have to worry about missing a payment.

5. Email and Text Alerts

You should also set up text and email alerts for your accounts while scheduling your automated bill payments. For example, you may set an alert to warn you when your balance falls below a certain threshold or when a new transaction is published to your account. If you're worried about a hacker taking your account information and creating false charges, this could be really useful.

6. Excellent Security

Theft of one's identity is no laughing issue. When comparing bank accounts, make sure to inquire about the security measures in place at each bank. For example, if fraud monitoring and an on/off switch for your debit and credit cards are available.

How To Open A Bank Account In India Online?

Step 1 - Choose a bank in which you want to open your account.

This must be something you've done previously. If not, go on a trip around your neighbourhood and talk to a few banks about what you'd get if you opened a bank account. You can pick a bank based on the services it provides that other banks may not. Few private sector banks provide interest rates higher than the current 4%.

Step 2 - Visit the bank branch or its website.

Once you've chosen a bank, you can open an account by going to the bank during business hours with your identification credentials and a small deposit. You can, however, open an account online by going to the bank's website, which you can do at any time and from any location.

Step 3 - Choose a suitable banking product.

A bank account offers a variety of accounts and services from which to pick depending on your needs. For example, if you operate a business, you may choose to open a current account rather than a savings account to meet your fundamental banking needs.

Step 4 - Provide relevant information and documents.

You must complete the form, attach a photograph, and supply your Know Your Customer (KYC) information. Photo 'identification evidence' in the form of your PAN card, Passport, or Aadhar card, as well as 'address proof' in the form of your Passport, Ration card, Voter ID card, or Aadhar card is required. Furthermore, you can utilise your passport or Aadhar card to satisfy both photo and address proof purposes.

Step 5 - Agree to the terms and conditions of the bank.

Before signing, make sure you read all of the terms and conditions thoroughly, and if you have any questions, you can contact the person in charge. The majority of banks will fill out the full form on your behalf, and all you have to do is submit your documents and sign after reading all of the terms and conditions.

How To Open A Bank Account By Visiting The Nearest Bank Branch?

Customers must follow the steps outlined below to open a savings bank account at any bank by visiting the nearest branch.

  • Pay a visit to the branch that is the most convenient for you.
  • Request an account opening form from the bank executive.
  • Applicants must complete both parts of the account opening form.
  • Form 1 - Name, address, signature, and other information and assets.
  • Form 2 - If the customer does not have a PAN card, they must fill out this section.
  • Make sure that all of the fields have been filled out correctly. The information provided in the application form should match the information provided in the KYC documents.
  • The consumer will now be required to make an initial deposit under the bank's policies.
  • The account holder will receive a complimentary passbook and cheque book once the bank has completed the verification process.
  • Customers can also submit the internet banking form at the same time.

How To Start Using A Bank Account?

Here are a few things you can do to start reaping the benefits of having your own bank account:

  • Set up a direct deposit account with your employer. Request a direct deposit authorisation form from your employer's payroll department to have your check deposited straight into your bank account every payday at no cost.
  • Make sure your debit card is active. Follow your bank's instructions to activate your debit card once you receive it. This process involves choosing a personal identification number (PIN) to use when making in-person transactions.
  • Your debit card should be linked to a digital wallet. For a hands-free in-store payment experience, connect your debit card to digital wallets like Google Pay, Apple Pay, or Samsung Pay (which also helps when you forget your wallet at home).
  • Set up an automatic bill payment. Your bank account will most likely allow you to create payees in their online bill payment system. You can look for utilities and businesses that have already set up digital payment systems, or you can create your own payees and automate bill payments.
  • Make a plan to save money regularly. You can now set up an automatic savings plan to transfer a specific amount from checking to savings at regular intervals if you've created a savings account.
  • Make use of mobile cheque deposits. You can take images of physical checks and deposit them remotely using your bank's mobile app, eliminating the need to visit a branch.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much money is required to open a bank account?

Different banks have different criteria. While some banks ask for a minimum of Rs. 1,000 as the balance criteria; others ask for Rs. 10,000 as the minimum balance required. Moreover, some banks offer zero-balance accounts too. 

2. How long does it take to open a bank account?

It hardly takes 24 hours to open a bank account in today’s time. Once you submit the application form and the supporting documents, the only time consumed is verifying the originality of those documents, post which the bank account is opened up immediately, and you receive your toolkit on the same day or the next day.

3. Can a person open a bank account at 18 years of age?

Yes, before the age of 18, you are considered a minor, and you will only be allowed to open up a joint account with your guardian. But as soon as you are 18 and if you have a valid PAN card and other documents, you can open your bank account without hesitation.

The Bottom Line

Both public and private banks tailor banking in India to meet various needs of different age groups and genders, allowing all Indians to become financially empowered.

Citizens' awareness and understanding will go a long way in further empowering the nation's collaborative efforts in growing together as the country takes tiny but courageous strides toward financial inclusion.

Author Name: Harsh Goyal

Note: "Each article is meticulously crafted by our team of finance experts, incorporating user and community feedback to evaluate and select financial products and brands rigorously. Their thorough approach ensures only the most reliable and relevant financial solutions are recommended to our readers."

Author Bio: Written by Harsh Goyal, a distinguished finance expert, consultant and seasoned researcher. With a strong academic background in finance, Harsh combines in-depth knowledge of financial markets, investment strategies, and economic trends with practical experience. As a part-time writer, he translates complex financial concepts into accessible insights, making him a valuable resource for both industry professionals and casual readers looking to understand the nuances of finance.

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