HYDERABAD: Do you know that apart from linking your 12-digit UID with your bank account, authentication of Aadhaar is also mandatory? Don’t be alarmed, for most bankers are also unaware this.
At present, banks only ask customers to link their identification number with accounts, but this is not sufficient according to recent amendments to the Prevention of Money-Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules and the Aadhaar Act.
However, providing minor relief, the government on Wednesday gave a verbal assurance to the Supreme Court to extend the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phones to March 31, 2018. The deadline earlier was Dec 31, 2017.
According to the amended rules, any reporting entity -- at the time of receiving the Aadhaar number -- should also carry out authentication using either e-KYC facility or a Yes or No authentication facility provided by the UIDAI. This means banks should verify all the Aadhaar details submitted by customers with the UIDAI database. This, experts say, is essential to weed out money laundering through duplicate accounts and other frauds like identity theft. However, most bankers are unaware of this requirement.
“Most of the bankers and public are of the view that linking Aadhaar number with bank account is sufficient. However, authentication is mandatory as per the Aadhaar Act. All the customers have to give their thumb prints or iris data to banks,” said a senior official with the state finance department.
Till date, only 13 per cent of bank accounts nationwide have been authenticated with Aadhaar, said a finance department official. In Telangana, of the 3.89 crore savings accounts, authentication has been completed for 15 per cent.
Andhra Pradesh has authenticated 14 per cent of the accounts. With time running out to complete the process, bankers are in utter confusion. “They failed to complete authentication process. We will soon convene a meeting with bankers to create awareness,” said the finance department official.
For their part, bank officials say they are just following orders from the top. Very few banks have set up biometric readers to gather fingerprint details. In fact, some banks are rushing through the process of linking the number with account by announcing early deadlines.
“The deadline is only for linkage, there is no known deadline for authentication,” said a public sector bank manager. “From known customers, we accept the Aadhaar details through registered phone number or postal address. The bank sends the details of the customer to UIDAI for authentication at a later time.” However, often, the details on Aadhaar do not match with customer information.
For instance, if your surname is treated as first name in Aadhaar and second or third name in your account, UIDAI refuses to authenticate it and further verification is needed. “Individual bank branches cannot work based on the gazette notification. We are trying to get clarity,” said UNN Maiya, general manager and convenor of State-Level Bankers’ Committee, Telangana.