Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Indian citizens need multiple personal identification numbers

Aadhaar No. not sufficient

Ye bank mange more (this bank wants more)

The world is moving towards single personal identification number (ID No.) for multiple uses. Inspired by Aadhaar Card introduced by India, a few years back Indonesia replaced 18 ID Nos. by one. However, in our own country, single ID number for multiple uses remains a distant dream.

Recently, when I wanted to have a credit card of a PSU bank, I had to fill up a form in which I had to disclose not just bank account number but also:

(1)        Permanent Account Number (already with the bank as a mandatory condition for opening the bank account).

(2)        Driving license number (every bank account holder is expected to have a car and driving license number).

(3)        Car registration number (if account holder owns a car, it must have registration number).

(4)        Voter ID No.

(5)        Passport number (every bank account holder is expected to have a passport).

(6)        House registration number (mercifully, only when the account holder owns the house).

(7)        The period since when I am having the bank account (despite the fact that the date of opening the account is on the bank record).

Orally, I was asked to furnish self-attested photocopies of all the documents and also a self-attested copy of the Aadhaar card.

 It is immaterial that the bank had updated KYC (“Know Your Customer”) information about me, though not with all the details mentioned above.

Mercifully, the bank did not require me to show my face everyday to an authorised bank official!

I wonder, when so many precautions are taken for issue of a credit card to a 77 year old pensioner having account with the bank for more than 30 years, how many details would be required to sanction loan of hundreds and thousands of crores of rupees to businessmen and how the crooked fellows default and run away from the country or go untraceable.

I wonder, when we would have unified multipurpose ID number and no defaulter would be able to run away from the country or go in hiding.

Link for an earlier article, Unified Multipurpose ID Number (UMID), A Challenge)\:

Devendra Narain
June 6, 2018