Portrait of mature insurance agent giving advise her new client while sitting at office in front of computer. Businesswoman making financial plan.

The knock on the door could not have come at a more inopportune time. Ashish was busy counting his cash and had not noticed his father come in. Seeing him hold a bundle of cash, his father was alerted. ‘Where did you get all that money from? I don’t remember giving you such a big amount.’ Ashish was clearly caught off guard. He had planned that he would secretly put the money away but now his father had caught him. He was wondering how to explain this to him without making him angry.  

‘Internship, Dad, internship’ he blurted out. His father looked even more confused. ‘So you go and spend your time working instead of going to college? Why do you need so much money?’ his father asked in disbelief. Worry was etched across his face.  

Ashish hurriedly tried to explain that he never missed classes and his attendance record is proof of that. However, in his free time he does internships and earns some pocket money, he explained. His father still looked doubtful but this made him very curious. ‘How much did you get?’ his father finally asked. Rs 10,000 for the first month, and will earn more in the coming months, for the next six months’.  

His father did a quick calculation and it amounted to 60,000 or more. This was a lot for money for a student. ‘Where do you plan to keep so much money?’ Ashish clearly had not thought this through. ‘In the drawer maybe or in a piggybank?’ he said making a wild guess.

His father was appalled at the lack of planning. He has managed to figure out the earnings but how to go about saving as it was the last thing on his mind.  

‘Listen son, go open a bank account in the same bank as mine. I will introduce you to my banker and he will help you out with the procedure.’ Ashish did not look convinced by the idea. ‘You will earn interest upto 6-7% on your money deposited in a saving bank account. Instead of just letting it lie around, put in a bank account. It will be safer as well’.  

‘Sounds like a good idea but what documents would I need?’ said Ashish who was starting to look more convinced. ‘The usual PAN card and, Aadhaar card and your photograph – Get these prepared and walk to the bank and get the account opened’ replied his father.  

‘Can’t we open bank account online? I am sure the bank has an online portal where you can open a savings account?’ asked Ashish. His father who was skeptical of online methods tried to coax him into going to the bank as it was just walking distance and he could get it done face to face. ‘Let me look into it’ Ashish said.  

Barely fifteen minutes had passed; Ashish runs out of the room excitedly and announces that he has already opened a savings account online. His father was sensing something to be terribly wrong. How can something like savings bank account be opened so fast and without a visit to the bank?  

Ashish smiled and said, ‘I told you dad, you can open a saving accounts online. Don’t worry. It is done. You still don’t believe me? Fine, I will show you how it is done’.  

Yes, Ashish is right! You can now easily open bank account online from the comforts of your home provided you have a 12 digit Aadhaar Number and a smart phone. Yes, the mobile banking in India has made this possible.  

To facilitate online account opening, the banks in India leverages biometrics-enabled ID of Aadhaar card to ensure that there is no paperwork involved for opening the account online. 

You can open the account by downloading the bank’s app on your smart phone. Once you enter your personal details like, name, mobile number, email Id and Aadhaar Card number, the bank sends you an OTP on your phone which you have to authenticate confirming the OTP number entered by you.  

As your Aadhaar is linked with your PAN Number and the Aadhaar also has your address, there is no need to submit address proof separately. Therefore, with Aadhaar card your KYC requirement is done and your savings bank account is opened without visiting the bank branch. 

However, different banks may have different process of verifying your documents for online account opening. For example, some banks may request you to upload the image of your PAN Card, Aadhaar Card, your signature on a plain paper and your photograph for their records.  

Some banks, however, have tie-up with merchants or partner stores where you can visit to verify your Aadhaar details with fingerprints in the scanner to complete the account opening process. Some banks have even allowed taking selfie from the App itself which is used as your photograph in the account. 

Government of India has now made linking of 12-digit Aadhaar number with your bank account mandatory, which proves that the person opening the bank account is the person who owns it. This also works well for the mandatory “know-your-client” (KYC) formalities.

After you open bank account online, using the Mobile Banking feature of your savings account, you can start using your bank account.

Breaking away from conventional banking norms which involves onerous form-filling, physical document submission and cumbersome processes, online account opening is a completely paperless, signature-less and branchless banking experience which Ashish thoroughly enjoyed and opened his bank account online in a breeze.