The objective of KYC guidelines is to prevent banks from being used, intentionally or unintentionally, by criminal elements for money laundering activities. KYC procedures also enable banks to know/understand their customers and their financial dealings better which in turn help them manage their risks prudently. Banks should frame their KYC policies incorporating the following four key elements:
Periodical updation of KYC
KYC is required to be done at least every two years for high risk customers, at least every eight years for medium risk customers and ten years for low risk customers. This exercise would involve all formalities normally taken at the time of opening the account.
If there is no change in status with respect to the identity (change in name, etc.) and/or address, such customers who are categorised as ‘low risk’ by the banks may now submit a self-certification to that effect at the time of periodic updation.
In case of change of address of such ‘low risk’ customers, they could merely forward a certified copy of the document (proof of address) by mail/post, etc. Physical presence of such low risk customer is not required at the time of periodic updation.
Recent simplified KYC measures by RBI
Measures taken for simplification:
1. Single document for proof of identity and proof of address
Officially valid documents (OVDs) for KYC purpose include: Passport, driving licence, voters’ ID card, PAN card, Aadhaar letter issued by UIDAI and Job Card issued by NREGA signed by a State Government official.
To further ease the process, the information containing personal details like name, address, age, gender, etc., and photographs made available from UIDAI as a result of e-KYC process can also be treated as an ‘Officially Valid Document’.
2. No separate proof of address is required for current address
Since migrant workers, transferred employees, etc., often face difficulties while submitting a proof of current address for opening a bank account, such customers can submit only one proof of address (either current or permanent) while opening a bank account or while undergoing periodic updation. If the current address is different from the address mentioned on the proof of address submitted by the customer, a simple declaration by her/him about her/his current address would be sufficient.
3. No separate KYC documentation is required while transferring accounts from one branch to another of the same bank
Once KYC is done by one branch of the bank, it is valid for transfer of the account to any other branch of the same bank. The customer would be allowed to transfer her/his account from one branch to another branch without restrictions and on the basis of declaration of his/her local address for communication.
4. Small Accounts
Those persons who do not have any of the ‘officially valid documents’ can open ‘small accounts’ with banks. A ‘small account’ can be opened on the basis of a self-attested photograph and putting her/his signature or thumb print in the presence of an official of the bank. These small accounts would be valid normally for a period of twelve months. Thereafter, such accounts would be allowed to continue for a further period of twelve more months, if the account holder provides a document showing that she/he has applied for any of the officially valid document, within twelve months of opening the small account.
5. Relaxation regarding officially valid documents (OVDs) for low risk customers
If a person does not have any of the ‘officially valid documents’ mentioned above, but if is categorised as ‘low risk’ by the banks, then she/he can open a bank account by submitting any one of the following documents:
(a) identity card with applicant's photograph issued by Central/State Government Departments, Statutory/Regulatory Authorities, Public Sector Undertakings, Scheduled Commercial Banks, and Public Financial Institutions;
(b) letter issued by a gazetted officer, with a duly attested photograph of the person.
6. Other relaxations
KYC verification of all the members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) is not required while opening the savings bank account of the SHG and KYC verification of only the officials of the SHGs would suffice. No separate KYC verification is needed at the time of credit linking the SHG.
Foreign students have been allowed a time of one month for furnishing the proof of local address.
In case a customer categorised as low risk is unable to submit the KYC documents due to genuine reasons, she/he may submit the documents to the bank within a period of six months from the date of opening account.
Physical Aadhaar card/letter issued by UIDAI containing details of name, address and Aadhaar number received through post would continue to be accepted as an ‘Officially Valid Document’.
Operational Procedure to be followed by banks for e-KYC exercise
The e-KYC service of the UIDAI is be leveraged by banks through a secured network. Any bank willing to use the UIDAI e-KYC service is required to sign an agreement with the UIDAI. The process flow to be followed is as follows:
1. Sign KYC User Agency (KUA) agreement with UIDAI to enable the bank to specifically access e-KYC service.
2. Banks to deploy hardware and software for deployment of e-KYC service across various delivery channels. These should be Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) Institute, Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India certified biometric scanners at bank branches/ micro ATMs/ BC points as per UIDAI standards.
3. Develop a software application to enable use of e-KYC across various Customer Service Points (CSP) (including bank branch, BCs etc.) as per UIDAI defined Application Programming Interface (API) protocols. For this purpose banks will have to develop their own software under the broad guidelines of UIDAI. Therefore, the software may differ from bank to bank.
4. Define a procedure for obtaining customer authorization to UIDAI for sharing e-KYC data with the bank. This authorization can be in physical (by way of a written explicit consent authorising UIDAI to share his/her Aadhaar data with the bank/BC for the purpose of opening bank account) /electronic form as defined by UIDAI from time to time.
5. Sample process flow would be as follows:
Customer Service in Banks
Service at the counters
The following non-cash transactions should be undertaken by banks during the extended hours, i.e., up to one hour before the close of working hours:
Non-voucher generating transactions
Voucher generating transactions
Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI)
In November 2003, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) constituted the Committee on Procedures and Performance Audit of Public Services under the Chairmanship of Shri S.S.Tarapore (former Deputy Governor) to address the issues relating to availability of adequate banking services to the common person. The Committee recommended setting up of the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI). BCSBI was set up to ensure that the common person as a consumer of financial services from the banking Industry is in no way at a disadvantageous position and really gets what he/she has been promised.
The main objectives of the BCSBI are
To plan, evolve, prepare, develop, promote and publish comprehensive Codes and Standards for banks, for providing for fair treatment to their customers.
To function as an independent and autonomous body to monitor, and to ensure that the Codes and Standards adopted by banks are adhered to, in letter and spirit, while delivering services to their customers.
BCSBI monitors the implementation of the Codes through the following methods: