India’s banks are now working to ensure compliance with a new regulation requiring bank accounts to be linked to fingerprint biometrics registered through Aadhaar, the country’s national biometric ID program.
As The Hindu reports, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which administrates Aadhaar, has set a deadline for December 31st, 2017, following an amendment of the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules that took effect on June 1st. Banks are required to inform their customers about the regulation and to establish one enrollment center for every 10 branches. Speaking to the newspaper, one bank manager said his bank’s enrollment centers would be set up “in the next couple of weeks.”
The banks are likely ramping up their efforts to comply with the order in the wake of the Supreme Court’s hints that a pending ruling on privacy rights will not imperil the Aadhaar program, the result of a court case that cast uncertainty over the ID program’s expanding scope.
Biographical Aadhaar details can be updated remotely, with Indian citizens able to change information including address, mobile number, and even name and, somehow, date of birth through an online portal. But biometric credentials are a more permanent indicator of identity, and need to be registered in person with Aadhaar administrators and, now, Indian banks.
Sources: The Hindu, Financial Express
August 22, 2017 – by Alex Perala