POSTED BY January 12, 2012 COMMENTS (57)ON
Saving account numbers will soon be portable in India. Finance ministry is working on this from some time and soon you will be able to change your banks without changing your Bank account number. Saving account number portability will be almost similar to porting your mobile number to different network carrier.
A lot of people do not change their banks because there is a lot of headache involved in the procedures. If you change your Bank from ICICI to HDFC, it means you have to change the account numbers at different places (for ex SIP ECS). Also you will have to close the ICICI account
and open a new account in HDFC which means repeating the procedure all over again. These tasks stop people from taking action of moving from one bank to another. However with saving account number portability, you will be able to change your Bank account from bank A to bank B with less paper-work. The procedure is expected to be small as the KYC norms will also be taken care and no there will be no change in the Account Number.
Recently, with the Savings bank rates deregulation and NRE/NRO deposits deregulation has resulted in many banks increasing their saving bank interest rate to 6-7% (example YES BANK and KOTAK bank) and a lot of banks increased their NRE/NRO deposits rates from 3-3.5% to 8-9%, however a lot of people have not considered to change their banks just because of the WORK involved in the opening of new bank account. If saving account number becomes portable then a lot of people might have considered doing this.
However this idea looks great to a lot of people, the whole idea of portability is not that easy and there are several challenges in this process. Those are
Renumbering the 500 million bank accounts – There is approx 500 million saving bank accounts in India and these account numbers are 12, 13 or 14 digits account numbers in most of the cases where the first few numbers are for branch code . Now the first task before portability is achieved is that all these account numbers will have to be renumbered and there has to be same format for these. So that your account number after changing the bank is still same. Now how will this be achieved? How much realistic this is and how investors will be able to accommodate this part in their banking life.
Different banks having their own KYC rules – At the time of opening a saving bank account with a bank, it has its own procedure and documentation and they feel that they do the best job in that. When portability comes into picture, there has to be same kind of KYC norms with all the banks and they should feel confident about it, as they would not like to rely upon others KYC. This part would be rather challenging.
Do you feel you need this saving account number portability or is it a stupid idea ?