25 July 2016
Find out more

Visa and banks tap India's biometric ID system for new account

13 December 2012  |  16645 views  |  0 Indian flag

Visa and a group of Indian banks are tapping the country's biometrics-based national identity system to bring financial services and electronic payments to tens of millions of people.

The 'Saral Money' account from Visa, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Icici Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and the State Bank of India is designed to solve the long-standing problem of how to authenticate the many millions of Indians without existing bank accounts or adequate forms of ID.

It taps into the government's Adhaar national identity system - which uses fingerprint and iris biometric information - to verify users and authorise payments.

Both the account and the associated biometric data are securely hosted by the new national ID system, which is run by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

Once a person receives an Aadhaar, they are automatically eligible for Saral Money and just provide their registration letter at a bank to be issued with a branded Visa account, complete with pre-paid card, immediately.

Prior to this, potential customers would have had to provide numerous documents to verify their identity, which automatically excluded hundreds of millions of people, says Visa.

Having opened their account, they can use Saral Money to make purchases, send money, or receive government payments electronically.

By linking Visa accounts to the national identity system, customer identities can be verified via biometric recognition data stored centrally, for instance by running fingerprint scans at newly designed micro-ATM's when they wish to pay or withdraw cash.

The Micro ATMs are portable biometric POS devices and laptops designed to overcome the lack of bank branches in parts of the country. Visa serves as the network which links the banks to the government's identity database and is currently the only authorised international payment network for the initiative.

There are currently 210 million Aadhaar card holders, with the government planning to expand this to 600 million by 2015. The Saral Money account will first be rolled out in New Delhi and the National Capital Region, with expansion to the rest of the country targeted for completion by the end of next year.

Elizabeth Buse, group president, APCEmea, Visa, says: said, "This initiative is a critical milestone for India as it solves the customer identification problem when it comes to opening bank accounts. The biometric solution is unique and we're delighted to be playing a central role in the program."

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board: sign up now

Related stories

Icici bank and Vodafone partner to launch M-Pesa in India

Icici bank and Vodafone partner to launch M-Pesa in India

08 November 2012  |  11376 views  |  2 comments | 11 tweets | 8 linkedin
Western Union targets India's underbanked with pre-paid card

Western Union targets India's underbanked with pre-paid card

23 October 2012  |  6122 views  |  0 comments | 8 tweets | 2 linkedin
India to double ATM numbers to 200,000 by 2016

India to double ATM numbers to 200,000 by 2016

12 October 2012  |  6320 views  |  3 comments
RBI Committee calls for national switch to EMV

RBI Committee calls for national switch to EMV

05 August 2011  |  10814 views  |  3 comments | 1 tweets

Related company news

 

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
Visit VocaLink.comFind out moreVisit www.abe-eba.eu

Who is commenting?

A Finextra member Finextra Member Commented on: UK startups get Brexit...
A Finextra member Finextra Member Commented on: Apps crush internet fo...

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
MasterCard agrees £700m VocaLink acquisitionMasterCard agrees £700m VocaLink acqu...
8920 views 14 comments | 32 tweets | 37 linkedin
satelliteContactless Bitcoin startup Plutus Tap &am...
8746 views comments | 9 tweets | 3 linkedin
hands typing furiouslyWhat Every FinTech CEO Should Know About R...
8514 views 0 | 15 tweets | 8 linkedin
hands typing furiouslyBanking on IoT: Security in the Internet o...
8342 views 3 | 20 tweets | 7 linkedin
Santander doubles down on fintech fundSantander doubles down on fintech fund
7821 views comments | 22 tweets | 28 linkedin

Featured job


Brussels (Belgium) or Paris (France)

Find your next job