SBI, ICICI, Axis launch Aadhar-linked Saral Money bank account

Five banks, including SBI, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, today launched Saral Money bank account product which customers can use to open an account using Aadhaar card as address as well as identity proof.

In a recent move RBI asked banks to accept Aadhaar letter as the proof of both identity and address if the address provided by the account holder was the same as that on the Aadhaar card.

"Through a product like Aadhaar-enabled KYC (Know Your Customer), we are bringing down the cost of account and that makes a product lot more attractive. And it will definitely further the cause of financial inclusion," Axis Bank managing director and CEO Shikha Sharma told reporters during the launch of Saral Money', launched jointly by Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, SBI and Indian Overseas Bank.

It would now be possible for customers to open a Saral Money banking account by providing Aadhaar letter as the proof of identity and address at any of these banks and the BC (business correspondent) outlets.

"... Both for address proof and identity, Aadhaar can be used. To me of course, all of us would change our process and will not require a separate address proof (for opening an account). We needed it because of the regulatory requirement," Sharma said.

With the Visa payment settlement-based Saral Money account customers would be able to make purchases, send money or receive government disbursements at the existing ATMs, point of sale terminals and proposed micro ATMs.