Mobile Number Portability vs. Savings Account Portability vs. Health Insurance Portability!


It seems all of a sudden the government has taken frenzy of the ‘portability’ facility. Almost within a year, it has shown intention of bringing portability in telecom, banking and insurance sector.


While mobile number portability, or MNP, was rolled out as early as January 20, health insurance came into being during October 2011. And, now, if reports are to be believed, India is all set to fire-up competition in the banking sector as well, by introducing savings account number portability on certain technology-related issues being resolved.

Type of Service

Mobile Number Portability

Savings Account Portability

Health Insurance Portability


January 2011

Not yet launched

October 2011

Sector Regulator


Could be RBI


How it works?

Retain your mobile number & change your telecom service provider

Retain your Savings bank account number & change your banker

Switch to a different health insurer with benefits from previous insurer being carried forward


To avail better customer services and products from other telecom operators

To avail of higher interest rates and better services from other bankers

To avail better terms and conditions, pre-existing disease clauses & claim bonuses


However, if initial statistical data on MNP is anything to go by, portability has not been able to pin down erring service providers across the spectrum. The facility has proved to be quite cumbersome and time-consuming process, especially, in case of telecom industry, where applications are rejected on several grounds.

Furthermore, portability in the savings bank account could prove to be even more hassle some than the telecom sector – as the banks need to upgrade their technology, tweak its Core Banking System (CBS) and synchronize multiple digit format account numbers of varying banking institutions.

On the other hand, mobile number is a life-line of Indian telecom subscribers, which is designed to be disseminated to the subscriber’s friends and family to stay in touch with them. Thus, the importance of retaining the same mobile phone number while changing the telecom operator can not be equated with that of changing one’s bank account number (which is usually not spelled out in public).

Having said that, portability in the health insurance is much beneficial to the consumers as it promotes more competition amongst the insurance companies, and encourages customer-oriented services as well as innovative product offerings.

I think MNP and HIP are both very important, however, SAP may not be of much help to consumers, what do you think?

  1. Facility Management in India says

    These kind of portability will obviously help customers to better services because this kind of things will make competition fairer as every company will try to hold their existing customers by impressing them with services.
    we have a win win situation.

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