In the last couple of months, bank account holders have been receiving urgent SMSes and calls from banks, asking to link their Aadhaar cards with the bank accounts. I have personally received around 10 such messages from HDFC Bank, and around 8 from ICICI Bank.
Assuming that it is now mandatory to link these two, I have already provided by Aadhaar number to the bank accounts, and the linking is complete.
But is it really mandatory?
Teena Jain, a journalist from Business Today, recently discovered that it is not mandatory. But, what is the actual truth?
Not Mandatory To Link Bank A/c With Aadhaar?
As per a blog written by Teena, she too was bothered by constant reminders from bank officials to link Aadhaar card with the account number.
When she received a call, with a ‘sense of urgency’ in the voice of the associate, she asked whether Reserve Bank of India has issued any notification regarding the same?
That associate couldn’t answer, but he transferred the call to his senior, who admitted that linking is not mandatory as of now.
But he said that rules may change very soon, and Aadhaar-Bank A/c linkage can be made mandatory.
Note here, that the journalist hasn’t revealed the names of the bank or the senior, and we cannot authenticate whether such communication actually happened or not.
But based on the available information, it is clear that RBI has not issued any notification regarding the same, as of now.
Why Are Banks Pushing For Aadhaar Linkage?
Last year, Govt. had asked all banks to push their customers to link their Aadhaar cards with their respective bank accounts. As per the plan, banks were ordered to use ATM kiosks, internet banking portals and branch offices to push for this linkage, and the recent SMSes and calls received by you is part of this process.
But again, RBI has not issued any guidelines or announced that it is mandatory to link Aadhaar with bank accounts.
Under Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), only those NRI accounts opened between July 2014 & Aug 2015, and belonging to those who are staying in the US, but investing in India, are required to self-attest any document for eKYC. And Aadhaar is part of that process.
Besides this, there has been no recent news or notification regarding Aadhaar-Bank account linking.
In view of recent Aadhaar data leaks, unfortunately, made by State Govts. And Govt. departments due to ignorance and paucity of technical knowledge, it is indeed a scary situation: Can my bank account details be hacked or leaked, due to the fact that it’s linked with Aadhaar?
Although Govt. has dismissed privacy as a trivial issue, and has informed Supreme Court that absolute privacy doesn’t exist; the public is concerned, because very soon, Aadhaar will be made compulsory for all.
We will keep you updated as we receive more information regarding this issue."Is It Mandatory To Link Your Bank Account With Aadhaar Card? Journalist Claims It Is Not, But Confusion Persists",