3 mins
15 March 2023

When financial instruments and offerings have gone completely digital, it only makes sense that verification processes should follow suit. Today, authoritative bodies have made reforms that allow financial institutions to take the onboarding process entirely online. This is achieved through the eKYC provision, which streamlines processing for a range of financial services. Right from opening a bank account to investing and even borrowing a loan, the availability of eKYC online has made it easier to access digital financial products and services.

But what is e-KYC? Simply put, eKYC means the digitised version of the ‘know your customer’ protocol. KYC is a process that the RBI has made mandatory for financial institutions to carry out when verifying and authenticating a customer’s personal data. There are many benefits to the KYC policy, and these apply to eKYC as well. To know all about them, gain insight into the importance of eKYC, and learn how to get the eKYC process underway, read on.

What is e-KYC?

EKYC means electronic Know Your Customer. It refers to a digital process used by financial institutions and businesses to verify the identity of customers remotely. So, eKYC is when authorised organisations and agents verify a customer’s identity and address digitally via Aadhaar authentication. In other words, eKYC verification is done through a digital mode, and there is no need for physical documentation. eKYC is backed by biometric verification, making it very safe. E-KYC plays a key role in online identity verification. With reportedly 99% of the adult population enrolled for digital identity, eKYC is a smart step towards expediting and securing customer onboarding within the financial sector.

Additional Read: What is KYC

Why is e-KYC important?

The eKYC provision is important for several reasons, but mainly because of the enhanced security it provides. As customer identity verification is of prime importance, the UIDAI has only permitted select organisations and agents to carry out eKYC verification services. Therefore, you can stay assured that your information will never be misused or end up in possession of those with malicious intent. Further, e-KYC also doubles up on the effort to prevent identity theft and financial fraud. With the provision of biometric verification, it is among the safest customer verification provisions to exist.

What is the list of documents required for e-KYC verification?

As it is a completely online provision, you may not be required to furnish anything more than passport size photographs to avail of service through eKYC. When you authorise your service provider to obtain your data electronically, UIDAI provides it with details such as your name, address, gender, number, date of birth, and so on. Hence the eKYC process flow becomes paperless, and you do not require to submit documents physically to verify your identity.

While getting your KYC done online with a SEBI-registered intermediary, you are simply required to enter your Aadhaar number. Also upload a copy of your e-Aadhaar, which has to be self-attested, to a KYC registration agency (KRA). If any other documents are required, they will be mentioned on the KYC registration agency’s portal.

What is the eligibility criteria for the e-KYC process?

To be eligible for an eKYC application, you must have your Aadhaar number. This is issued to you by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and will be authorised per request and on explicit consent. Unfortunately, without an Aadhaar number, you cannot proceed with eKYC application or registration.

What is the online e-KYC process?

There are two ways to go about the eKYC process for online applications. You have the option of Aadhaar OTP or through Aadhaar based biometric. Both are incredibly quick, easy to carry out, and ensure near instant approval. You can also complete your KYC offline, but it may take up to 7 days for the KRA to approve your application. So, to avoid the hassle, opt for either of the online modes of application using these following steps.

Aadhaar OTP online application

  1. Visit the official website of any known customer registration agency (KRA)
  2. Create an account with your personal details
  3. Enter your Aadhaar number along with the registered mobile number
  4. Input the secure OTP correctly
  5. Submit a self-attested copy of your e-Aadhaar
  6. Agree to the declaration terms

Aadhaar based biometric online application

  1. Log on to the KRA’s official website
  2. Follow similar KYC request steps as mentioned above
  3. Opt for the biometric authentication online option
  4. Await contact from an authorised representative at your address
  5. Provide biometric verification
  6. Show original documentation, which can be done over video as well
  7. Await approval of the KYC request

Additional Read: Everything you need to know about Aadhar Card Biometric

How Can I Check My Online eKYC Status?

Checking the status of your eKYC depends on the KRA you opted for during the eKYC process. For each application, the KRA will have a provision that allows you to enter your PAN details and check the status. The steps for these will vary from one KRA to another, but the requirement of the PAN should be standard.

The SEBI-registered KRAs are as follows:

  • Karvy KRA

What are Aadhaar paperless offline e-KYC?

You will note that online e-KYC requires good internet connectivity and the furnishing of biometrics. As difficulties may arise in this process, the UIDAI has provided an Aadhaar paperless offline e-KYC. Here, there is no need for you to provide a copy of your Aadhaar letter. All you need to do is download your KYC XML file and provide it to the agency that requires your KYC.

Considering the importance of e-KYC and KYC in general, knowing only the meaning of e-KYC is not enough. This revolutionary provision is aimed at reducing financial fraud and protecting your sensitive personal data. Nonetheless, you must stay updated with any new information and start the registration at the earliest if you have not already. Completing the online process for e-KYC has simplified what would otherwise be a tedious undertaking, and there is no reason you should not take advantage of that. Another reason to complete your e-KYC verification online is that it allows you to avail financial services conveniently.

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Frequently asked questions

What is meant by eKYC?

Electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) is a digital process where individuals' identities are verified electronically, typically for financial services or other business transactions. It replaces traditional paper-based verification with secure digital methods, enhancing efficiency and convenience.

How to do eKYC for Aadhaar?

To complete eKYC using Aadhaar in India, visit an authorized service provider or use their app. Provide your Aadhaar number and biometric authentication (fingerprint or iris scan). The system verifies your identity instantly against the Aadhaar database, facilitating quick onboarding for various services.

How do I verify my eKYC online?

Verify your eKYC online by logging into the service provider's portal or app. Enter your unique identifier (like Aadhaar number), complete any necessary biometric authentication, and follow prompts to confirm your details. The system then validates your information electronically, ensuring secure and efficient verification.

What is an example of eKYC?

An example of eKYC is when a customer opens a bank account using their Aadhaar number and biometric authentication at a bank's kiosk or through a mobile app. The system electronically verifies their identity against Aadhaar records, enabling immediate account activation without the need for physical documents.

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