Navigating the maze that is personal finance

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

DigiLocker : How to start using it?

What is DigiLocker?DigiLocker stands for digital locker, a key initiative under the Digital India program of the Indian government. It allows Indian citizens to store all their important documents like property papers, insurance certificates, PAN card, passport, tax papers, birth and/or marriage certificates, etc. in digital format.  Currently DigiLocker gives 1 GB of free space to facilitate the storage. DigiLocker aims to provide secure access to government-issued documents and reduce administrative overhead of government departments and agencies by enabling you to share these documents with a number of government agencies online.  DigiLocker also provides a mechanism to verify the authenticity of your documents online with the e-sign facility which allows you to digitally sign the uploaded documents.

How can you open a DigiLocker account?You just need your mobile number to sign up for DigiLocker .  Your mobile number will be authenticated by sending a  one-time password (OTP) after which you can select a username & password to create your DigiLocker account. After creating your DigiLocker account you can voluntarily provide your Aadhaar number . This is required to receive issued documents from registered issuers. In addition, if you link your Aadhaar to your DigiLocker account your digital Aadhaar is made automatically available.

The finer detailsThe documents in DigiLocker are classified as either 'issued documents' or 'uploaded documents'. 
Issued documents are issued by government agencies directly from the original data source and the link to these documents is available in the issued documents section. Uploaded documents are those which are uploaded directly by you.  You can upload your documents in pdf, jpeg & png formats. The maximum size of the uploaded document is limited to 10 MB.

You can easily digitally sign your documents using the esign service as a method of self-attestation.  The signer is authenticated using Aadhaar eKYC services.

DigiLocker uses 256-bit SSL encryption which is widely used in payment and banking services to provide an extra layer of security and protect against theft of login details and password. To receive issued documents from registered issuers, you will need to authenticate yourself using Aadhaar's Biometric or Mobile OTP authentication service.

As of date there are 4757884 DigiLocker users and 1654159769 documents stored in the digital form. The top three states in number of users are Uttar Pradesh (207238), Maharashtra (199829) and Tamilnadu (128979).

DigiLocker has an on the Google play store. You can download it here. You can download the app. So if you have your license and registration documents on DigiLocker, you don’t have to carry the original driver’s license or registration papers anymore. Instead you can show a copy of it on your smartphones the next time they are stopped at checkpoints by a traffic personnel.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Why should you invest in yourself?

Hello friends I am writing this blog after almost a month as I was not well. When I was not writing I was thinking and thinking deep, wondering where to park money so that it grows leaps and bounds. I had my 'epiphany' moment when I realized that amidst all the 'ho halla' about managing money how easily we fail to realize one simple thing, that we ourselves are one of the best investment that will ensure a steady flow of returns in future. Now you must be wondering what I mean by that. 
It simply means if we strive to be our better selves each day than what we were yesterday, we are investing in ourselves. It means upgrading one's skills, learning a new hobby, taking a new completely unrelated subject helping unlocking our mind and widening the horizon, it means learning a new word, a new task, learning to relax, to make people around us happy. It means to understand our shortcomings and work towards overcoming them. All this may sound like too much of work but as someone wise has said many drops coming together make an ocean. The thing is we have to start collecting those drops. If we aim for the stars we may at least get stardust. 
Life is short and while it's important to ensure financial security, it is also meant to live. So be prudent secure and enrich yourself and those around you.

Monday, 20 March 2017

eKYC using Aadhaar - All that you need to know

eKYC stands for electronic know your customer (KYC). It is a paperless Aadhaar-based process for fulfilling your KYC requirements.

What is KYC?
As per RBI guidelines, banks and other financial institutions must obtain the information about their customers’ identity and address. The process for obtaining and verifying this information is called 'Know Your Customer' or  KYC. Following this process helps to ensure that an organization's  services are not misused for money laundering, identity theft, terrorist financing, and/or financial frauds.

Documents required for completing KYC
One needs to submit a ‘proof of identity and proof of address’ together with a recent photograph.
Typical documents to be given as ‘proof of identity’ and ‘proof of address’ as listed below.

For Proof of Identity (any one of the following)
(i) Passport, Driving Licence, Voters’ Identity Card, PAN Card, Aadhaar Card issued by UIDAI, NREGA Job Card
(ii) Identity card with person’s photograph issued by Central/State Government Departments, Statutory/Regulatory Authorities, Public Sector Undertakings, Scheduled Commercial Banks, and Public Financial Institutions;
(iii) letter issued by a gazetted officer, with a duly attested photograph of the person.

For Proof of Address (any one of the following)
(i) Utility bill, which is not more than two months old, of any service provider (electricity, telephone, post-paid mobile phone, piped gas, water bill);
(ii) Property or Municipal Tax receipt;
(iii) Bank account or Post Office savings bank account statement;
(iv) Pension or family Pension Payment Orders (PPOs) issued to retired employees by Government (v) Departments or Public Sector Undertakings, if they contain the address;
(vi) Letter of allotment of accommodation from employer issued by State or Central Government departments, statutory or regulatory bodies, public sector undertakings, scheduled commercial banks, financial institutions and listed companies.

As can be seen from the list above there is a wide range of documents that need to submitted for KYC.

So what is eKYC?
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) offers this service, which enables anyone having an Aadhaar number to share their Name, Address, Date of Birth, Gender, Phone & Email (where available) & Photograph  with a UIDAI partner organization (in this case a bank or a financial institution).  The eKYC process is fairly simple.

  1. Go to the site of the bank or financial institution and choose the eKYC option 
  2. Enter your Aadhaar number to receive a One time password (OTP) on your mobile number registered in your Aadhaar database
  3. Enter the OTP, after which your demographic information will be retrieved. 
  4. You might be asked to confirm the details and provide additional information which is then used by the bank or financial institution to complete the KYC formalities.

What are the advantages of eKYC?
You can complete the KYC process online. There are no forms to download and print, no need to visit a physical office for verification. To top it all, the process is almost instantaneous as the KYC details are provided in real time without any manual intervention.

RBI, IRDA, PFRDA & SEBI have accepted UIDAI’s eKYC service as a valid KYC. However one must keep in mind that there are certain restrictions in the total amount that one can transact/deposit after following the eKYC procedure. For example, an eKYC registered investor can only invest up to Rs. 50,000 per fund house. Similarly a bank account opened using eKYC is not allowed to hold more than Rs 1 lakh in aggregate deposits.  In-person verification is needed in order to overcome these restrictions.

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