Remember getting your Aadhaar card? I do. I had to face long lines, general confusion about the process and was a little resentful of having to apply for yet another card. As if there weren’t enough ways to identify us already.
But Aadhaar came with the promise of making life easier – of making our society more financially inclusive. Has it done it yet?
Here are some ways that Aadhaar is making our lives easier and more convenient:
Passport in 10 Days
Remember those days when it took ages to get your passport because your application was stuck at police verification. Now, you cannot apply for a passport without an Aadhaar card number. Thanks to Aadhaar, police verification can happen later without hampering your application process. Therefore, your passport is ready and delivered within 10 days.
Click here to know more about how to get your passport with Aadhaar card in 10 days.
Transferring EPF with Ease
Once Aadhaar is linked to EPF, it will be much faster to transfer/withdraw your EPF funds. If you are familiar with the process, it takes nearly three months to withdraw/transfer your EPF funds currently. This is because EPFO depended on employer authentication of your EPF form. Now, assume you have a non-compliant and possibly resentful employer, your application can be stuck at this stage for ages, and you will have no access to your funds when you need it.
Now instead of running around with a form, you can sit at home and apply online. With your Aadhaar number, bank account details and PAN number, the EPFO can check if you have left your job, confirm your bank account details with their database, and confirm your identity using Aadhaar. This way your EPF funds are available to you much faster than if you had to physically follow the process.
Access to Government of India’s Digital Locker (DigiLocker)
The Government of India has launched a digital locker for one to store their personal documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates, house deeds, etc on the government’s personal server. To sign up for this facility you require the 12 digit Aadhaar/UID number.
The DigiLocker has been created so that we are less dependent on physical documents required and provided by all the various Indian government agencies. The DigiLockers will have e-signature facilities so that a user need not physically sign their documents; and more importantly, will not have to physically run around to provide government agencies the papers they need to get your work done. Now you can simply share the documents electronically. Also, with Aadhaar-linked verification, the hope is to control the prevalence of fake documents and fraud.
Use of Jan Dhan Yojana Accounts
To make India more financially inclusive, the PM launched the Jan Dhan Yojana scheme which allows a person to open a bank account with just one document – the Aadhaar card. The savings account is free, with a zero-balance requirement, with life and accident insurance coverage and a RuPay card. However, of course, one can only be eligible to open such an account if one has an Aadhaar card.
Receiving Direct Benefit Transfer (LPG Subsidy)
By linking your Aadhaar card to your LPG consumer number, the subsidy amount is directly transferred to your specified bank account.
Makes Payments Easier
With apps like MoneyTap, which gives you access to money on demand from partner banks. When you find yourself strapped for cash, you can avail of a quick line of credit, which is available to you on your mobile phone. However, in order to qualify all you need is an Aadhaar card, PAN card and a bank account number. You can withdraw as little as Rs. 3000 or as much as Rs. 5 lakhs. An upper limit gets approved within minutes. You decide how much you want to use from that limit – via cash or card. And pay for only what you use. The rest is available on your app, at no cost.
If you feel like Aadhaar is just another document you can use for address proof, think again. Both the government and the FinTech sectors are finding great ways to integrate Aadhaar with technology all to make the end consumer’s life easier.