Offline Aadhaar: Govt & RBI in Talks to Allow Use of QR Codes, Instead of Biometric eKYC to Open Bank Accounts
Aadhaar Card (Photo Credits: Facebook)

Mumbai, December 3: The government and RBI are reportedly in talks to allow the use of ‘offline Aadhaar’, which relies on the use of QR codes, instead of the biometric eKYC, for opening bank accounts, operating payment wallets, and other areas. According to the Times of India report, this move is expected to benefit the financial technology companies. Aadhaar Linking With Bank Account and Mobile Number Not Mandatory, Must For PAN, Rules Supreme Court. 

To add an extra layer of privacy to Aadhaar, UIDAI has introduced an updated 'QR code' that holds details like name, address, photo, and date of birth, and can be used for offline user verification without the 12-digit ID number, sources said. With Aadhaar increasingly becoming the nationally-accepted ID for all kinds of work, the new QR code, that now comes with a photo, can be used in an offline mode in a way that will safeguard against any tampering of documents.

As per reports, the printout with the QR code is “digitally signed” by UIDAI, thus making it much more reliable than any other documents like ration cards, driving licences and voter IDs. However, the use of offline Aadhaar has to be facilitated by the RBI. The central bank needs to bring out a circular and has held two-three rounds of discussions with UIDAI. The report mentions that UIDAI has been pushing offline Aadhaar as a tool for KYC, and it is a foolproof method.

In August, the Supreme Court ruled that bank accounts and mobile numbers don't need to be linked with the 12-digit biometric Aadhaar. The Court further struck down the section 57 of Aadhaar Act as a result of which private companies cannot ask for Aadhaar card.

(With additional inputs from PTI)