In a move to promote digital transactions post-demonetisation, the government on Friday said it has asked banks to provide mobile banking facility to all customers by the end of the current fiscal on March 31.
"Ministry issues advisory to banks to enable mobile seeding, Aadhaar seeding of bank accounts along with enablement of Mobile Banking for all its savings bank customers on a campaign mode by March 31, 2017," an Electronics and IT Ministry (MeitY) statement here said.
"As per an estimate, currently only 65 per cent saving accounts are seeded with mobile numbers and only 50 per cent are seeded with Aadhaar numbers. Out of the 65 per cent accounts already seeded with mobile numbers, only 20 per cent are enabled for mobile banking," it said.
To make the process of 100 per cent seeding of bank accounts convenient to customers, the ministry "has advised the banks to explore 'Over the Air' customer consent instead of requiring customers to visit the bank branch or ATM as is required currently," the statement added.
Declaring that the process of enabling the bank accounts for mobile and Aadhaar-based banking is "completely voluntary", the statement said: "However, given the benefits of these banking channels, a large number of customers are expected to opt for it."
Speaking to reporters earlier this week, IT Secretary Aruna Sundarajan elaborated on the rationale behind the move following the recent demonetisation of high value currency and the government's campaign to encourage digital transactions.
"The reason is earlier mobile banking wasn't such a priority. And therefore, many customers may not have said they want mobile banking services. But today, they want it," she said
Sundarajan also said customers who are using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) or Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) payment app should be automatically enabled for mobile banking.
"We have said that any customer who accesses UPI or BHIM, should automatically be enabled for mobile banking because it means they want mobile banking. This is to ensure that whoever wants to do mobile banking but has not been enabled, should be enabled by March 31," she said.