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A Way To Open New Bank Account Without Valid KYC Documents

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A Way To Open New Bank Account Without Valid KYC Documents

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I'll confess - the first time I ever felt a sense of adulthood was when I opened a new bank account for myself. It was a normal savings account, and my parents used to give me pocket money, and it was up to me to decide whether I wanted to deposit it or not. That's when I learnt the basic intricacies of banking.

Taking one step back, when I went to the bank to open a new bank account, I remember filling up some forms with all my details, followed by submitting self-attested copies of my ID proof, PAN card, and other documents. Today, the entire hassle of going to the bank, writing out all your details, and signing documents has all been done away with and can now be done on our mobiles with just a few taps.

To open a new bank account online, some documents are mandatory, without which you cannot open one. But, there is an exception to this under special circumstances.

The Standard Procedure to Open an Offline Account

Here's a refresher on the current offline process, in case you weren't aware. 

Decide the Type of Account & Bank

With a list of banks and financial institutions available, you can choose your bank and account type, considering the variety of features each of them has to offer.

Fill Up All the Forms

After finalising your bank, you can visit the nearest branch, and the bank employee will hand out the proposal form. You will need to fill out the details and submit your KYC requirements, like your PAN card, Aadhaar card, and a passport-size photograph.

Submit All the Filled Details

Ensure all your details are correct and filled out in the correct sections and the necessary documents needed to open your account. Here's a list of documents commonly needed -

  1. Completed application form
  2. Passport size photo
  3. Initial deposit amount
  4. Copy of AADHAR card, ration card, PAN card, proof of address

Verification & Confirmation

The concerned bank officer will then verify all the details submitted, and post-confirmation, the account will be created, and you will then be issued a debit card, cheque book, and passbook.

Simple Online Account Opening Process

Step 1 - Visit the official website of the financial institution or download the mobile app

Step 2 - Select the type of account you want to open 

Step 3 - Upload all your KYC documents in the sections provided

Step 4 - Cross check all your details and click on the "Submit" button 

Step 5 - Once the bank approves your details, you will receive an email confirming the opening of your account

Opening a New Bank Account Without KYC

Opening a bank account online or offline isn't possible without KYC documents, but there are certain exceptions. A circular published by the RBI in 2014 addresses this concern.

Small Accounts  

Those who do not have official documents can open small accounts. These accounts can be opened on the basis of self-attested photographs and the signature of the holder in the presence of a bank official, but such accounts come with limitations. The account will be valid for 12 months and can be extended for another 12 months only if the account holder can prove that they have applied for official documents within 12 months from the date of opening the small account.

Low-Risk Customers  

Official documents need not be required if the bank categorises the customer as a low-risk customer to open an account. The following document needs to be furnished at the time of opening.

  1. ID card with applicant's photo issued by central/state government, PSU, scheduled commercial banks, public financial institutions, or statutory/regulatory authorities
  2. Letter issued by a gazetted officer with the attested photo of the person 

KYC verification of members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) is not required while opening an account of the SHG, and only the KYC documents of the SHG official are needed.

Limitations of a Small Account

Though the KYC documents criteria are relaxed in the case of small accounts, it comes with certain limitations.

  1. Total credits should not cross Rs. 1,00,000 in a year
  2. Total transfer and withdrawal should not cross Rs. 10,000 in a month
  3. The balance at any point in time should not cross Rs. 50,000
  4. Transfer of foreign currency cannot be done into a small account

 Conclusion

The RBI has made the process of updating KYC with banks a lot easier, especially during the course of the pandemic when visiting a branch was next to impossible.

While it is possible to open accounts without KYC documents, these are very rare exceptions that we come across and are more or less converted to full savings accounts in due course. In fact, the process of opening a new bank account without KYC is more cumbersome. With the facilities and systems in place, it's better to get your KYC documents done before you open a new bank account online.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it possible to open a bank account without KYC?

In short, yes. You can open a new bank account without any KYC under the following conditions -

Small Accounts - These accounts can be opened on the basis of self-attested photographs and the signature of the holder in the presence of a bank official. However, they do come with limitations.

Low-Risk Customers - Official documents need not be required if the bank categorises the customer as a low-risk customer to open an account. An attested photo of the account holder and approval of a gazetted officer is required. 

2. How can I open a bank account without any documents?

As far as offline banking is concerned, you will have to approach the branch and inform the bank officials about your requirement to open a bank account without any documents. Only under special circumstances and valid reasons will you be allowed to open an account with the condition that you apply for the official documents and produce them in due course. 

In the case of online banking, you will have to get in touch with customer service and inform the officials that you don't have any documents, and on getting special approval, you will be allowed to open an account.

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