Bangladesh Bank plans to launch e-KYC from next December. Many banks have already started thinking over the issue. Considering the growing digital transformation of our financial sector, "Account Opening Form" or AOF plus KYC (Know Your Customer) can be brought in digital format, which will benefit both the banking industry as well as the customers. It will save a lot of time.
Let's see how it is going to work. The account opening form is basically formatted by the Bangladesh Bank. Respective banks only attach their logo and terms and conditions of concerned products on the prescribed form. After a customer completes this form with the required documents, the designated bank official scrutinises the same and gives input to the "Core Banking Software" (CBS) of respective bank. In order to complete the whole process viz. account opening formalities, it requires signatures of two or three bank officials including the Head of the branch. It is needed to send the documents along with the complete AOF to the Head Office through e-mail or internal communication system in case of centralised banking operations.
Thousands of forms, time, space, money, workload, and man hour could have been saved if the bank officials of the branch could input the software without filing the required documents in current traditional paper work process of account opening.
Now, questions come how will the customer sign, capture their photographs? When the national ID cards were being introduced in our country, we had digitally signed, even took pictures. We do the same to make passports.
All we need is to digitally design the software. Once upon a time there were big ledger books in the banks, we had to stand with gold coloured tokens to raise money! There was no online banking, no ATM, no internet banking! But now banking has changed enormously with the passage of time! The core banking software has almost driven away many account books, ledger books. Now questions may arise how internal and external as well as regulatory bodies' audit process will be done?
Since the original form will be restored on the main server, the required form will be extracted as and when needed. There will be no chance of losing or missing the form.
If the above mentioned process is implemented as regards AOF as well as e-KYC, the cost of printing and conservation will be reduced to a large extent even if the cost of digitisation is increased by banks.
Syed Abdur Rakib works at the Head Office of Midland Bank Limited, email@example.com