India's Aadhaar ID system opens up IT revenue opportunities

The ambitious project to issue every Indian citizen a unique, biometric photo ID, is set to be a platform for new revenue streams for IT firms especially in rural India.

The Aadhaar card system is heavily dependent on banks, which in turn rely on technology companies to implement their programs, according to

For example, national Indian banks such as HDFC and ICICI are asking customers who have an Aadhaar card to link their card to their bank accounts for further verification purposes. 


The report pointed out HCL Infosystems in a bid to get a piece of the pie, has tied up with 26 banks to provide technology such as handheld devices for bank staff to ensure last-mile connectivity in villages. Some of the software for these devices come from Wipro.

I've already found online banking with Indian banks to be far superior to what is offered in some developed nations, even in the West. Virtual keyboards along with one-time passwords (OTPs) sent to registered mobile devices ensure that indeed only the customer is accessing their account online. I've also found the mobile banking apps offered by both HDFC and ICICI to be excellent, virtually identical to accessing your accounts online.

Now the real advantage with the Aadhaar card is bringing onboard India's rural population who don't have access to the Internet to go online, or even a local bank branch. In some cases, finding an ATM, and one that works with your card, can also be challenge in rural India. In some cases, you may find an ATM only to find it out of cash.

Bridging the gap

With the Aadhaar card, one of the objectives is to bridge the gap with India's rural population, as almost all have mobile devices. The key advantage of having the Aadhaar card is that you dont need to have a smartphone to avail mobile services and solutions offered by India's leading banks. Instead, its simply just another tool used for verification to ensure the person accessing the account and making payments or withdrawals is the authorized person.

The goal of giving Indian citizens the Aadhaar card is to give them access to financial services unavailable in the past, as banks did not find it lucrative setting up branches or ATMs in rural India. As such, many rely only on cash transactions for everyday needs and all payments.

With the Aadhaar card, this is another step forward by the government to bring all Indian citizens regardless of where they live on par in terms of financial banking and transactions. It doesn't hurt to have a piece of biometric identification either, especially when it's free.