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Everything you need to know about ‘Sahamati'

Sahamati and account aggregators will help to decrease the time needed for any financial activity, whether it is taking a loan or taking the services of a financial advisor.

Highlights:

  • What is Sahamati?
  • Sahamati and account aggregators
  • How did it originate?
  • Who are these account aggregators?
  • Will your data be safe?
sahamati, account aggregators

Sahamati is a non-profit organisation backed by Nandan Nilekani. The organisation aims to make financial transactions totally paperless with the help of account aggregators. These account aggregators will be registered as a new section of non-banking financial institutions. Sahamati was launched recently and will popularise the use of account aggregators and make it accessible to individuals.

Sahamati and account aggregators

When we visit a financial advisor, or when you apply for a loan, you have to submit many documents. Many times keeping track of all these documents can be a headache. These documents are needed as proof to initiate the process. In this process, you may have to provide further proofs.

There was no simple process to tackle this issue. Now, individuals and small business can use account aggregator apps which will help to share financial data in a secured manner with a third party site. Sahamati is the program which allows different aggregator apps to share financial data with a third party.

To make it clear, let us take two examples. Let us assume that you have applied for a loan. To ascertain when you will be able to repay the loan, you have to submit your bank transactions of a few months. In the current scenario, you have mail the bank statements. With the use of account aggregators, once approved by the customer, the bank or financial institution can quickly get the bank statements. You are no more emailing or visiting the bank branches to submit these documents.

Now let us take another instance. You are visiting a financial advisor, and the planner asks for all your previous investments and bank account statement to create a proper financial plan. Here, you may have to give reports of the different accounts such as your Demat account, your mutual fund investment account, and insurance plans along with your bank accounts. This can be a cumbersome process. Now with account aggregators, you can concentrate on your work while your financial advisor figures out the right path for you.

As a result, the turnaround time of the different process will increase.

With these account aggregators, you have the right to choose the extent of the data that you want to share with the aggregators. For example, if you have three bank accounts, then you can select just one bank account.

For financial institutions, it will reduce the risk of false documents and information submitted to them.

How did it originate?

Various regulators regulate the financial sector. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), Provident Fund Regulatory and Development Agency (PFRDA) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulates mutual funds, insurance, pension funds and banks respectively. There was no single entity that took into account all the different regulators.

Sahamati was initiated four years ago where the four regulators decided to allow account aggregators to share data with the different financial institutions. After due consent, the financial data will be shared from ‘Financial Information Providers’ with ‘Financial Information Users’.

Banks, mutual funds, insurance companies and tax authorities like the GST platform are financial information providers. Banks, wealth advisors are financial information users.

Who are these account aggregators?

Currently, six account aggregators have received a go-ahead from RBI. However, they have to start their operations yet. NSEL Asset Data Ltd., CAMS Finserve Financial Services Ltd., Cookiejar Technologies Pvt Ltd., Finsec AA Solutions Pvt Ltd., Yodlee Finsoft Pvt. Ltd. and Jio Information Solutions Ltd are the six account aggregators. SBI, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and IDFC First Bank have signed up for it.

Will your data be safe?

With the increase in the rise of technology, privacy and safety have become a key concern for many people. This fear is heightened when it comes to the financial sector. After all, it is about our hard-earned money.

When it comes to your data security, with account aggregators, there is nothing to fear. It is because the data sent from a financial information provider to financial information user will be encrypted. The account aggregator does not have access to your data. It does not store your data and acts more like a pipeline. Also, nothing will be shared without your consent. You can revoke the permission any time you want.

The Financial Information User can assess the data and take the necessary steps accordingly. The action can include approving or denying the service that you are seeking. After the process is completed, the data will be erased from the account aggregator’s. This will help to ensure data security and peace of mind.

Sahamati is just one step towards simplifying financial transactions. It will help to reduce the turn around time of the different financial processes. This will make it easier for people to apply for a loan and other financial products as they can put the documents related headache to rest.

To summarise, here are some of the benefits of account aggregators:

  • Disbursal of loans will be quicker and easier for micro, small, and medium enterprises
  • Reduce the time taken to process various financial requests.
  • Remove the burden to post hard copies or email account statements.
  • The less time taken to process the requests can be translated into lower interest rates for borrowers.
  • More individuals will be interested in taking the benefits of different financial products.
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