The number of duplicate accounts (those already having a bank account) under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is growing, according to a survey by financial inclusion consulting firm MicroSave.
“Thirty-three per cent of the customers indicated that PMJDY was not their first account, in comparison to 14 per cent in Wave-II survey (conducted in July 2015) and Wave-I (conducted in December 2014). Hence, indications are that fresh account opening drives are encouraging clients to open a second account. Most of these accounts are not used,” said the survey.
This concern was earlier raised by Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan, when he said duplicate accounts would lead to wastage of resources.
As of March 9, the banks had opened 212.2 million accounts under the scheme, according to data from Jan Dhan Yojana website. However, out of this only 93.2 million accounts were Aadhaar seeded.
A MicroSave spokesperson said because all accounts are not Aadhaar-seeded, it is difficult to track if a person has another account or not and that leads to duplication.
Duplicate accounts are also one reason why several accounts are still inactive. As of March 9, 28.02 per cent of the accounts were still inactive. “In the initial days, several customers had this misunderstanding that if you open an account, you can get Rs 5,000 as overdraft which you don’t need to return. As a result, several people who already had an account also rushed in to open accounts,” said a senior bank official.
That banks are chasing account-opening targets and there is a lack of manpower to check if customers opening accounts under PMJDY already have bank accounts have also led to duplicate accounts, say officials.
MicroSave’s survey included 18,162 customers who were interviewed across 17 states and one Union territory.