Bank Account Portability


Oct 29, 2004
Bank account number portability: Biggest move post demonetisation; you may soon be able to switch banks and keep your account number

Every time you change your bank, you have to change your bank account too, which means a new account number. But no longer now. If all goes well, just like your mobile number, you will soon be able to have your old bank account number even if you change your bank.
Speaking at an event on Tuesday, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor S S Mundra batted for the introduction of bank account portability in India, and said that with the technological advancements in the payment system, account number portability has come within the realms of possibility.
I am not sure how this is going to help a lot of people. People do not cut cheques in account numbers. Your bank account number alone does not allow incoming payments. Maybe things would get clear as more information is released.

“If allowed it will a boon for Indians. The banking account portability, much like mobile number portability, will allow us to switch to other banks, if dissatisfied. This will increase the competition among banks and may lead to banks cutting cost in order to retain customers,” says Jitendra P S Solanki, CFP & Planner For Special Needs Member Families.
And of course... Banks are not going to be happy.

However, there are hurdles to it, especially with the IT infrastructure. “With banks having different digit account numbers, the task will require large IT infrastructure to bring portability. Banks may not be ready for this. Already a few banks have shown resistance to this until some uniform account number is implemented. But there is other fear among banks, which is the frequent movement of their customers, which may increase the cost for banking services. Will have to wait for the RBI guidelines on portability to see what it will include and how it will address both side interests,” adds Solanki.
Mobile numbers are at least unique. Bank account numbers are not. And I assume not all banks have moved on to longer digit account numbers. This seems whole lot more complicated than mobile number portability. Of course, government never really managed to implement DTH portability so there's that.