The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) permitted its intermediaries on October 6 to use Video based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP) for new onboarding and/or account withdrawals by National Pension System (NPS) subscribers. PFRDA’s announcement comes on the heels of IRDAI allowing life and general insurers to leverage video KYC facility, to vet customer credentials for new customer onboarding. Earlier this year, the RBI had amended the KYC norms, thereby allowing all banks and lending institutions to use V-CIP. Not to forget that most NPS distributors are regulated by the SEBI and RBI, who had already approved video based KYC. It is not surprising that
The need and benefits are many, some obvious, and some
not so much.
Why was the VCIP process required?
PFRDA which regulates NPS has been constantly introducing new methods of subscriber authentication and various modes of KYC to make the overall process seamless and subscriber friendly. It has already announced a slew of measures like offline Aadhaar based onboarding, third-party reliance for KYC, OTP/ eSign based onboarding and e-exit for eNPS Subscribers.
Still, NPS subscribers were facing many challenges. For instance, they had to be present for in-person verification at the POP (Points of Physical Presence) which resulted in a delay in the process of withdrawal as well as exit. Video-Based Customer Identification Process (VCIP) will do away with the requirement of compulsory physical presence.
VCIP allows for remote/ at-home opening of NPS account
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing everyone into their homes, the turnaround time for onboarding processes has gone up significantly. Residential buildings have multiple rules around allowing visitors, for instance, which adds to further inconvenience and friction.
VCIP, apart from making the overall process paperless and instantaneous, also helps subscribers avail NPS services without being physically present at the POPs. The truly remote and secure nature of VCIP allows for better customer experience
Cost-effective vis-a-vis Physical KYC
Video KYC is as much about speed as it is about cost effectiveness. Processes can be designed for minimal steps (UI) and great User experience (UX). Opting for digital video identification solutions also brings down the cost compared to physical KYC. Additionally, a single agent delivers 15-20x productivity of an in-field agent. If the average cost of physical KYC of the customer would cost Rs 200, the video-based process cost will come down to 10-20 percent of the entire cost over the medium to long term.
VCIP reduces dependency on third party service providers and facilitates 2 mins onboarding process
The traditional KYC process can often take 10-15 days as there are were too many steps, entities, and checks and balances involved. On the other hand, a direct two-way audio video communication between the customer and authorized agent of the regulated entity can be established, thereby eliminating the dependency on any third party. One can complete KYC and onboarding through VCIP in a single video call, powered by intelligent queuing and experience management algorithms, as it will be a direct interaction between the customer and the representative. The humanisation of digital channels creates seamless, empathy and higher conversion rates. Well designed journeys can be executed in less than 2 minutes
Video KYC makes life easier for intermediaries as well
As per the the new guidelines, Points of Presence (PoPs) registered with PFRDA, must adhere to the V-CIP guidelines, issued by regulators for performing NPS related activities. By doing this the PFRDA intermediaries will not have any extra burden due to the introduction of the VCIP facility.
Technologists often speculate about the next wave of customer engagement. Video, with the decreasing cost of bandwidth and increasing adoption of internet based communication (such as Whatsapp Videos, Tik-Tok, Zoom, etc.), is the next big of driving customer interactions, and will increasingly be used by businesses to drive B2C interactions. The introduction of VCIP across products will also drive positive impact in financial inclusion initiatives; bringing people who were hitherto unable to avail financial services due to geographical and access challenges, time constraints or cost factor, into the mainstream.