With Aadhaar in toe, can the Banks and Telecom firms in India solve their most frustrating problem?

The Pesky Telemarketer

Telemarketer: Hello Sir, would you like a pre-approved Credit Card from XYZ bank

Raj: I already have a Credit Card from XYZ Bank

Telemarketer: No problem Sir, we have another superior offering for you; a pre-approved personal loan for INR 1,00,000 (0.1 million). (Note: Raj’s bank balance on an average is over INR 0.5 million)

So, what happened here?

  1. The Telemarketer had no idea if Raj was a client of the bank and even if Raj was, he didn’t know if Raj had a credit card. So a complete failure on two fronts.
  2. In the second case, he had no clue what to up-sell to Raj. Selling Raj a loan of 60K with his average bank balance way over that is just dumb, or in other words, complete lack of even basic analysis of the customer account.
  3. Let me not even get into the fact that Raj’s mobile number is registered with National DND (Do Not Disturb) Registry and hence this call was ‘illegal’.

Lazy Banks & Telecom Firms

The telemarketer belonged either to the bank, or to one of its outsourced marketing agencies. Probably the only thing they had with them was Raj’s phone number. Now, only if the bank had its customer data in order, a very simple order, Raj wouldnt have had to bear such pesky telecallers – which number a few every week.

So what data did the bank need to have in its Customer Database.

  1. Customer Id
  2. Customer Name
  3. Customer Mobile Number
  4. Customer Email id
  5. Customer’s List of Products

And thats it. One would think this is ABC in terms of customer data, but lo and behold!

A simple report would have shown the telemarketer what NOT to sell or suggest, and a little bit of analytics would have shown them that instead of approving a loan for INR 60,000, they should have probably mentioned INR 1 Million; not that Raj would have taken a personal loan of that amount given the high interest rate, but atleast the bank wouldnt have seemed clueless about its client; or maybe if the Bank had figured that Raj’s daughter is about to get married and he might need about INR 1 Million in expenses, then this call would have been spot on. But hey, they didnt even have a basic analysis of Raj’s account, so its a lofty wish they they would know about his life event.

And even while I mention ‘Banks’ here, same is the case with Telecom firms as well. They are the funniest creatures on earth when they call their own client and request him to ‘shift’ to their network!! Just how fast a race to silliness is this?

The Solution

Thanks to the UID – Unique Identification Number (more commonly known as ‘Aadhaar’) linking with everything in our lives – mobile phones, bank account, taxes, now license and everything else that counts, the Bank and the Telecom firms should have almost every data there is to have about me. And I am not talking about data they do not ‘need to know’ (ref. James Bond), but data within their own firms, linked to my Aadhaar number.

All they need to do is this,

  • Make the Aadhaar the customer’s Unique Id, or maybe not; use a derivative of Aadhaar, so that they don’t expose my Aadhaar number to the whole world;
  • Every single product the bank or the telecom firm sells, should be linked to an Aadhaar number. They need to find out any product subscription that does not have an Aadhaar linked and ensure that it gets linked;
  • Now they have one Aadhaar number, linked to their services/products;
  • They could go a step further and establish family relationships between the Aadhaar numbers (simple BI & KYC can help with that).

Thats all. Post this ‘analytics’ and ‘common sense’ take over.


This will not only solve the problem that the banks and telecom firms havent been able to solve for eons now, it will help all of us get rid of the pesky and in most cases a dolt telecaller (or maybe the dumb system at the backend).

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