Explained: What is an Account Aggregator? Here’s how getting personal loan will become easier than before

Suppose you need a small loan, which banks and other financial institutions are unwilling to offer for lack of credit history. In that scenario, imagine a fintech app that checks your timely bill payments and offers you a loan on the basis of that.

The government has launched a new financial data sharing system known as the ‘Account Aggregators’ (AA) network which has the potential of changing the face of the financial data sharing system in the country with regard to investment and credit.

This is the first step towards bringing open banking in India and empowering millions of customers to digitally access and share their financial data across institutions in a secure and efficient manner, it said.

An account aggregator is a system or entity that comes under the purview of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). This entity comes with an NBFC-AA license.

The Account Aggregator system introduced recently will help individuals and small businesses in procuring loans from banks without any hassle by digitally sharing financial data across institutions.

The Account Aggregator system will also improve money management by the concerned entities, said a set of FAQs released by the Finance Ministry with a view to explain the concept and address misgivings.

Account Aggregators (AA) are entities that enable financial data sharing from Financial Information Providers (FIPs) to Financial Information Users (FIUs), based on the consent from the customers.

It will help in enabling customers to access their financial information through digital media in a secure way. The details can further be shared from one financial institution to another in the same AA network.

The AA system started off last week with eight banks, it said, adding, the AA system can make lending and wealth management a lot faster and cheaper. It will also help avail banking services including lending hassle-free and save one from the rigger of sharing physical signed and scanned copies of bank statements etc.

The AA network allows sharing of transaction data or bank statements from savings/deposit/current accounts in encrypted format by sender and can be decrypted only by the recipient.

Gradually the AA framework will make all financial data available for sharing, including tax data, pensions data, securities data (mutual funds and brokerage), and insurance data will be available to consumers.

It will also expand beyond the financial sector to allow healthcare and telecom data to be accessible to the individual via AA, it said.

AA acts as an intermediary and helps connect the customer to multiple Financial Information Providers (FIPs) through standardised API (Application Programming Interfaces).