Axis Bank has started an eKYC facility for account openings by business correspondents in rural areas. The bank plans to open 1 lakh such accounts over the next three months to drive its financial inclusion program. The facility, which uses the Aadhar database, will enable a bank account to be opened within 24 hours as against the 7-15 days taken in villages at present. Rajiv Anand, president, Retail Banking of the bank, said the facility was launched in the Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh and the bank, which was also the first to launch the eKYC facility at its branches, will now ramp it up in other parts of the state initially and then in other states. There is no change in the equipment and infrastructure used by the BCs and the handheld micro-ATM machine will be used to collect a customer’s fingerprints. All one needs to open an account is the Aadhar number and the fingerprints. At the back-end, with the help of NPCI, the bank’s servers will verify the details with the Aadhar database and the account will be opened. The bank will initially be targeting beneficiaries of DBT and pensioners for the account openings, he said. The bank said 52 per cent of its 2,300 branches are in semi-urban, rural and unbanked areas at present.