Monday, February 10, 2014

NASSCOM hackathon and birth of our mobile app based on Aadhaar Auth and E-KYC

A few weeks back we got an invitation from NASSCOM for Hack-a-Fin hackathon to be held in Bangalore. It was aimed at companies working in the Financial domain and us surely one of them. NASSCOM has partnered with Yodlee for making this happen. Seeing this as an opportunity to meet fellow people working on Financial products I decided to go there. Meanwhile, my erstwhile colleague Nithin was also planning to attend the event. So we decided to hack the event together.  It turned out to be an interesting event.

My mind was fully on our latest service based on Aadhaar and E-KYC process. Discussing the possibilities we decided to use it as a client on-boarding product for salespeople. But sales guys are working on the move. So it needs to be a mobile app. Neither I nor Nithin had any background of developing a mobile app, but we decided to take it as a challenge.

Our strength was that we know Java and to use Eclipse very well. We googled a million times, phoned fellow friends. Thanks to Arun George for answering our silly questions on Android development. Finally, in 24 hours (with just 2-hour sleep in between) we finished it.  Thanks to Yodlee for the support in terms of API and an endless supply of Redbulls, pizzas, crunch bars, beer etc that helped us to be glued to the laptops.

The app had to scan QR code of clients Aadhaar card which will automatically populate Client form. The data includes name, address, phone number, date of birth etc. Then the client can be validated by connecting to the UIDAI server and providing OTP authorization. Thus the client information is captured and validated at the point of sale itself.   This means Banks or NBFC or any other organizations can deliver the service right away at the customer's doorstep.

We know that this is not the prescribed Aadhaar e-KYC process. The process requires the user data to be populated from the UIDAI database using the e-KYC API exposed by UIDAI. This is a hack that allows organizations who are registered as Authentication User Agent (AUA) but do not have the access to pull the e-KYC data from UIDAI database to take advantage of Aadhaar e-KYC.

The application was a head turner at the event. It captured the eyes of NASSCOM & Yodley people and got appreciations from Microsoft Ventures Director Mukund Mohan. Below is a short video we took while testing our app.