In parallel to Number Portability in Telecom, there is a lesser known portability concept that is also available in Banking and Insurance sectors. Here is how it works.

Savings Account Portability: A savings account could be transferred within any bank between its branches without changing the account number.

Limitations in this system:

  1. It is only within the branch and between its branches. For example, if you have an account with Indian Bank Connaught Place branch you can seamlessly have it transferred to Indian Bank Pallavaram branch. You can not transfer it to Indian Overseas Bank or ICICI Bank.
  2. The modus operandi  is still not clear. Though you can logically approach either the transferor or transferree branches, at times due to lethargic attitude of the staff you are approaching you might get hostile response and may need to force them to accept your porting application.
  3. Despite being a porting vis-a-vis full account opening, you are still expected to give photograph, address and identification documents.
  4. Though the bank is not expected to charge for porting, some egoistic managers levy unscrupulous charges. In this writer’s case, Canara Bank Pimpri to Madambakkam was levied a charge of INR 37 which the latter manager refused to entertain any hearing.
  5. Some banks like Corporation Bank still change the account number during porting process.
  6. Even though the porting is expected to be seamless, the standing instructions and cheque book stands invalid and needs explicit refreshing of the same. Only Internet Banking and ATM services work transparently.
  7. The time framee of porting is ad-hoc. It varies from two business days to four weeks.

Insurance Portability: If you have a non-life insurance you can have it ported to another provider. Life insurance can not be ported as of now.

Limitations:

  1. You need to approach the transferror as against transferree. So the customer service might try to discourage porting and/or even delay/deny the porting unscrupulously unless and otherwise you engage in extensive and expensive appellate exercises to complete the porting.

Authorities controlling the porting:

  1. Telecom. Department of Telecommunications/Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Lodge complaints at http://pgportal.gov.in/ choosing Telecom Department.
  2. Banking. Reserve Bank of India. Lodge complaints at http://pgportal.gov.in/ choosing Deparment of Financial Services (Banking Division)
  3. Insurance. Insurance Regulatory Development Authority. Lodge complaints at
    1. http://pgportal.gov.in/ choosing Department of Financial Services (Insurance Division).
    2. Integrated Grievance Management System