Vijaylakshmi and Balaji catch up over dinner and an interesting conversation unfolds:

Vijaylakshmi: Hey, what is this UDGAM portal launched by the Reserve Bank of India?

Balaji: Oh, this is the new portal wherein depositors can locate their unclaimed deposits and recover them from the banks.

Vijaylakshmi: What are theseunclaimed deposits? Is it such a big deal?

Balaji:The balances in savings/current account not operated for 10 years, and term deposits not claimed within 10 years of maturity are designated as unclaimed deposits. They are then transferred by banks to the Depositor Education and Awareness (DEA) Fund maintained by the RBI. As of February 2023, nearly ₹35,000 crore is lying with banks as unclaimed deposits!

Vijaylakshmi: That is a big number. But what is the role of web portal UDGAM?

Balaji: Generally, banks display a list of unclaimed deposits on their websites, but it becomes difficult for a person to check websites of each bank. Therefore, UDGAM (Unclaimed deposits-Gateway to Access information) has been developed where the public can check unclaimed deposits across banks .

Vijaylakshmi: But what is the need for this web portal? Won’t people know where all they have accounts, and the balances in them?

Balaji: You have a point, but this ₹35,000 crore has not appeared out of thin air. It may so happen that a depositor relocates to different places for professional or other reasons. The depositor may end up with multiple accounts and, over time, forget all about certain accounts. Another reason could be that the depositor is deceased, and the heirs do not know about certain deposits.

Vijaylakshmi: Great, how does UDGAM work?

Balaji:Depositors will be required to visit and register with their mobile number. Once registration is done, the depositor can log in. Depositor can currently check for unclaimed deposits across 14 banks, including SBI, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and HDFC Bank. Depositors need to key in the account holder’s name, then select the bank(s) and key in one of the details — among PAN number, Voter D, driving licence number, passport number or date of birth and the system gives a list of unclaimed deposits across the banks chosen.

Vijaylakshmi: Nice, looks like a pretty straightforward system.