Financial records and important documents are as valuable and crucial as cash. Imagine the plight of someone who has lost the physical copy of their birth certificate in a natural disaster or an accident. The process of getting a duplicate copy is not only tedious but may also be time-consuming.
Thanks to increasing digitisation, options now exist to store all important documents, including financial records, safely and securely in a digital format using digital lockers.
Apart from offering secure storage, digital lockers allow you to access your documents irrespective of your physical location.
Digital locker options
There are multiple options when it comes to selecting a digital locker. DigiLocker, the national Digital Locker System offered by the government, is slowly gaining traction as a popular choice, as are the other lockers offered by private institutions and banks. ICICI Bank’s Smart Vault service and digital lockers offered by players such as Kleeto are some of the other choices when it comes to digital locker offered by private-sector enterprises.
It is a key initiative under the Digital India program. You can access the digital locker from the official link at http://digitallocker.gov.in/. Once you sign up and register, you get a 10MB space on the cloud, where you can store documents including PAN Card, passport, certificates, etc issued by central or state government agency.
In DigiLocker, your data is secured under Indian bylaws. The government is also planning to make it a repository of all government documents, which means it may become a one-stop locker for all important government-issued documents among others.
Kleeto is a private document storage system that offers digital locker services, but for a nominal fee, ranging from Rs 200 for digital storage of 150 documents for one year to Rs 2,000 for 1,500 documents for a similar period. Kleeto offers both physical and digital storage, making it a preferred choice to store financial documents like bonds, real estate papers, and other investment-related documents. It uses state-of-the-art security for both physical and digital storage options. For physical storage, the firm codes and scans the documents; packs them in layers of paper bag, waterproof plastic bag, and a box; and stores them in a moisture-free environment. The area is fully secured by CCTV cameras and 24/7 monitoring.
Smart Vault by ICICI Bank
Smart Vault is a unique vault service offering fully automated lockers round the clock. It offer physical storage of documents in safe vaults controlled by robotic arms. You can enter the locker room using either your ICICI bank debit card or through a biometric authentication process. Each vault under the Smart Vault service is made of MS Steel with a load-bearing capacity of 70kg. For digital storage, you can use ICICI’s online document storage facility called ‘e-Locker’.
So are digital lockers safe?
Digital lockers tend to have well-designed encryption systems that keep your data safe. The safety modules of many such lockers use the same technology as most internet-banking platforms, offering a secure environment.
Things to note before choosing
* Not all digital lockers are free. Compare the pricing model before picking .
* Some lockers offer both digital and physical storage. So, review your requirements .
* Opt for a digital locker that comes under Indian regulations instead.
The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com