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When Can You Replace Your Signature With A Thumb Impression For Bank Transactions?

An individual’s signature allows banks to verify whether the person is genuine during bank transactions, like cash deposits, withdrawals, etc.

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Versha Jain
February 7, 2024
Replace Your Signature With A Thumb Impression

Replace Your Signature With A Thumb Impression

A signature mismatch can cause enormous problems for bank transactions. This situation could arise due to factors like old-age-related mobility issues, failure to remember the signature with the bank, poor health or an accident causing the person to lose hand functions, etc. However, banks have established procedures to change the signature or suggest options for verification. One of them is the thumb impression. Sometimes, customers want to replace their signature with a thumb impression for bank transactions.

Customers who don’t remember their signatures, those who are physically weak and can’t put their signatures correctly, or those unable to carry out normal hand functions can opt for this option provided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the genuine account holders to avail of regular banking services.

Although digital transactions, like the unified payments interface (UPI), are the norm today, some transactions, such as a cheque or a demand draft, still require a signature for which seniors think to replace their signature with a thumb impression for bank transactions. Moreover, some people, like senior citizens, may still prefer cheques or other physical banking services over net or mobile banking as they may be less tech-savvy than the younger generation.

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Shreejith Menon, COO- operations customer service & facilities, Fincare Small Finance Bank, says, “A literate person can change their signature to a thumb impression in a bank account. In fact, there is no restriction based on literacy for using either a signature or a thumb impression. Both methods serve as verification of your identity and consent.”

He mentions the benefits of thumb impression, such as no need to remember or practice the signature, and reduced risk of signature forgery, and cons, like the mandatorily carrying an ID proof for every transaction, and potential delays in the verification process of thumb impression.

What Does RBI Say Regarding Thumb Impression?

As per RBI, if an accountholder is too ill or incapacitated to sign a cheque or be physically present in the bank can put a thumb or a toe impression on a cheque or for other banking needs.

If they opt for a thumb impression on a cheque, rules stipulate that it must be done in the presence of two independent witnesses known to the bank, where one should be a bank official.

RBI advises banks to obtain a mark on the cheque or withdrawal forms from such accountholders in the presence of two witnesses, where one of them must be a bank official.

How To Change Your Signature In A Bank?

Menon says, “Visiting the bank in person is generally required to change your signature to a thumb impression. Visiting your home branch is preferred but not mandatory. Banks often permit changes at any branch within their network, though specific policies may vary. Contact your bank directly to confirm their process and requirements regarding location and online options, if any.”

To change your signature registered with a bank, you must follow the following steps:

  • Obtain a signature change form from your bank. Banks have different signature change forms. You must fill out your details like name, account number, customer ID, old and new signature specimen, thumb impression, details of witnesses and their signatures, etc.
  • If the old specimen signature does not match or the accountholder is not able to put the same signature, the bank may ask for additional documents such as a PAN card, Aadhaar card, Voter ID, a photograph, and a letter from an appropriate public authority verifying your identity.

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  • After the bank verifies the details, a new signature or thumb impression is updated in the bank’s record within 2-3 days.
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