For customers in India that wish to open a savings account and do not want to go through the hassle of maintaining a minimum balance, they can opt for a zero balance savings account. As the name suggests, those opening or holding a zero-balance savings account do not have to maintain a minimum balance. For those who do not know, the minimum balance value does not mean that money has to lie idle in the account for the whole month to meet the requirement, as the minimum average balance is calculated on the average balance in the account at the end of the day of each month and divided by the total number of days in the month. That said, for customers that wish to open a zero-balance savings account, they can contact any of the below listed banks that offer the most suitable and beneficial zero-balance accounts in the country.
Update on debit card transactions due to the coronavirus pandemic
The Finance Minister announced an update on debit card transactions as part of the economic measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. These updates are as follows:
- Debit card holders can now withdraw cash from ATMs of any bank anywhere in the country, without incurring any additional transaction charges, for the next 3 months.
- Bank accounts will not charge any penalty for non-maintenance of the minimum balance requirement for the next 3 months.
- There will be a reduction in bank charges for digital trade transactions.
Top Zero-Balance Savings Account for Indian Citizens
Mentioned below are some of the banks which provide zero balance savings accounts:
ICICI Zero Balance Account
Individuals who do not have an account with ICICI can open a zero balance savings account with the bank with minimum documentation. Some features and benefits of this account are:
- Internet banking facility
- Free cheque book
- Free cash deposits
- Charge of Rs.90 for cash withdrawals at other bank ATMs
Read more about ICICI Zero Balance Account
HDFC Zero Balance Account
HDFC Bank offers a basic savings bank account for individuals who do not have an account with the bank already. Mentioned below are some features of this account:
- Free RuPay debit card or international debit card
- Fund transfers through NEFT and RTGS
- IVR based phone banking
- Four free cash withdrawals at other bank ATMs
Read more about HDFC Zero Balance Account
SBI Zero Balance Account
State bank of India offers its customers a zero balance savings account which has no limit on cash deposits. Some significant features of the account are:
- Basic KYC documents required
- Free debit card
- Four free cash withdrawals from other bank ATMs
- Free cash withdrawals from SBI ATMs
Read more about SBI Zero Balance Account
Axis Zero Balance Account
Axis Bank also offers a zero balance savings account which can only be opened by first-time Axis Bank customers. Some features of this scheme are:
- Free RuPay debit card
- Cash deposit limit up to Rs.10,000
- Four free transactions at other bank’s ATMs every month
Read more about Axis Bank Zero Balance Account
IndusInd Zero Balance Account
IndusInd Bank offers a basic small savings account which comes with no minimum balance requirement. Some features of this account are:
- Indian citizens above 18 years of age are eligible
- Free debit card, passbook, and cheque book
- 5 free transactions every month
- Free fund transfers through NEFT and RTGS
Read more about Indusind Zero Balance Account
IDFC Zero Balance Account
IDFC Bank offers a zero balance savings account called Pratham Savings account. Customers can easily apply for this account by uploading their Aadhaar card and PAN card on the bank’s page. Some important features of this account are:
- Internet banking and mobile banking
- Free cheque book and passbook
- Free debit card
RBL Zero Balance Account:
RBL Bank offers a small savings account called Abacus Digital Savings Account. It can be opened online by providing the customer’s Aadhaar card and PAN card on the bank’s online portal. Some features of this account are:
- Customers can invest in fixed deposits
- Maximum of Rs.1 lakh can be deposited in this account
- Customers have to submit signatures after a year to continue using the account
Standard Chartered Zero Balance Account
Standard Chartered provides a zero balance savings account that can be opened by all citizens of India. Some benefits that come with this offer are:
- Free international debit card
- Discounts on locker facility
- Doorstep facilities
Kotak Mahindra Zero Balance Account(Kotak 811)
All Indian citizens above 18 years of age can open a Kotak Mahindra zero balance savings account. The Zero Balance Savings account -811 can be opened online in just 5 minutes. Here are some its notable features:
- Customers can use mStore to shop online
- Fund transfers through NEFT and RTGS
- Free virtual debit cards
- Scan and pay option
Read more about Kotak 811
Latest Interest Rate for Zero Balance Savings Account
|Bank||Name of zero-balance savings account||Interest rate|
|IndusInd Bank||Indus Small Savings Account||4% to 6%|
|IDFC Bank||Pratham–savings account (BSBDA)||6% to 7%|
|RBL Bank||Digital Savings Account||5% to 6.75%|
|Kotak Mahindra Bank||811||4% to 6%|
|Standard Chartered Bank||Basic Banking Account||0.5% to 4.90%|
|HDFC Bank||Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account||3.50% to 4%|
|Axis Bank||Basic Savings Account||3.50% to 4%|
|ICICI Bank||Basic Savings Account||3.50% to 4%|
|State Bank of India||Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account||3% to 3.25%|
Check out Top Bank Savings Account Interest Rates
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana(PMJDY) Zero-Balance Savings Account
Apart from the basic savings account or zero-balance savings account rolled out by banks across the country, customers can even open a zero-balance savings account under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (P.M.J.D.Y) scheme. Initiated by the Modi-led Government in 2014, the scheme offers financial access to those across the country and for those who do not have any - especially in the rural areas. Customers do not need any KYC documents to open an account under this scheme, only their signature and fingerprint will suffice as eligibility for the scheme.
Features and Benefit of Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (P.M.J.D.Y)
Some of the features and benefit of the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (P.M.J.D.Y) are listed below:
- No minimum required balance.
- Customers are eligible for accident insurance cover of Rs.1 lakh.
- If customers have subscribed to Government schemes or subsidies, they can avail for the direct benefit transfer through this account.
- After completion of 6 months of holding the account, customers can avail the overdraft facility.
- Free RuPay debit card when opening the account.
- No charges for a using an ATM debit card.
- Free passbook and cheque book when opening the account.
- Free net banking facilities.
- Can be used as a salary account as well.
- No cash deposit transaction fees.
- Free NEFT and RTGS facilities.
- Locker facilities available.
Is it possible to open a joint basic savings account?
Yes, it is possible to open a joint basic savings account. For this, the second-party has to be related to the primary account holder and both have to be present when opening the account.
What is the initial deposit that I have to make to the bank when opening a zero-balance savings account?
Since the zero-balance savings account is a basic savings account, it has no monthly average balance requirement. An initial deposit in a savings account has to be made only if there is a minimum balance requirement, and as this has no minimum average balance requirement no initial deposit has to be made. In short, a zero-balance savings account can be opened for free.
How can I access by zero-balance savings account to either check my balance, make a withdrawal and so on? Can I do this only at a bank?
No, you can access your zero-balance savings account via the internet and phone banking facilities, at an ATM and at the bank if required.
Is there a difference between the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (P.M.J.D.Y) zero-balance savings account and the one offered by bank?
While the nature of the zero-balance savings account is the same, customers subscriber to the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (P.M.J.D.Y) are eligible to opt for Government subsidies and other such benefits offered by the Government of India.
- Is it possible to make a nomination for this zero-balance savings account?
Yes, it is possible to make a nomination for a zero-balance savings account. But, based on a few conditions:
- The nominee should share a relationship with the second party - either parent, spouse, sibling, etc.
- In case of a minor, only a person legally bound to the minor can make a nomination for the account.
- Applicants need to fill in the Banking Companies (Nomination) Rules 1985 form to make a nomination.
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