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.
Features and Benefits of Zero-Balance Savings Account
Listed below are some of the features of a zero-balance savings account:
- No requirement to maintain a minimum balance.
- 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.
Top Zero-Balance Savings Account for Indian Citizens
Listed below are the banks offering zero-balance savings accounts:
- IndusInd Bank: A basic small savings account, IndusInd Bank offers the zero-balance savings account which comes with no minimum balance requirement. All citizens above the age of 18 years are eligible to open the account. On opening the account, customers are granted a free debit card, passbook and cheque book. Every month, customers can make 5 free transactions, and can also make free fund transfers through the NEFT and RTGS facilities. Since it is a small savings account, no foreign remittances can be made to the account.
- IDFC Bank: To align with the zero-balance savings account offered by banks across the country, IDBI Bank has rolled out the Pratham Savings account. Customers can apply for this account just with their Aadhaar card and can make an application even at a micro ATM. Through this account, customers can subscribe to Government schemes and subsidies. Some of the features of the Pratham Savings Account are free ATM debit card when opening the account, free cheque book and passbook, free mobile and internet banking facilities, and unlimited and free ATM transactions across the country.
- RBL Bank: Another small savings account, RBL Bank has rolled out the Abacus Digital Savings Account which can opened online on the bank’s page by just uploading one’s Aadhaar card and PAN card. With this account, customers can invest in fixed deposits and a maximum of Rs.1 lakh can be deposited into this zero-balance savings account. To continue using this savings account, customers have to submit their signatures within exactly one year from opening the account. The Abacus Digital Savings account can be opened instantly with minimum documentation.
- Axis Bank: Customers that do not already having a savings account with Axis Bank are eligible to open the zero-balance savings account offered by the bank. On opening the account, customers are granted a free RuPay debit card and passbook. Since it is a small savings zero-balance savings account, customers can deposit cash only up to Rs.10,000 and can make four free ATM transactions a month at other bank ATMs.
- Standard Chartered Bank: All citizens of India are eligible to open the zero-balance savings account offered by Standard Chartered Bank. On opening the account, customers that have opened this account are granted a free International debit card and the account comes with features such as locker facility at discounted rates and doorstep facilities.
- Kotak Mahindra Bank: All citizens of India above the age of 18 are eligible to open the zero-balance savings account offered by Kotak Mahindra Bank. Customers can open the zero-balance savings account - 811- in less than 5 minutes. To shop online, customers can use the mStore to shop online and can even use the scan and pay option. Some of the features of the zero-balance savings account offered by Kotak Mahindra Bank are free fund transfers through the NEFT and RTGS facilities and customers can even generate free virtual debit cards to shop online.
- ICICI Bank: Customers that do not already have a savings account with ICICI Bank are eligible to open the zero-balance savings account. The zero-balance savings account is a Basic Savings account, and can be opened with minimum documentation. On opening the account, customers are granted a free cheque book and facilities such as internet banking and cash deposits are completely free. Customers are charged Rs.90 per transaction for cash withdrawals at other bank ATMs.
- HDFC Bank: Also a Basic Savings Account, all individuals that do not already have a savings account with HDFC Bank are eligible to open this account. When opening the account, customers are granted a free RuPay debit card and can even avail an International debit card. The HDFC Bank zero-balance basic savings account comes with features such as free fund transfers through the NEFT and RTGS facilities, free IVR-Based phone banking facilities, and four free cash withdrawals at other bank ATMs.
- State Bank of India: State Bank of India too has rolled out a zero-balance savings account with the benefit of no limit on cash deposits in the account. To open the account, customers will have to provide basic KYC documents and on approval customers are granted a free RuPay debit card and are allowed 4 free cash withdrawals at other bank ATMs. Cash withdrawals from State Bank of India ATMs are completely free.
|Bank||Name of zero-balance savings account||Interest rate|
|IndusInd Bank||Indus Small Savings Account||4% (up to Rs.5 Lakhs) 5% (more than Rs.5 Lakhs and less than Rs.1 Crore) 6% (above Rs.1 Crore)|
|IDFC Bank||Pratham–savings account (BSBDA)||4% (up to Rs 1 Crore) 5% (Rs.1 Crore to Rs.10 Crores) 6% (above Rs.10 Crores)|
|RBL Bank||Abacus Digital Savings Account||5.50% (up to Rs.1 Lakh) 6% (Rs.1 Lakh to Rs.10 Lakhs) 6.5% (Rs.10 Lakhs to 1.Crore) 6.75% (Rs.1 Crore to Rs.5 Crores)|
|Kotak Mahindra Bank||811||5% (below Rs.1 Lakh) 6% (Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1 Crore) and 5.5% (above Rs.1 Crore)|
|Standard Chartered Bank||Basic Banking Account||4%|
|HDFC Bank||Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account||4%|
|Axis Bank||Basic Savings Account||3.5% (up to Rs.50 Lakhs) 4% (above Rs.50 Lakhs)|
|ICICI Bank||Basic Savings Account||4%|
|State Bank of India||Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account||3.5% (below Rs.1 Crore) 4% (above Rs.1 Crore)|
Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (P.M.J.D.Y) 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.