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Basic Savings Deposit Account Vs. No-Frills Account: Is There a Difference?



The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken several measures to ensure the most basic banking facilities are made available to the Indian population. Very often, individuals from low-income backgrounds rarely ever have bank accounts where their finances can be saved. This is mainly because opening a savings account in most banks includes having to maintain a minimum balance in your account at all times. If the balance of the savings account dips below the required minimum balance to be maintained, the bank usually levies a fine.

In an attempt at financial inclusion, the RBI launched the 'No Frills' account in 2005. The No Frills account aimed to offer the most basic banking service to those from the low-income backgrounds. The concept was formulated as means of providing individuals from low-income backgrounds the opportunity to benefit from the credit and savings programs offered by most financial institutions.

With all the above-mentioned factors considered, the No Frills account was launched and it allows its holders the ability to open and maintain a savings account with zero balance. Those who hold No Frills accounts are offered basic banking services such as mobile and internet banking, a free Debit Card and access to ATMs all over the country. In addition, No Frills account holders also have the option to receive free quarterly account statements to their registered email id. In addition, the service charges applicable to the No Frills account were substantially lower than those of the regular savings accounts. As a result of the zero balance requirement that most banks offered, the account became commonly known as a zero-balance account.

Since its launch in 2005, the No Frills accounts began to receive a large number of applicants. However, the title 'No Frills' seemed to stigmatise those who hold such accounts. In an attempt to undo the stigmatisation associated with the title, the RBI replaced the title of the account to Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA) in 2012. Therefore, the No Frills account and the Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account are essentially the same thing.

According to an official notification by the RBI, the services offered by BSDAs intends to bring uniformity across the banking system. Since its launch, the RBI has instructed all banks that offered the no-frills accounts to convert existing accounts into Basic Savings Deposit Accounts. This notification also included offering services such as unlimited deposits to the account, zero charges on ATM/debit cards, and no fines for accounts that are inactive. Moreover, the Basic Savings Deposit Accounts do not impose any restrictions on income or age and is available to all Indian residents.

Opening a Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account

  • When it comes to Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts in the same bank, only one account per person is permitted. In cases where a person wishes to open another account with their bank, they must first close the existing BSBDA before opening a new one.
  • In the same way, if a person holds a Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts in a particular bank, they are not permitted to hold another type of savings account in that same bank. If an existing savings account is held in the same bank, the customer will have to close the account within 30 days of opening a Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account.
  • The bank would only require the most basic Know Your Customer (KYC) norms when opening an account. In these cases, the BSBDA would be treated as a 'small account' and all the restrictions that are applicable to small accounts would be applicable to the Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account.
  • Banks do not levy any fees for the services offered to Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts.

Dos and Don’ts for a Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account

  • A person holding a Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account cannot have the credits in their account to exceed Rs.1 lakh in a year.
  • A maximum amount of Rs.50,000 can be deposited in the account at one time.
  • Individuals opening a Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account need not deposit any amount at the time of opening.
  • Banks that have core banking services are ideal branches for opening a Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account.
  • Account holders are only permitted a maximum of four withdrawals a month. However, the withdrawals are free of charge.
  • Foreign exchange can only be deposited into account if the regular KYC procedures are complete.

While there is no difference between the functions of a Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account and a regular savings account, the facilities offered differ from bank to bank. Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts are ideal for accounts that are not used regularly.

FAQs on Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account Vs. No-Frills Account

  1. Can I have multiple Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts in a bank?

    No, you can only have one Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account in a bank

  2. Are there any age or income criteria to open a BSBDA in a bank?

    No. Banks are advised not to impose any age or income criteria to open a BSBDA.

  3. Can a BSBDA be opened by only economically weaker sections of society?

    No. All individuals are eligible to open a BSBDA.

  4. Can I open other deposit accounts in a bank where I hold a BSBDA?

    Yes. You can open Recurring Deposits, Fixed Deposits, etc., in a bank where you hold a BSBDA.

  5. What is the minimum deposit amount to open a BSBDA?

    You can open a BSBDA without depositing any amount.

  6. What is the maximum amount I can deposit in a BSBDA?

    You can deposit a maximum amount of Rs.50,000 in a BSBDA.

  7. Can I convert my normal savings account into a BSBDA?

    Yes. You can convert your normal savings account into a BSBDA.

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Basic Savings Deposit Account Vs. No-Frills Account: Is There a Difference? Reviews

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  • Kotak
    "Worst bank ever"
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 0.5/5 "Unacceptable"
    Itâ??s not even worth one star rating. This is the second time I had applied and got an atm card and itâ??s again showing itâ??s various way to not trust again. After few months the card will start declining wherever I have to pay, will say that the mpin is wrong even if itâ??s right, if you want to pay through google or paytm also it wonâ??t work. This was the last time I got any card from this bank.
    Was this review helpful? 235
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Mar 15, 2020
  • YES Bank
    YES Bank
    "Good"
    YES BANK
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I think its nice to apply, it has been very fast and easy let's see what happens next if its open means I'll be very much happy person, pleas let me no soon that I can be a customer of this bank I had pan card permanent account number and I didn't have addar card though.
    Was this review helpful? 231
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Mar 20, 2019
  • Kotak
    "Better"
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I am having a Platinum Debit card from Kotak Mahindra Bank. The daily withdrawal limit is sufficient. I don't get any benefits on the card but its easily accessible everywhere. I got a hidden charges of 150 rupees which was debited from my account. There is no charges for other ATM swipes and there is no limitation.
    Was this review helpful? 252
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 28, 2019
  • Kotak
    "Worst Kotak 811 services"
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 0.5/5 "Unacceptable"
    Opened an account in December 2018 not received any call from customer care for document completion till yet also visited the nearest branch and no action has been taken . Worst services of this bank . Even the executive and staff has not been responsible and their behavior is also very rude.
    Was this review helpful? 260
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 16, 2019
  • YES Bank
    "Good"
    YES BANK
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I think its nice to apply, it has been very fast and easy let's see what happens next if its open means I'll be very much happy person, pleas let me no soon that I can be a customer of this bank I had pan card permanent account number and I didn't have addar card though.
    Was this review helpful? 167
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Oct 03, 2018
  • YES Bank
    "SUPER BANK"
    YES BANK
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I've been using the YES BANK Edge credit card for a while. The Value of the points are really good. I've already accumulated more than 15000 reward points. I am really impressed with the card and their services. I never had any issues with them.
    Was this review helpful? 141
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Sep 19, 2018
  • YES Bank
    "What to write? You can write a review about any Loan produc"
    YES BANK
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    awesome great job i like your services i feel happy u provided help to need a urgent way tnq so much tnq bankbazar first time i am online visitor i cant explain how much i m happy bankbazar i would like too u say thnku bankbazaar your service is too much fast rapid
    Was this review helpful? 107
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Mar 11, 2018
  • Kotak
    "Good Bank"
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I have a Kotak Bank i opened through Online portal. It is Very Easy to Open .Zero Rupees Charges.I ordered for a Debit card of kotak bank i got it delivered.Kotak App is Very User Friendly to Everyone.Zero balance maintain No Extra Charges..Quite Good App
    Was this review helpful? 170
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Feb 16, 2018
  • Kotak
    "Decent Credit Card"
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I have a Salary account with them and the bank has offered a complimentary Credit card on the basis of this account. They have given me a Credit Limit of Rs.2.5 Lakhs, which I felt is quite a good one to have. One thing which let me down over here is their high interest rate. Also an added advantage is, they have good reward points system available with them.
    Was this review helpful? 120
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Jan 23, 2018
  • Kotak
    "Good"
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I am using domestic debit card of Kotak Mahindra Bank. The daily withdrawal limit was 25,000 rupees which was satisfactory. I am using this debit card for the last six months. There is no charge for other ATM swipe. ATM facilities are good and enough.
    Was this review helpful? 119
    , navi mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 04, 2018
  • Kotak
    "Good service"
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    Within 4days of time I got the car loan from Kotak Mahindra bank. The customer support is good with Kotak mahindra bank. The rate of interest which they have offered was low, when compared with other banks. The required loan amount has been disbursed and I am happy with it.
    Was this review helpful? 120
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Oct 16, 2017
  • RBL Bank
    "Ratnakar Bank Debit card "
    RBL BANK
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    Ratnakar Bank debit card facility is too good. Very useful options for using debit cards at different pos and online payment system. Bank customers care facilities are also prompt in service with customer. RBL is rising bank in all villages.
    Was this review helpful? 246
    , pune
    Reviewed on Aug 21, 2017
  • Kotak
    "Kotak Mahindra Bank Fraud Services"
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 0.5/5 "Unacceptable"
    Kotak Mahindra Bank has **fraud banking services**. Rs. 800+ charge for other ATM Withdraws. 10000+ Charge for not maintaining minimum balance. 1000+ for delayed credit card payments. One Purchase = Service Tax+Conversion Charge+Interest Charge+Actual MRPâ?¦. **Close all your accounts** of Kotak Mahindra Bankâ?¦
    Was this review helpful? 252
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Apr 06, 2017
  • Kotak
    "GOOD BANK BEST SERVICES GOOD JOB NICEBANK GOODRELATIONSHIP "
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    SUPPORTING WITH A MINIMUM WORKING TIME BANK QUICK DESISION WONDERFUL JOB GOOD PROVIDED BY OTHER BANKS LIKE ICICI, HDFC , IDBI , AXIS AND MORE NATIONALIZED BANKS FUTURE GOOD BANK MANAGMENT GOOD ALSO SUPPORT AND THANKS TO ALL THEY ARE HELPING PEOPLE THANK YOU AGAIN..
    Was this review helpful? 99
    , vadodara
    Reviewed on Mar 26, 2017
  • Kotak
    "Share a experience with Kotak Mahindra Bank on line service"
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I like Kotak Mahindra Bank because this bank replied fast comparing with another bank.The process was comleted process on line with in a five minute.its pleasant experience when compared with other bank services I like Kotak than another private sector banks.
    Was this review helpful? 58
    , ahmedabad
    Reviewed on Mar 25, 2017
  • Kotak
    "zero use for kotak rupay debit card"
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 0.5/5 "Unacceptable"
    i applied for a kotak mahindra rupay debit card after surrendering my existing visa debit card. firstly for some strange reason kotak doesnt allow rupay debit card as a addon card to my existing visa card. hence they automatically blocked my visa debit card on applying for rupay card. next i tried using the kotak rupay debit card on various POS terminals and online transactions. but it was declined everytime. later i got to know that they mention that it cant be used online. but there is no mention of non usage at POS too. after i tried it at around 20-30 machines i wrote them an email. to which they replied that there rupay card is not enabled for POS yet. and its not happening anytime soon. WHILE OTHER BANKS' RUPAY CARD WORKS EASILY ONLINE AS WELL AS AT POS, KOTAK CHOSES NOT TO ENABLE THESE. this card is only usefull for taking out cash from atm and that too only 10000. i was left bitterly dissapointed and have finally blocked it for reissue of visa debit card.
    Was this review helpful? 91
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Mar 09, 2017
  • YES Bank
    "Average Experience"
    YES BANK
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    At present, I dont have an interest to take YES Bank debit card, Because I am an existing customer of HDFC and SBI bank, So I thought not to process with new bank. YES bank service was good and prompt. I hope YES Bank saving account processing fee would be Rs.15,000 to Rs.20,000.
    Was this review helpful? 38
    , warangal
    Reviewed on Dec 16, 2016
  • Kotak
    "Very Poor service - Dont go for it - i am frustrated ."
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 0.5/5 "Unacceptable"
    Deducted money, I tried to communicate with them, but I didnt get any response. having many features of KOTAK bank is not good when it comes to customer service. Do not open your account in Kotak bank they will not give you service. I am frustrated with Kotak bank. Very bad feelings.
    Was this review helpful? 89
    , pune
    Reviewed on Dec 15, 2016
  • Kotak
    "Make False Offer"
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 0.5/5 "Unacceptable"
    I'm a Kotak Platina Salary account holder which comes with a Kotak Platinum Debit Card. The Platinum Card holders has no withdrawal limit from Kotak and Non-Kotak ATM in india. Everything was going fine for last 1.5 year. I have been happily withdrawing cash around 10-15 times a month from Non-Kotak ATM. Suddenly they charged me with some CW Fee. Querying on that, I get to know that they downgraded my account upto five ATM transaction/Month. The reason of downgrading my account is many number of withdrawal of 300-400 INR. But still they are showing in the charges page the same unlimited Kotak and non-Kotak transaction. The link of the charges page is : http://www.kotak.com/service-charges.html
    Was this review helpful? 65
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Dec 10, 2016
  • Kotak
    "Good overall"
    KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I am happy with the services and response I received from Kotak Mahindra Bank for the debit card application. They contacted me and informed me all the details and the procedure as well. Since I went ahead with another bank, I cancelled my application with them. I do not wish to comment on the charges.
    Was this review helpful? 52
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Dec 05, 2016
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