There are different types of account such as Savings Bank account, Salary account, and Senior-citizen accounts. Generally, all these types of accounts will demand a minimum standing balance in your account. To get rid of this scenario you can opt for a zero balance account in India which has no minimum balance.
The fine amount will be deducted from your account for not maintaining the minimum balance. The Minimum Balance Amount is calculated by the following steps
- Add all your closing balances of each day in the respective month.
- Take the total number of days in the respective month.
- Divide it both
In this way, each bank calculates its minimum balance amount. However, it varies depending upon the bank. When you opt for a zero balance account,t there is no need to maintain this minimum balance amount.
1) What is a Zero Balance Account?
The people in semi-urban and rural areas have facing several financial struggles. So that they can’t open the regular savings bank account as they are financially weak to maintain a minimum balance on the account.
To get rid of this Indian government has announced the “Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account” which is known as BSBDA. Generally, it is zero-balance savings account under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna scheme. Only after the introduction of PMJDY, all banks around the nations have introduced the Zero-balance account feature.
By using this account people would directly receive the government subsidies in this account. Though it doesn’t carry advantages like a regular saving account it too has some advantages and disadvantages.
1.1) What are the advantages of a Zero Balance Account?
Below mentioned are some of the advantages of Zero balance Account
Zero balance: The main advantage of using this account is that you need not worry about the balance of your account during the month-end.
Debit cards: Generally with the Zero balance account you can even receive a debit card feature. Depending upon the banks you will receive Rupay or Visa debit cards. You can use them to withdraw the cash from your account. The debit card comes with free insurance cover.
Cheque books: However you are provided with the free checkbook while you open a zero balance account. A certain amount is collected for issuing cheque books if you have opened the account online.
Net Banking: You can use net banking and mobile banking for the zero balance account. Through internet banking you can pay your bills, do mobile and DTH recharge. You can even transfer the money online.
Cash Withdrawals: Also you can withdraw cash from your account using debit cards. Certain banks have restrictions on how many times you are allowed to withdraw cash? On average, you can withdraw 3 to 4 times per month. Usually, you are allowed to withdraw five times per month. Only if you open your zero-balance account online.
1.2) What are the Disadvantages of Zero Balance Account?
Zero balance account have certain restrictions like
- Other bank accounts can be accessed by Indians as well as Non-resident Indians (NRI) and Persons of Indian Origin (POI). but for a zero balance account, only Indians are allowed to open this account which is not accessible for NRI and POI.
- You can’t make any foreign contributions using this zero balance account.
- As said earlier, you are allowed only 4 times to withdraw the cash. You need to pay extra charges when exceeding the limit.
- Other SB aaccounts supports FD and RD . But in zero balance account you are not allowed to make any investment options like FD, RD, and Demat accounts.
- Also certain advantages like earning rewards, getting credit cards, providing access to loans are restricted for the zero balance account holders.
When you are convenient with these disadvantages then you can go for a zero balance savings account.
2) Which Bank is best for a zero balance account in India?
When you decided for opening a zero balance account you may have been confused about which bank you need to choose for opening a zero balance account. Below listed are some of the banks which are best for zero balance accounts.
2.1) ICICI Zero Balance Account
ICICI bank offers you several advantages through Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA). The features of ICICI’s BSBDA are
- As the name indicates no minimum balance is required.
- You can open it as a single account or you can open it as a joint account.
- Here the cash deposits are free of cost.
- They will provide internet and mobile banking features if you make a request.
- Unlike a Basic savings account, you need not deposit any initial amount at the time of opening the account.
- You are awarded a Rupay debit card for free.
- Passbook is also available for this type of zero balance account.
i) Eligibility criteria for ICICI Zero Balance account
- Only Indians who are above 18 are eligible to open ICICI BSBDA. NRI can’t able to open this account.
- You should not have any other type of savings account with this bank.
- Also, you should not have any BSBDA account with other banks.
After passing these eligibility criteria you can go for the documents verification.
Another option to open BSBDA is you can open it under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY). This will help the financially weaker sections to avail themselves of the government subsidies and the banking features at a low cost. For this, you are provided with a free Rupay card, free cheque leaves, and a passbook.
These are the features and the eligibility criteria for the zero balance account on ICICI Bank. BSBDA account on ICICI is considered to be one of the best zero balance accounts in India.
2.2) HDFC Zero Balance Account
HDFC’s zero balance account is also known as BSBDA Small Account. Their features include
- You can enjoy free access to the Rupay debit card for your account.
- Free deposits of cash in HDFC’s branch and ATM. also there is a limit for depositing in BSBDA Small Account.
- You are permitted to withdraw the amount from your zero balance account only for 4 times using the ATM. otherwise, you will be fined while exceeding the limit.
- EMI transactions, POS Transactions, NEFT, and RTGS can be done using HDFC zero balance account.
- You can get free e-mail statements.
- It includes free lifetime Billpay.
- First, 25 cheque leaves are free for BSBDA Small Account holders.
i) Eligibility criteria for HDFC Zero Balance Account
As with ICICI eligibility criteria, you should be an Indian. you should not be an NRI. you should not have any other relationship with a bank, and a BSBDA account with other bank accounts. Other than this HDFC’s Zero balance account have some kind of transactional limits such as
- You should not allow your account to exceed the total balance of Rs 50,000
- Also, you should not use your account to exceed the total credits of Rs1,00,000.
- Rs 10,000 is the limit to withdraw from your HDFC’s small account.
If you withdraw and transfer more than Rs 1000, They won’t allow you to do withdrawals and transfers up to the month-end.
2.3) SBI Zero Balance Account
This type of account in SBI carries features as same as the other bank. Only four withdrawals are allowed per month. Also, you didn’t have any other account in their bank and zero balance account in other banks.
The varying difference of SBI’s BSBDA is they didn’t offer a cheque book facility. There are no other annual maintenance charges for SBI’s BSBDA.
These are the features of the top 3 best banks for opening zero balance account in India. Other than this some other best banks for zero balance accounts are
- Axis Bank
- IndusInd Bank
- IDFC Bank,
- RBL Bank,
- Standard Charted Financial company and
- Kotak Mahindra Bank
3) What are the notable features of the Zero Balance Account?
- Providing free debit card
- Issuing cheque book
- No need of maintaining a minimum balance
- No annual maintenance charge
- Allowing 4 free withdrawals
are the common features offered by the bank for the Zero balance savings account.
Other specific features offered by banks are
- Unlike other banks, Indusland bank offers 5 free transactions and withdrawals for every month
- Also RBL Zero balance account holders can invest in Fixed deposits . It is one of the unique feature offered for Zero Balance Account.
- A maximum of Rs 1 lakh can be deposited in the RBL Zero Balance account.
- Standard Charted Zero Balance account holders enjoy the free benefits of International debit cards.
- Generally the Locker facility discounts will be available for Standard Charted Zero balance account holders.
- Kotak Mahindra offers free virtual debit cards, allows you to scan and pay, and allows you to use MStore for online shopping.
Hereby concluding that all the savings accounts are beneficial in their way. As said earlier this will be much more helpful for economically weaker sections. Generally, the interest for a zero balance account is almost the same as for a regular savings account. Based on your needs choose your zero balance account in the above-mentioned top-rated banks.
Based on the interest, Standard Charted Bank is best for opening a zero balance account. Because it has an interest rate starting from 0.5% to 4.9%. It also has an international debit card feature that will not available in other banks’ zero balance account.
You need not maintain a minimum balance on your savings account which is known as a 0 balance savings account. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna has laid a foundation for this.