In India, where most people are able to save lesser amount of money every month, none of them wants to get penalised for not maintaining a defined amount of minimum balance in his/her account by their respective banks. People prefer to have low or no restrictions on them, be it financial or any other. Most banks ask account holders to retain a certain amount of money in their account. If people fail to maintain this minimum balance, some fine is imposed on them and the bank deducts that amount from their account. However, there are some banks that allow people to open and maintain zero balance savings accounts where the above-mentioned restriction holds no validity. Let us discuss about top 11 zero balance savings accounts:
- IDFC Bank– IDFC Bank offers Pratham Savings Account where there is no minimum balance account requirement for account holders. This is one of the most preferred zero balance savings accounts in 2018. People can apply for this account using only Aadhaar card at any branch or even at the micro ATMs. These accounts can be used to avail all government funds and subsidies. Account holders get access to Internet banking, mobile banking and cheque books on special requests. Users can make unlimited transactions at ATMs all over India, free of charge.
- IndusInd Bank– IndusInd Bank offers its customers to open basic small savings accounts with minimum documentation and avail a range of banking services at zero balance. All Indian residents who are above 18 years of age can open this bank account. Account holders get a free ATM card through which they can carry out unlimited transactions at all IndusInd ATMs across India, and also get 5 free transactions at other bank’s ATMs. Account holders can also carry out online fund transfer through NEFT and RTGS at no additional charge. The bank does not penalise account holders in case of non-maintenance of minimum average quarterly balance. However, foreign remittances are not allowed in these accounts.
- Kotak Mahindra Bank– Kotak Mahindra Bank’s 811 fully digital accounts allow people to open zero balance savings accounts in as less as 5 minutes. All resident Indians above 18 years of age can open this account. The bank provides virtual debit card for online shopping. Customers can also pay using the scan and pay option in stores. Online transactions using NEFT/IMPS done through this account attract no additional charge. The mStore feature in the bank’s app allows users to shop online without downloading other applications.
- RBL Bank– RBL Bank allows customers to open Abacus Digital Savings Bank account at zero balance instantly and in a paperless manner. The applicant has to provide only his Aadhaar number and PAN to open the bank account. These savings accounts are opened instantly and the user has to go to RBL’s website to register for internet banking. Maximum of Rs. 1 Lakh can be deposited in the account instantly and the account holder can invest in fixed deposit schemes as well. However, the applicant has to visit the bank’s branch to submit his signature within one year of opening the account.
- Standard Chartered Bank– The Basic Banking Account of the Standard Chartered Bank allows people to open their zero balance account anywhere and operate it all over India by visiting any branch of the bank. Account holders get free International Debit Card with the account and all transactions, financial or non-financial, are free of cost in all ATMs across India. All Indian citizens can open this account. The bank also provides doorstep banking facility and the option to avail the locker facility.
- Axis Bank– The Basic Savings Account by Axis Bank allows its customers to avail a zero balance account with the bank. All resident Indians who do not have other savings accounts in Axis Bank can open this account. They get a free RuPay debit card and 1 cheque book per year payable at par with the account. Account holders can deposit up to Rs. 10,000 cash per month and withdraw cash from ATMs three times every month for free.
- HDFC Bank– HDFC Bank offers the zero balance feature with its Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account. Any individual or HUF (Hindu Undivided Family) who does not have an existing account in HDFC bank can open this account. Account holders get a free RuPay debit card with an option to upgrade it into an international debit card. They can also avail the benefits of free IVR-based phone banking. Account holders can avail the benefit of free fund transfer online by NEFT and three free cash withdrawals per month through ATMs.
- ICICI Bank– ICICI Bank allows its customers to maintain a Basic Savings Account with zero balance requirements if they do not have an existing ICICI Bank savings account. Its debit card and a cheque book with 15 leaves per year are also free of cost. Cash transactions at other ATMs are chargeable at Rs. 90 per transaction. Internet banking and cash deposits are not charged by the bank. The interest payable on these accounts is half-yearly.
- State Bank of India– The State Bank of India offers Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account to its customers under which the account opened can be maintained at zero balance. No additional charge of any type is applicable on these accounts. There is also no maximum limit of money that can be deposited in the account. However, the applicant will have to get the KYC done at the time of opening the account. The account holder cannot have another existing savings account if he intends to open the basic savings account in the bank. SBI savings account holders get RuPay debit card with the account through which they can do a maximum of four free transactions every month.
- Digibank by DBS : DBS (The Development Bank of Singapore Ltd.) digibank is a provider of app-based banking services to its customers. People using smartphones and who possesses Aadhaar Card can open digibank savings account online by installing app on their smartphones. The bank offers zero balance savings accounts to its customers. Digibank offers a range of products and services, such as 7% interest, E-Wallet feature, VISA debit card, Unlimited free ATM withdrawals from any ATM, Free Online funds transfer via NEFT and IMPS. However, because it is online app-based banking, a customer cannot fund their account by cash from the bank branch.
- Federal Bank : Federal bank also offers zero balance account for Indian residents. The bank has introduced ‘Selfie’, the first of its kind in India. “Selfie”, is a mobile-based Savings Account opening facility through FedBook Selfie. Its customers can open their zero balance account by using their Aadhaar and PAN Card. Federal bank currently offers this service to resident individuals only. Customers using Android and IOS mobile phones can install Fedbook app from Google Play Store / iStore. Afterwards they need to take their selfie, scan Aadhar card, and PAN card and required to submit online in the app. After scanning and uploading documents user will get bank account details immediately on their mobile screen. Bank will call for confirmation and activation of the account. Read more about Federal bank savings account.
Below is the Tabular representation of Zero Balance Savings Accounts of several banks with mentioned features and interest rates:
Top Zero Balance Savings Accounts
|Bank||Zero Balance Savings Accounts||Interest Rate||Features|
|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)
|Easy to open the account with only Aadhaar even at the micro ATM, unlimited free transactions at ATM all across India.|
|IndusInd Bank||Indus Small Savings Account||4% (up to Rs 5 Lakhs)
5% (>Rs 5 Lakhs and <RS 1 Crore)
6% (above Rs 1 Crore)
|Free transactions through IndusInd ATMs, 5 free transactions from other bank ATMs and free NEFT and RTGS fund transfer.|
|Kotak Mahindra Bank||811||6% (Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 Crore) and 5.5% (above Rs 1 Crore)||Fully digital account, no charge on online transactions, scan and pay feature and instant account opening feature (with Aadhaar).|
|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)
|Instant and Paperless account opening (using Aadhaar and PAN), unlimited ATM transactions, anytime banking feature, high interest rates, NEFT/RTGS and IMPS mode of transaction also allowed.|
|Standard Chartered Bank||Basic Banking Account||4%||International Debit Card, phone banking, online banking, doorstep banking, locker facility, free access to any Standard Chartered Bank’s branch across India and unlimited financial and non-financial transactions in all ATMs across India.|
|Axis Bank||Basic Savings Account||3.5% (up to Rs 50 Lakhs)
4% (above Rs 50 Lakhs)
|Free RuPay Debit Card with daily withdrawal limit of Rs 40,000, 1 free cheque book per year and monthly e-statements and SMS alerts.|
|HDFC Bank||Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account||4%||Free RuPay debit card, International Debit Card available on request, Safe Deposit Locker, Sweep-In and Super Saver feature available.|
|ICICI Bank||Basic Savings Account||3.5% (up to Rs 50 Lakhs)
4% (above Rs 50 Lakhs)
|Free debit card, free cheque book with 15 leaves per year, no charge on cash deposits and internet banking.|
|State Bank of India||Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account||3.5% (below Rs 1 Crore)
4% (above Rs 1 Crore)
|No additional charge on account closure or account reactivation, RuPay debit card provided with the account, online transactions through NEFT/RTGS and IMPS and 4 transactions at ATMs every month.|
|Digi Bank (DBS)||Basic Savings Account||6% (upto Rs 1 Lakh)||Make payments using your digibank app at all Bharat QR enabled stores and websites.|
|Federal Bank||Basic Savings Account||3.5% (up to Rs 50 Lakhs)
4% (above Rs 50 Lakhs)
|Different savings account for different needs. Access your account with ease via Internet Banking / SMS Bank / Phone Banking|