Primarily, a savings account in India is among the primary mode of securely storing your money in the safe premises of an established bank. In addition to security, a savings account offers its holders the flexibility of depositing and withdrawing cash according to their needs along with easy access to other banking facilities such as fixed and recurring deposits, bank loans, and demand draft services.
Why is having a savings account important for customers? It is important as it promotes the idea of “personal savings” for future security along with limits the unnecessary spending of cash.
Among the various types of savings accounts offered by banks, a zero balance saving account (also known as a basic savings account) is a bank account where account holders do not have to maintain a minimum balance in their account. This differs from a regular savings bank account, where banks insist that account holders should maintain a minimum average balance, failing which the bank can charge a penalty on the account holder.
A zero balance account is ideal for customers, who are new to banking and do not want the hassle of maintaining a minimum balance in their account. Zero balance accounts are designed to encourage non-banking individuals to start saving their hard-earned money in bank accounts, while having easy cash withdrawal facilities at the same time.
In addition to not maintaining a minimum balance, a zero balance bank account in any bank usually provides the following additional benefits to the account holders:
To be eligible to open a zero balance saving account in any Indian bank, the individual must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:
As a customer, you must submit the complete set of Know Your Customer (or KYC) documents (as specified by the bank) at the time of account opening.
These KYC documents comprise of:
If you do not posses these KYC documents, you must submit a self-attested photograph along with your signature or thumbprint.
To open a zero or 0 balance account, customers can walk into any branch of the bank that offers basic saving account facility along with their supporting KYC documents and fill and submit the necessary application form. Additionally, a zero balance account does not require any initial cash deposit, which is required when opening any other type of savings bank account.
Customers with access to Internet, can avail of the online bank account opening with zero balance facility using the bank’s website or mobile banking app.
As an alternative to the basic savings account provided by banks, customers can go for a zero balance account opening under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana or PMJDY scheme initiative by the Indian government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the year 2014. Under this scheme, individuals from weaker sections of the society can open a zero balance account without submitting any KYC documents and can also avail of an accident insurance cover of 1 lakh.
This section discusses 24 of the best banks for opening a zero balance savings account in India.
State Bank of India or SBI offers the Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (or BSBDA) as a basic savings or zero balance account for Indian residents. To open the zero balance account, customers must submit the necessary KYC documents at the time of application.
Other features of this zero balance account offered by SBi include:
ICICI Bank offers the ICICI Zero Balance Account, also known as the Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account. Banking customers, who do not have an existing account in ICICI Bank are eligible for this account.
The ICICI Bank Zero Balance account has the following additional features:
Among the leading banks in India, HDFC Bank offers the HDFC Zero Balance account for eligible customers, who do not have any other existing account in HDFC Bank.
Additional features of the HDFC Zero balance account include:
Kotak Mahindra Bank offers its Kotak 0 Balance Account through its 811 digital savings account that can be opened in under 5 minutes. The Kotak Zero balance account is available for any Indian resident above the age of 18.
Other features of the Kotak 811 Zero Balance account include:
The Axis Bank Zero Balance account is offered to all Indian residents who do not have any existing account with Axis Bank. The Axis Zero balance account can be opened instantly by providing details of mobile phone number, Aadhar, and PAN card details.
Features of the Axis bank 0 balance account include:
Federal Bank offers its zero balance account to Indian residents with its pioneering Selfie account, which is a mobile-based banking app that is available on both Android and Apple iOS phones. Online customers can open this account by submitting their PAN and Aadhar card details.
Federal Bank offers attractive interest rates annually on their zero balance account:
Canara bank also offers zero balance bank account known as the Canara Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account. Customers, who do not have any existing account with Canara Bank, are eligible to open this account.
The Canara Bank zero balance account offers the following benefits:
Punjab National Bank (or PNB) offers the Basic Savings Bank Account, which is a zero balance account with free ATM and Debit card facility. Apart from this account, PNB offers a variety of zero balance accounts including the PNB Vidyarthi SF account (for students), the PNB Pension Savings account (for pensioners), and the PNB Junior SF account (for minors).
Each of these zero balance accounts require no initial cash deposit and offer an interest rate of 3.5% per annum on the average balance.
IndusInd bank offers Indian residents its basic small savings account with zero balance facility. All Indian citizens above the age of 18 are eligible to open this account.
Features of the IndusInd zero balance account include:
Formerly known as Ratnakar Bank, RBL Bank offers the RBL Bank Zero Balance account facility, also known as the Abacus Digital Savings account. Eligible customers can complete their RBL Bank Zero Balance account opening by submitting their Aadhar and PAN card details.
The RBL Bank Zero Balance account offers the following features:
Among the recently-established banks in India, Yes bank also offers a zero balance banking account facility to resident Indians.
Some features of the Yes Bank zero balance account include:
To promote financial inclusion, Lakshmi Vilas bank offers the Basic Savings Bank Deposit (or BSBD), which is a zero balance account for Indian residents.
The Lakshmi Vilas Zero Balance account offers the following features:
The Bandhan bank BSBDA account is a zero balance banking account designed for the convenience of the common man in India.
Along with no minimum balance requirement, the zero balance account from Bandhan Bank has the following features:
The Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (or BSBDA) is a zero balance account facility offered by Dena Bank to all Indian residents.
Some of the features offered by this zero balance account include:
Standard Chartered bank offers the Aasaan zero balance digital account to all Indian residents.
Features of the Standard Chartered Zero balance account include:
HSBC Bank offers the HSBC Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA) for zero balance banking to all Indian residents.
Features of the HSBC BSBDA account include:
Development Bank of Singapore (or DBS) also offers zero balance account facility through the digiSavings account that can be opened using smartphone banking. Smartphone users can open this account online by submitting their Aadhar card details.
Features of the digiSavings zero balance account include:
IDBI Bank offers the IDBI Bank Sabka Basic Savings Account offering the advantage of zero balance banking to its customers.
The IDBI Bank Zero balance account offers the following benefits:
IDFC Bank offers zero balance banking to its customers through the Pratham Zero Balance Saving Account. Resident Indians can open their IDFC Bank Zero Balance account by submitting their Aadhar card details at any IDFC bank branch or ATM.
Features of the IDFC Zero Balance Account include:
Bank of Baroda (or BoB) offers the Basic Savings account with zero balance facility. Only Indian residents, who do not have an existing account with BoB, are eligible to apply for this account.
BoB Basic Savings account has the following features:
Bank of India (or BOI) offers the BOI Basic Savings Account to Indian residents with free debit and ATM card facility. Other BOI accounts offering zero balance facility are the SB Account for Pensioners, Salary Plus Account Scheme (for salaried government and private employees), and the BOI Saral Salary Account Scheme.
Equitas Bank offers the Basic and Small Savings Account with zero balance requirement.
Features of the Equitas Bank zero balance account include:
Citibank offers Indian residents its Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account facility with zero balance banking facility.
The Citibank Zero Balance account offers the following features:
Additionally, customers can open the PMJDY account in Citibank, which offers a personal accident cover of 1 lakh.
Karur Vysya bank also offers the KVB Basic Savings Bank Account (also known as the Kalpatharu account) to provide financial inclusion to weaker sections of the society.
Features and benefits provided by the KVB Zero Balance account include:
Bank of Maharashtra offers Mahabank lok bachat yogana wherein a customer can open an account with zero balance requirement.
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