While some banks still require their customers to maintain a certain amount of minimum balance, many banks now provide their customers with zero balance saving account wherein you don’t have to maintain a minimum balance.
A zero balance account is ideal for holders, who are new to banking and prefer to avoid the pressure of maintaining a minimum balance in their account.
Zero Balance Savings Account – Features, Types and How to Open
What is Zero Balance Bank Account?
Zero balance account is a savings account with no minimum average balance requirement. This means you don’t have to maintain a specific amount as a minimum average balance. There are no charges for non-maintenance of the minimum average amount.
What are the different types of Zero Balance Account?
There are four key types of zero balance accounts. Online zero balance accounts, zero balance accounts on certain conditions, Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA) and Small Savings account.
Online zero balance accounts are savings account that individuals can open instantly online by downloading the bank’s mobile banking app, video KYC or through the bank’s website. Individuals will need PAN and Aadhaar card to open these accounts. In this process, banks verify the account by the OTP that is sent to the customer’s registered mobile number in the Aadhaar database. The account opening process is online and customers get the account number and other bank details instantly on their email id and phone number. However, the account is valid for 12 months and customers need to complete the full KYC process by visiting the nearest bank branch or booking an appointment online. Kotak 811, digisavings are few types of digital zero balance account.
Some banks waive off the maintenance charge on the minimum average balance under certain conditions such as booking a fixed deposit, recurring deposits, or by opting for a particular debit card. Customers can open these accounts online.
Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA) and Small Savings account are primarily meant for the financially weaker sections of the society who don’t have any savings bank account. The aim of these two types of bank account is to bring the unbanked sections of the society into the formal banking space. According to RBI guidelines, each bank should provide BSBDA and small account.
Online Zero Balance Account
Online Zero Balance on conditions
Maximum limit at a given time
Rs.1 lakh (before full KYC)
No maximum limit after full KYC
PAN and Aadhaar Card
PAN and Aadhaar Card
One KYC document
No KYC document needed
Maximum amount of withdrawal in a month
12 months(Full KYC needs to be done to continue using the account)
12 months(Full KYC needs to be done to continue using the account)
12 months, KYC documents needs to be submitted within 24 months of account opening
Account Opening process
Branch visit with an introducer
Who can open Zero Balance account?
Indian resident citizens above 18 years of age can open zero balance account. Depending on the zero balance bank account, the eligibility to open the bank account will differ.
In case of zero balance online account, customers who don’t have any existing relationship with the bank can open the digital savings account. E.g. customers with ICICI Bank’s salary account can’t open ICICI Insta Save FD account.
However, basic savings account is meant for individuals who don’t have any savings account with any bank. In case of any discrepancies, bank officials can close the account.
Documents needed to open a zero balance account
To open online savings zero balance account:
To open basic savings account
Any one document towards proof of identity and proof of address
Voter’s Identity Card
To open a small account
Individuals who don’t have any KYC document can open small basic savings account. However, KYC documents should be submitted within 24 months after account opening.
How to open zero balance bank account?
Online by downloading app or website
Individuals can open zero balance account online by downloading the app or through the bank’s website. You need to fill up the online form with the required details and validate your Aadhaar by verifying the OTP sent to your Aadhaar registered mobile number. You will receive your account number and other details on your registered email id.
Through Video KYC
After RBI’s approval in January to verify KYC details over video, a few banks such as Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank, IDFC First Bank have introduced video KYC to on-board new customers. Kotak Bank has launched video KYC for new Kotak 811 zero balance customers. Video KYC is a start-to-end process where customers get a full-fledged savings account. So, after completing the process, customers don’t have to visit the bank branch to complete the full KYC process.
Visiting bank branch
Customers opening basic savings account can visit the nearest bank branch with the original documents, attested KYC documents, passport photographs and fill up the account opening form to open the bank account.
Features and benefits of zero balance accounts
Online Zero Balance Savings Account
Open account instantly by downloading the bank’s app, through the bank’s website or video KYC.
No minimum balance requirement.
Most of the online savings account zero balance accounts don’t need any initial deposit requirement.
Open for resident Indian citizens above 18 years of age.
Customers can free virtual debit card and can request for a physical debit card from their mobile banking app at a nominal annual cost.
Individuals can hold up to Rs.1 lakh in their account and the total amount of withdrawals and credits can’t exceed more than 2 lakh in a financial year. Limits on transactions and spends are lifted after completing full KYC process. There are no such restrictions on accounts opened through video KYC process.
After the full KYC process, online zero balance account holders get all the facilities of a regular savings account such as cheque book, etc.
Account holders can access internet banking and mobile banking platforms to transfer funds, shop online and pay bills with no fees.
Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account
Customers don’t have to keep any minimum balance in the account.
No initial deposit required to open account
Customers can open a joint savings account.
Banks provide customers with free Rupay Debit cards that they can use within the Indian Territory.
No limit on the maximum balance
Cheque book facility is not available
Customers can withdraw cash using withdrawal form at branches or through ATMs.
Individuals with a savings account can’t open a basic savings account.
Basic Savings Bank Deposit Small Account
Individuals need to be above 18 years of age
People who don’t have officially valid KYC document can open this account.
Account can be converted to a regular savings account with no restrictions after submission of the valid KYC documents.
Basic RuPay debit card is issued through which customers can withdraw cash from the ATM.
Account holders can withdraw cash by visiting the bank branch or through ATM.
50,000 is the maximum balance that customers can hold at a point in time.
Total amount of withdrawals and credits from the account can’t be more than 1 lakh in a financial year.
Sum of total withdrawals and credits in the account should not exceed more than Rs.10,000 in a month.
The account will be operational for 12 months and can be extended for 12 months. Customers have to submit the KYC documents within 24 months to continue using their bank account.
Free online transfers.
Banks offering zero balance bank accounts
The Reserve Bank of India has mandated all banks to offer a basic savings account and small accounts to customers. Many banks have introduced zero balance bank accounts that can be opened online or through video KYC.
Customers can open zero balance account with deliverable and without deliverable.
Making channels of banking is available
Account holders can make quick transactions at any micro ATM
ICICI Bank Zero Balance Account
Besides the zero balance savings account launched under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), ICICI Bank offers Insta Save FD account where the charge on minimum balance is waived off if you open a fixed deposit of Rs.10,000 for a minimum for 12 months.
Get higher FD interest
Avail secured credit card. The credit limit of the card will be 90% of the FD amount.
Open account instantly through PAN and Aadhaar card.
The average balance of Rs.5,000 is waived if customers start a systematic investment plan (SIP) in mutual fund or a recurring deposit of Rs. 2,000 or more.
Customers get Titanium first debit card. It comes with welcome vouchers of up to Rs.2,500 along with complimentary insurance such as air accident insurance, personal accident insurance, cash in transit liability, lost card liability, and purchase protection.
Customers have the option to open Indus Online Savings Account in one of three ways. Indus Online Account – Premium Debit Card and Indus Online Account – Instant Funding are the two zero balance variants while Indus Privilege Online Account is a minimum balance account of Rs.10,000. The account opening process of all the three variants is same and customers can choose one during the online account opening journey.
In case of the Premium Debit Card option, customers get a Platinum Plus Debit Card that comes with a host of attractive features. The fee of the platinum debit card is Rs.1000 + taxes. For the Instant Funding variant, the account holder has to make an initial deposit of Rs.20,000. Customers can withdraw the money whenever they want.
IB DIGI – Online SB Account is the digital savings account that customers can open online. The bank also offers basic savings account, zero balance account, to individuals who don’t have a savings account with any bank.
No minimum average balance account
No initial balance amount
Free ATM-Debit card
Account holders can avail other value added facilities if they fulfil other full KYC norms
The State Bank of India or SBI offers a Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA) as a basic savings or zero balance account for residents of India. Customers have to submit the necessary KYC documents when applying to create a zero balance savings account with SBI.
Features of the zero balance account offered by SBI include:
Free RuPay/ ATM card- cum- debit card facility
Unlimited cash deposits into the account
Up to 4 free cash withdrawals at non-SBI ATMs each month
Interest rate of 2.75% p.a. on a balance of up to Rs. 1 lakh and 2.75% p.a. for an average balance of over Rs. 1 lakh.
Free deposit/collection of cheques drawn by the Central/ State Government
Punjab National Bank (or PNB) offers the Basic Savings Bank Account, which is a zero balance savings account. An illiterate or a visually impaired person is also eligible to open this savings account with usual safeguards.
Besides this savings 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). As these are zero balance accounts, there is no requirement of an initial cash deposit.
It also provides a free ATM and Debit card facility.
Union Bank of India offers basic savings account and digital savings account to their customers. Individuals can download Union Selfie & M-passbook or visit the bank’s website to open the online savings account.
No minimum balance requirement
Resident individuals can open these account
For digital savings account holder, Cash Deposit Charges will be applicable for cash deposit.
Online savings account customers can redeem their points for every online transaction.
Sugama Account is Karnataka’s Bank basic savings zero balance account.
Cheque book, debit card and passbook is provided to the customers
Nomination facility is available
Four free withdrawals in a month
Zero balance savings account by Small Finance Banks
Small Finance banks can do everything like commercial banks. The focus area for small finance banks are small business units, small and marginal farmers, micro and small industries. Most of the small finance banks operate in a specific geography.
AU Abhi Savings Account is the zero balance digital account of AU Small Finance Bank.
No minimum balance requirement
Free online transfers
Monthly interest payout
Avail virtual RuPay Debit Card
Zero balance savings account by Payment Banks
The primary aim of payment banks is to provide banking facilities such as a savings account and remittances to the unbanked sections of the society. These banks can accept deposits up to Rs. 1 lakh per customer and cannot issue loans and credit cards.
It works with any telecom operator and over any network whether it is 2G, 3G and 4G.
Get the benefits of exclusive deals and discounts on your favourite brand.
Fino Payment Bank’s Shubh Savings Account
No monthly average balance requirement
Sweep account facility available with partner bank for balances over one lakh rupees
Free RuPay Platinum/Classic Debit Card is available with offers and benefits
Frequently Asked Questions on Zero Balance Accounts
1.Which banks offer zero balance accounts?
Banks such as Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, Digibank are some of the banks that offer zero balance to its customers.
2.Can I open a zero balance account online?
Yes, you can open a zero balance account online. Kotak 811, Axis ASAP, digisavings by Digibank are some of the zero balance accounts that you can open online.
3.Why should I open a zero balance account?
Many top banks such as Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and Digibank offers zero balance accounts to its customers.
Some of the reasons why you should open a zero balance account are as follows:
No minimum balance requirement
No minimum initial deposit
Open account instantly by downloading the bank’s mobile banking app or through the bank’s website
Free virtual debit card
Free online transactions
Fewer and lower charges
Attractive interest rates
4.Is it good to open a zero balance online account offered by banks?
Online zero balance savings account is a type of savings account offered by various banks. If you are looking for a savings account without any minimum average balance, zero balance account is a good option.
You can open these accounts online instantly. As these accounts are opened online, you have to complete the KYC procedure within 12 months after opening the account.
After the full KYC procedure is completed, restrictions on deposits and withdrawals are lifted.
However, most of these accounts are new-to-bank customers.
5. What important things should be kept in mind before opening 811 Account by Kotak Mahindra Bank?
Here are some of the important things that you should keep in mind before opening 811 Account:
You need to have a PAN card, Aadhaar card and mobile number registered Aadhaar card to open a Limited KYC Account
You need to be an Indian citizen above 18 years
You should not be a politically exposed person (PEP)
You should not have an existing relationship with the bank or any zero balance account in any other bank
The account is valid for 12 months and you can keep only Rs.1 lakh at any particular time. You can remove these limitations by completing the full KYC by fixing an appointment or visiting the nearest bank branch. After completing your KYC process, your limited KYC account will be converted to a Full KYC account without any limitations.
6. Can I open a bank account with zero balance?
You can open a zero balance account, if you have a PAN card, above 18 years and you are Indian citizen.
Kotak 811, Axis ASAP and digisavings are some of the main zero balance savings account.
7. Can I convert my savings account into zero balance through online?
Typically, zero balance accounts that can be opened online such as Kotak 811, Axis ASAP are meant for customers who don’t have any existing relationship with the bank. Hence, you may not be able to convert your savings account into zero balance account. Moreover, you can’t open a new zero balance account with your bank.
8.How much money is required to open a zero balance savings bank account?
Each bank has a different policy on the minimum balance required to open a savings account. Whereas, you can also choose to open a zero balance savings account in any of the banks that provide such a service.
9.What is the initial deposit that I have to make to the bank when opening a zero-balance savings account?
Most zero balance accounts such as basic savings account and online zero balance accounts don’t have any minimum initial deposit. However, there are a few exceptions. Axis ASAP, the zero balance account of Axis Bank has a minimum initial deposit of Rs.10,000.
10.What should I do if I want to check my balance, make cash withdrawal etc.?
You can check your balance and other banking transactions through internet banking, mobile banking, Whatsapp banking etc. You can make cash withdrawal through the bank’s ATM card.
11.What are the difference between the basic savings zero-balance savings account and online savings zero balance accounts?
The basic savings account is a part of financial inclusion program that banks have introduced under Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (P.M.J.D.Y). Customers can opt to receive government subsidies and other government benefits on this account.
Online savings zero balance accounts are digital savings account offered by various banks that customers can open online by visiting the bank’s webpage or by downloading the mobile banking app.
12. Can I add a nominee in zero balance savings account?
Yes, you can. While opening the bank account online, you can add your nominee details. Adding nominee details in your bank details is a good practice as after the death of the account holder, the funds are transferred to the nominee without any issue
13. Can I open a joint zero balance savings account?
Yes, you can open a joint zero balance account. However, please check with your bank for information as different banks may have different rules. Kotak 811 customers can open a joint account after they have completed their full KYC process.
14. Is it a good idea to open a zero balance online account offered by banks?
Opening a zero balance account online is a good idea. Even if you have a savings account, you can open an online savings account as a secondary account and use it to park your emergency fund or save for your splurges.