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.
A savings account is a primary means of securely storing money in a bank. Along with security, a savings account also gives its holders the flexibility in depositing and withdrawing cash according to their needs. It also gives as 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? Firstly, a savings account is a secure means to keep your money. Second, you can also earn interest rate.
What is a Zero Balance Saving Account?
Among the different types of savings accounts provided by banks, a zero balance saving account, (also known as a basic savings account) is one of it. As the name implies, it 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 compulsorily maintain a minimum average balance. If you fail to keep the minimum average balance, the bank can charge a penalty.
A zero balance account is ideal for holders, who don’t want the pressure of maintaining a minimum balance in their account. Zero balance accounts further encourage individuals without a bank account to save their hard-earned money in bank accounts. These accounts also come with easy cash withdrawal processes.
Features of a Zero Balance Savings Account
In addition to not maintaining a minimum balance, a zero balance account in most banks usually provides the following additional benefits to the account holders:
No charges for using an ATM debit card facility for cash withdrawals and cashless shopping
Free account passbook and cheque book when opening an account.
Free net banking facility (if provided by the bank).
The account can be used as a salary account for salaried employees.
No transaction fees for cash deposit.
Bank locker facilities are available.
No charge for RTGS and NEFT facilities.
Regular interest payments on the available balance
No initial cash deposit required when opening the account
Availability of joint saving account on zero balance account, provided the second party is related to the primary account holder.
Eligibility criteria for a zero balance account
In order to be eligible to open a zero balance saving account in any Indian bank, the individual should essentially fulfill the following eligibility criteria:
The individual must be a resident of India (for both sole and joint accounts).
He/ she must be above 18 years of age.
Must not be having any other savings account with the bank.
For a self-operated minor account, the minor must be above the age of 10.
Documentation for a Zero Balance Savings account
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:
Photo ID Proof (as specified as an acceptable document by the bank)
Address Proof (as specified as an acceptable document by the bank)
If you fail to possess these KYC documents, you must submit a self-attested photograph along with your signature or thumbprint.
How to open a Zero Balance Savings account
A customer can open a zero or 0 balance savings account with extreme ease. A customer can visit any branch of their preferred bank that offers a basic saving account facility, along with their supporting KYC documents and fill and submit the necessary application form. Importantly, a zero balance account does not require any initial cash deposit, which is required when opening any other type of savings bank account.
Moreover, a customer can open an online bank account with zero balance using the bank’s website or mobile banking app, and avail of the same features as an offline zero balance savings account.
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 compulsorily 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 upto 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
ICICI Bank provides a ICICI Zero Balance Account, also known as the Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account. Customers who not have any other account with ICICI bank can avail to the 0 balance savings account.
The ICICI Bank Zero Balance account has the following additional features:
Free RuPay card facility
Free cheque book facility with 15 leaves (free for a year)
Unlimited cash deposits/ cash withdrawal facility
Free Internet and mobile banking facility for online customers
Transaction fee of 90/- charged for cash withdrawals at non-ICICI bank ATMs
Half-yearly interest payment at the rate of 3.5% (for account balance of less than 50 lakhs) and 4% (for account balance of over 50 lakhs)
Another Basic savings account under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was launched by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to provide financial services and facilitate financial inclusion within the generally barred sections: low income groups.
Kotak Mahindra Bank offers Kotak 811, a Digital Zero Balance Savings Account that can be opened in under 5 minutes. Any Indian Resident above the age of 18 is eligible to open a Kotak 811 Zero Balance Savings Account.
Features of the Kotak 811 Zero Balance account include:
Provisions of Zero balance banking facility
Virtual Debit Card for the ease of online transactions
‘Scan and Pay’ facility for entertainment, grocery shopping and payment of bills
Free online fund transfer using NEFT and IMPS for a maximum amount of 1 lakh
Maximum account balance of 1 lakh if the account is the full KYC procedure is not completed.
Interest payment on account balance at the rate of:
Selfie account, is a mobile-based banking app is the zero balance savings account of Federal Bank. It can be opened by all Indian residents. Customers have to download the FedBook Selfie Customers and can open this account by submitting their PAN and Aadhaar card details.
Federal Bank offers attractive interest rates annually on their zero balance account. The interest rate ranges from 3.5% to 7.25%.
Canara Bank offers zero balance bank account known as the Canara Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account. It is eligible for customers who do not have an existing account with Canara Bank.
The Canara Bank zero balance account offers the following benefits:
No charge for ATM and debit card facility
No limit on cash deposits in a month
A maximum of 4 withdrawals each month along with ATM cash withdrawals
Free Internet and mobile banking facility
Punjab National Bank
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 initial cash deposit.
It also provides a free ATM and Debit card facility.
IndusInd bank offers Indian residents its basic small savings account with 0 balance. All Indian residents above the age of 18 are eligible to open this account.
Features of the IndusInd zero balance account:
Free debit card along with cheque book and passbook facility
Free fund transfer using NEFT and RTGS
Up to 5 free transactions each month on non-IndusInd bank ATMs
Foreign remittances are not allowed for this account.
Interest payments on account balance at the following annual rates:
4% per annum for deposits up to Rs. 1 lakhs
5% per annum for deposits between Rs.1 lakhs and Rs. 1o lakh
6% per annum for deposits above Rs. 10 lakh
6% per annum for deposits above 10 crores
Yes Bank offers a zero balance account to Indian citizens.
Features of the Yes Bank Zero Balance account include:
Net banking facility for free fund transfer and online bill payment
Free issue of demand drafts
Free Debit- cum- ATM card
Free utility bill payment
11.Lakshmi Vilas Bank
Lakshmi Vilas Bank offers the Basic Savings Bank Deposit (or BSBD) which is a zero balance account for Indian citizens, as a way to promote financial inclusion.
The Lakshmi Vilas Zero Balance account offers the following features:
Account holders can avail of the cash deposit and withdrawal facility at both bank branches and ATMs
Unlimited cash deposits into the account in a month
Maximum number of 4 transactions allowed in a month, including ATM cash withdrawals
Free RuPay ATM card
The Bandhan Bank’s 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:
No limit on maximum balance
Free ATM debit card facility
Free fund transfer using NEFT
13.Standard Chartered Bank
Standard Chartered bank offers the Basic Banking account to all Indian residents.
Features of the Standard Chartered Zero balance account include:
Free multicity cheque book facility
Free locker facility and doorstep banking
Free cash deposits and ATM withdrawals with debit card provided by the bank
Unlimited Branch Access
Interest payments at the rate of 3.5% on an account balance of up to Rs. 50 lakhs and 4% on an account balance of above Rs. 50 lakhs. For account balance of Rs.150 crore to less than Rs. 500 crore is linked to the repo rate and the rate will be 25 bps lesser than the current repo rate.
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:
Debit card facility with a daily cash withdrawal limit of Rs.25,000 and a purchase limit of Rs.10,000.
Free Internet and phone banking facility
Free Cheque book facility
No limit on cash deposits in the account
Maximum of 4 withdrawals from the account in a month, which includes ATM cash withdrawals, electronic transfers using NEFT and RTGS, cheque payments, demand drafts, and pay orders.
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:
Free VISA debit card facility
Unlimited cash withdrawals from the ATM of any bank
Facility for online transfer using NEFT and IMPS with no charge
Annual interest paid on account balance at the following rates:
5% for a balance of up to Rs. 1 lakh
7% for a balance of between 1 to 2 lakhs
5.5% for a balance of between Rs.2 to Rs. 5 lakhs
4% for balances over and above Rs. 5 lakhs will get 4% on the incremental amount
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:
Free cheque book facility
Facilities of phone banking, SMS banking, and Internet banking to access account
Hassel free banking
SMS and E-mail alerts on any bank transactions
Free monthly account statements available through E-mail
No bank charges for cash deposits at IDBI bank branches
17.Bank of Baroda
Bank of Baroda (or BoB) offers the Basic Savings account with zero balance facility. Indian residents, without an existing account with BoB, are eligible to apply for this account.
BoB Basic Savings account has the following features:
Free Debit card and Internet banking
Unlimited on cash deposits into the account
Cheque book facility with 50 cheque leaves in a year
Maximum number of 4 withdrawals from the account in a month
18.Bank of India
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 are:
Unlimited cash withdrawals from bank branches and ATMs
Free RuPay debit card facility
Free Internet and mobile banking facility
Free fund transfer facility using NEFT
Earn up to 6.5% interest on account balance between Rs. 10 lakhs and Rs. 1 crores
Customers can keep their favourite number as their bank account number.
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:
Free ATM and Debit card facility with a daily transaction limit of Rs. 10,000
Daily transaction limit of Rs. 10,000 including online payments
Free cheque book facility
Unlimited credits to the account
24×7 access to Citibank online and phone banking service for quick access to your account.
Maximum of 4 free account monthly debits including ATM and branch withdrawals, electronic fund transfer, and cheque payments.
Additionally, customers can open the PMJDY account in Citibank, which offers a personal accident cover of 1 lakh.
21.Karur Vysya bank
Karur Vysya bank also offers the KVB Basic Savings Bank Account to mainly provide financial inclusion to weaker sections of the society.
Features and benefits provided by the KVB Zero Balance account include:
Free RuPay debit card facility
Zero Balance Account means no penalty if unable to maintain minimum balance in the account
No restrictions on the number of transactions allowed in this account
No cheque book facility and no multi-city status for the account
22.Bank of Maharashtra
The reputed Bank of Maharashtra offers Mahabank lok bachat yogana wherein a customer can visit the nearest branch with the required documents and can easily open an account with zero balance requirement.
Features and benefits –
A chequebook of 10 pages allowed free of cost.
Collection of third party cheques is not allowed.
No service charges to be debited for want of minimum balance.
VISA/INSTA ATM- cum- Debit card facility
23. Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Digital Account
Here are some of the key features of the digital savings account of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank:
Open a Savings account within minutes
No minimum balance
Free Debit Card for 1st year:
24. Fincare Small Finance Bank Zero Balance Account
Features of Fincare Small Finance Bank Zero Balance Account or 101 First Savings Account:
Attractive interest rate
Free debit card
Bank through your phone
Open FD and get higher interest rate
Attractive Interest rate
25. Indian Bank Zero Balance Account
The Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA) is Indian Bank zero balance account that aims to cater to unbanked individuals to usher an era of financial inclusion.
Features of Indian Bank zero balance account
No minimum balance
No initial deposit
Free ATM/Debit card
Avail other features after completing the KYC process
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.