State Bank of India (SBI) Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) account, popularly known as zero balance savings account was designed as a savings account that will offer certain minimum facilities, free of charge, to the holders. Such accounts are primarily aimed at enhancing financial inclusion among the economically weaker sections.
SBI has come out with a clarification regarding charges collected from account holders on digital transactions in BSBD accounts beyond 4 free transactions.
SBI’s clarification on charges collected on digital transactions in these accounts
In the clarification statement, SBI states that “Reserve Bank of India, during August 2012 mandated that Banks are free to levy reasonable charges in BSBD accounts beyond 4 free transactions. The availment of such additional services shall be at the option of the customers. Accordingly, SBI introduced charges for Debit transactions beyond four free transactions in BSBD accounts w.e.f 15.06.2016 with prior intimation to the customers.
During August 2020, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) advised banks to refund the charges collected, if any, on or after 01.01.2020 on transactions carried out using the digital mode and not to impose charges on future transactions carried out through such modes.
Following the directives, SBI has refunded the charges recovered in respect of all the digital transactions to the BSBD customers w.e.f. 01.01.2020 to 14.09.2020, the lender mentioned.
“SBI has stopped recovering charges in such accounts on all digital transactions w.e.f. 15.09.2020, while retaining charges on cash withdrawals over and above four free withdrawals allowed per month,” the bank said.
SBI zero balance savings account
There is no need for a minimum balance even at the time of opening the account and a customer is provided with an ATM-cum-debit card without any fees. Deposit and withdrawal services are free of cost. Also, the bank cannot levy charges for non-operation or activation of an inoperative account.
SBI zero balance savings account cash and ATM withdrawals
SBI zero balance savings account allows a maximum of 4 cash withdrawals free of cost in a month, including ATM withdrawals at own and other bank’s ATMs.
SBI zero balance savings account interest rate
SBI offers the same interest rate on zero balance accounts as on regular savings bank accounts. The bank offers an interest rate of 2.70% per annum on deposits up to and more than ₹1 lakh.