0 hidden charges. 0 forex

Exploring the Differences: Zero Balance Account vs Salary Account

Reviewed by
Created on
November 21, 2022


What’s Inside

Choosing the correct bank account can make a significant difference in managing your finances effectively. Two standard options provided by banks are Zero-balance accounts and Salary accounts. While they share some similarities, individuals should be aware of critical differences (think eligibility, minimum balance, etc.). By understanding these distinctions, you can decide which type of account best suits your financial needs.

Zero Balance Account vs Salary Account: Features 

Though it may vary from bank to bank, here are the features of a typical zero balance account:

  • Free ATM/debit card (can be enabled to work internationally)
  • Free chequebook (with a predetermined amount of leaves) You may be charged a small fee for ordering more chequebooks.
  • A complimentary passbook (digital/physical)
  • Access to online banking
  • Every month, a set number of transactions are free; all other transactions are subject to a small fee.
  • Special benefits and incentives are available to salary account holders depending on the type of business or organisation.

The advantages a Salary Account owner enjoys can differ from bank to bank:

  • Transfer or receive money online from any location in the world.
  • A debit card that they can use to make online and offline debit card purchases and cash withdrawals from ATMs.
  • Customised chequebooks for making payments.
  • Rapid access to various loan types, with minimal paperwork and accelerated disbursals.
  • Easy investment options via insurance products, government bonds, mutual funds, and more.
  • For trading and stock investments, a Demat account may also be connected to the salary account.
    Note: The same bank can also offer multiple types of salary accounts with varying features.

Minimum Balance Requirements

Zero balance accounts don't require you to maintain a minimum balance throughout. A salary account can typically have a negative balance. Salary accounts typically experience negative balances when a consumer switches jobs, their "salary account" stops receiving money, and the bank starts enforcing negative balance penalties. The balance turns negative because the bank starts to deduct penalties. 

Who is Eligible to Open Such Accounts?

To open a zero balance account, you only need to visit your neighbourhood bank, submit any documentation required and speak with the bank staff. Once the account is opened, customers will receive a debit card which may be used for everyday purchases.

A business (employer) must partner with a bank to open a salary account for its employees. Each month, the employers make a lump sum payment of the employees' salaries into their respective bank accounts. If the workers still need an account with the bank, the employer helps the worker open an account with that particular bank. As a result, any salaried professional could open a salary account.

Similarities Between Zero Balance Account and Salary Account

Once you look into the zero balance account vs salary account comparison, you will be able to see how the two are not very different. The following are some of the common benefits and features that both offer:

  • Fast and easy procedure to open an account
  • Issuance and printing of passbook
  • Transaction alerts
  • Zero charges of usage at ATMs
  • Setting up, carrying out, and updating standing orders
  • Electronic funds transfers such as RTGS, NEFT, and IMPS
  • Branch services such as withdrawal and cash deposits
  • Phone banking, and net banking
  • TDS or interest certificate 
  • Demand draft revalidation, cancellation, and duplicate issue
  • Balance enquiries 
  • Round-the-clock banking services


Zero balance and salary accounts cater to different customer groups and serve distinct purposes. Zero balance accounts offer the convenience of managing money without maintaining a minimum balance, primarily targeting those seeking basic banking services. On the other hand, salary accounts are tailored for employed individuals, providing added benefits such as interest on balances, customised chequebooks, and access to loans and investment opportunities. Evaluating your financial requirements and goals before choosing between them is crucial.

Open a Zero Balance Savings Account Online in 3 Minutes!

Fi Money offers a zero-balance savings account in partnership with the licensed bank Federal Bank — you can easily sign-up for free & open a savings account online. You can also use Fi’s online savings account to safely stash your savings in deposits, earn additional interest, send/receive payments instantly, analyse expenses, or budget smarter. If you upgrade to other account plans within Fi — you get access to premium features like Jump, zero forex, US Stocks, Mutual Funds, etc. & not to mention up to 4x rewards!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are all salary accounts also zero balance accounts?

Yes, a salary account is a zero balance account.

2. Paperwork needed to open a zero balance savings account?

You must provide the necessary KYC documentation, including proof of identity and proof of address.

3. What are the documents required to open a salary account?

  • Passport-sized photos, IDs, and Address proof
  • Evidence of Employment, Recent salary slip

4. Can my salary account be converted into a savings account?

If three months pass without a salary credit, your bank will convert your salary account into a standard savings account.

Curious? Check these out!

1. How to open a zero balance savings account online

2. Process for opening a zero- balance current account online

3. What is the procedure for opening a digital zero-balance account?


Fi Money is not a bank; it offers banking services through licensed partners and investment services through epiFi Wealth Pvt. Ltd. and its partners. This post is for information only and is not professional financial advice.
Share this article
Copied Link!
Personal Finance
Exploring the Differences: Zero Balance Account vs Salary Account


View similar articles in
Personal Finance
Get the Fi app