There are many banking myths — but the power to instantly open a zero-balance account online is not one. In the last decade, India has seen a massive increase in zero-balance savings bank accounts opened online by individuals.
A zero-balance account is any other savings bank account, except it has no minimum balance requirements or fees levied if the account balance hits nil. Legally, it is known as a Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) account as per the guidelines laid down by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
It's ideal for Indians who wish to open a savings account and avoid the hassles of maintaining a minimum balance. Zero-balance accounts typically allow a limited number of free monthly transactions (usually around four cash withdrawals). If this limit is exceeded, the bank shall convert the zero-balance account into a regular savings account.
The basic idea behind a zero-balance savings bank account is to encourage habits like saving a portion of your income. Plus, account holders can securely deposit or withdraw funds at any time, earn interest on the money in the account, or use it as an emergency fund. Opening a zero-balance savings account online is simple & it comes with benefits ranging from new-age banking features to exclusive shopping/brand deals.
In the recent past, due to the pandemic outbreak, every facet of life was getting digitised, including banking. So, it is no surprise that the RBI has issued guidelines permitting all banks to allow their customers and prospective customers to open savings and zero-balance accounts online — primarily to avoid unnecessary bank visits or overcrowding at the bank. It's a great move, as opening a zero-balance savings bank account only takes a few minutes.
Open your mobile phone or laptop & access the internet. After arriving at the bank/ financial institution's site or app, you can initiate the process with your mobile number. Then, enter your ID proof details into specified areas. You can complete the paper-free process from the comfort of your home, and there is no need for you to visit the bank physically.
The main part about opening a zero-balance savings bank account online is providing certain personal identification documents.
*Aadhaar Card – You don't require any other identity or address proof if you have an Aadhaar Card
*Identity Proof (driver's license, PAN card, etc.)
*Address Proof (driver's license, passport, etc.)
*Or, Form 16, a certificate issued by your employer proving that TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) has been deducted from your salary (only needed if you don't have a PAN card).
*Two of your latest passport-sized photographs
Banks now allow applicants to submit their KYC documents and verify themselves online. All the applicant needs to do is to grant access to their location, camera and microphone on their smartphone, and you are all set to operate your new Savings Account! It can all be done on a video call with a bank official.
Once you’ve received a customer ID and account number, you can to begin using your zero-balance savings account and even transfer funds.
The intent of having basic savings bank deposit accounts was to improve the circulation of currency and stop hoarding of cash, especially in rural and semi-urban towns and cities of India. Accordingly, the lateral facilities provided with online zero-balance savings accounts (such as insurance) will provide the lower and middle-income groups some sense of security.
Yes, individuals can open a zero-balance saving account online.
With the digital transformation in the country, you can now open online savings account through your smartphone in just a few minutes. After visiting the bank’s web portal, you just need to fill in the Aadhaar & PAN details and personal details. Your account is opened. Here, it becomes important to know about the documents required for opening an online savings account.
Proof of Identity: PAN Card
Proof of residence: Aadhaar Card
Yes, it is possible to open a joint basic savings account. For this, the second party has to be related to the primary account holder, and both have to be present when opening the account.
Since the zero-balance savings account is a basic savings account, it has no monthly average balance requirement. An initial deposit in a savings account has to be made only if there is a minimum balance requirement, and as this has no minimum average balance requirement, no initial deposit has to be made. In short, a zero-balance savings account can be opened for free.
No, you can access your zero-balance savings account via the internet and phone banking facilities, at an ATM and at the bank if required.