How to open zero balance saving account online?

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There are many banking myths — but instantly opening a zero balance account online is not a myth.  In fact, zero balance savings accounts are now the most common accounts opened by Indians. Plus, there are several advantages to depositing your money at the bank. Basically, the money you make, save and then deposit in the bank will earn you small returns within a short period. Also, depositing cash in the bank ensures your money’s security. This makes your money easily accessible and risk-free. 

Today, you can constantly track your money with features like instant account opening online. In the last decade, India has seen a huge increase in the number of online savings bank accounts opened by individuals. This is because many government schemes, including demonetisation, led to more customers discovering zero balance savings bank accounts.

The basic idea behind a savings bank account is to encourage the habit of saving a portion of your income. With this account, the account holder can safely deposit or withdraw funds at any time based on their convenience and earn interest on the money in the account. The account holder can also use it as an emergency fund or cover their short-term needs during medical or personal emergencies. An individual can apply online to open a savings bank account with various banks and benefit from the wide range of features and exclusive deals that come along with it. Opening a zero balance savings account online is simple and easy, with only a few steps.

What is a zero balance account?

A zero balance account is a type of savings bank account that can have a zero balance and is yet not charged. 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). Banks usually provide this facility to people in order to encourage the habit of saving amongst individuals.

This type of bank account is beneficial for customers in India who wish to open a savings bank account and who want to avoid going through the hassles of maintaining a minimum balance. As indicated by the name, those desirous of opening or holding a zero-balance savings account will not be required to maintain a minimum balance. 

For those who are unaware, the minimum balance value does not mean that money must necessarily lie idle in the account for the entirety of the month in order to meet the requirement, as the minimum average balance can be calculated based on the average balance in the account at the end of the day of each month and divided by the total number of days in that month. 

Savings bank accounts are deposit accounts held with a financial institution, generally, a bank, usually maintained by individuals, either in single account user form or jointly with another individual. In the past, most savings bank accounts required the holder to maintain a specific minimum balance. However, in the case of a zero balance account, even if the particular account has a nil balance, the bank shall continue to provide the usual facilities that accompany a regular savings bank account.

Zero balance accounts normally allow a limited number of transactions per month, usually around four. If this limit is exceeded, the bank shall convert the zero balance account into a regular savings bank account.

 

Opening a zero balance savings account online

In the recent past, due to the outbreak of the pandemic, there has been an increase in digitalisation of almost every sphere, including banking. The RBI has issued guidelines which permit all banks and financial institutions to allow their customers and prospective customers to open savings bank accounts as well as zero balance savings bank accounts online so that they don’t have to keep visiting the banks and unnecessarily overcrowd the bank.  The process of opening a zero balance savings bank account is quite easy and is an extremely simple task, and only takes up a few minutes.

Step 1: Get online:

 Open a savings bank account online using your mobile phone or laptop. You can initiate the process with just your mobile number, and documents and by filling out a form. It can all be done conveniently via the bank’s online portal, ensuring that you can complete the process from the comfort of your home, and there is no need for you to have to go to the bank physically.

 

Step 2: Keep the documents required for opening a savings bank account ready:

 The main part about opening a savings bank account online is that you need to provide certain personal identification documents. These are:

Aadhaar Card – You don’t require any other identity or address proof if you have an Aadhaar Card

Or 

Identity Proof (driver’s license, passport, PAN card, etc.)

Address Proof (driver’s license, passport, etc.)

Or, Form 16, which is a certificate issued by the applicant’s employer, proving that TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) has been deducted from your salary. This is required if the applicant does not have a PAN card.

Two of the applicant’s latest passport-sized photographs

 

Step 3: Video KYC

Banks now provide the 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.

 

Step 4: Explore the savings bank account – to access banking services almost instantly

What happens if the applicant doesn’t want to wait for their debit card and bank account details to arrive at their residence? How can the bank issue an account to them if the bank cannot verify the applicant’s documents and details? If the applicant has already verified and done step 3, then the Debit Card will reach their address in 15-25 days. Otherwise, they will have to head to the nearest branch in order to complete the KYC and verify themselves physically.

 

Step 5: Login via net banking or mobile banking in order to commence transactions

 Once the account holder has received their customer ID and account number, they shall be able to begin using their account and even transfer funds. Get started by logging into net banking and mobile banking and creating a password.

 

Advantages of opening a zero balance account online.

The following are the advantages of opening a zero balance savings account online:

       

1. No Minimum Balance

Account-holders will not be charged any fees for maintaining a nil/zero balance or minimum balance. Ideally, this prompts more users to open savings bank accounts, as no penalty is charged if their balance is low.    

       

2. Ease of Opening

Online savings accounts provide increased convenience, like the ease of opening the account. While earlier opening an offline savings account required repeated physical branch visits and cumbersome paperwork, you can now open online savings account effortlessly. With the digital transformation in the country, you can now open online savings account through your smartphone in just a few minutes.    

       

3. Lower Fees

One of the major advantages of opening an online savings account is lower fees. While offline accounts can charge account holders with account opening fees and the basic requirement of maintaining a minimum balance, many digital savings accounts have zero requirements for maintaining a minimum balance. What’s more, you can open an account without any account opening charges and with zero hidden fees. The transparent and minimal fee structures have made online savings bank accounts popular in the country.    

       

4. Free Benefits

All the individual account holders receive most of the same facilities that regular savings bank accounts are offered without an additional cost, all while not having to maintain a minimum balance. These include a free passbook and free cash and cheque deposits at any branch.    

       

5. Allows digital payments

The account holders are given debit cards to make digital payments. These cards use electronic payment gateway systems such as RuPay to make payments easily and conveniently online, this helps India move closer toward the digital age.  

6. Other benefits

The holders of a zero-balance account can get access to debit cards as well as ATMs. They can also choose to opt for mobile and/or internet banking. Apart from these, the safety deposit locker facility is also provided. The charges collected for these facilities are nominal.  

Conclusion

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 the zero-balance account, such as insurance, will assure the lower and middle-income groups of security.  

 

FAQs

       

1. Can I open a zero balance savings account online?    

Yes, individuals can open a zero balance saving account online.

       

2.  How can I open a bank account online immediately?    

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

       

3.  Is it possible to open a joint basic savings account?    

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.

       

4. What is the initial deposit that I have to make to the bank when opening a zero-balance savings 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.

       

5. How can I access a zero-balance savings account to either check my balance, make a withdrawal and so on? Can I do this only at a bank?    

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.

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