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Steps to Open a Zero-Balance Saving Account Online

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Steps to Open a Zero-Balance Saving Account Online

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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.

What is a zero-balance account?

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.

Why should you open a zero-balance savings account online?

Opening a zero-balance account online comes with a set of benefits you shouldn't miss out on. Apart from the convenience it comes with, account holders can securely deposit or withdraw funds at any time. They can also 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.

How to open a zero-balance savings account online?

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.

Step 1: Go online

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.

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

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 

Step 3: Complete video KYC verification

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.

Step 4: Login via net banking or mobile app

Once you’ve received a customer ID and account number, you can to begin using your zero-balance savings account and even transfer funds.

Advantages of opening a zero-balance account online

  • 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.
  • Ease of Opening: Earlier, opening an offline savings account required repeated physical branch visits and cumbersome paperwork. With the digital transformation in the country, you can now open an online zero-balance account through your phone in minutes.
  • Lower Fees: One of the major advantages of opening an online savings account is lower fees. Offline banks can charge account opening fees, etc. Zero-balance accounts have no account-opening charges or hidden fees. The transparent and minimal fee structures have made online savings bank accounts popular in the country.
  • 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 free cash deposits at any branch.
  • Allows digital payments: The account holders are given debit cards to make digital payments. These cards use electronic payment gateway systems such as VISA/RuPay to make payments easily and conveniently online, this helps India move closer toward the digital age. 

  • More perks: 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. The charges collected for these facilities are nominal.


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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Yes, individuals can open a 0 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.

6. Which Bank is best for zero balance account?

The Fi.Money app hosts a zero balance account offered by their banking partner, Federal Bank. On the Fi.Money app, not only can you seamlessly save and grow your money, but also get deep insights in your spending patterns and invest in curated mutual funds.

7. Which Bank has the lowest minimum balance?

Zero balance accounts have no minimum balance and are preferred by many for the same reason. on Fi.Money, you can take all the benefits of a zero-balance account and grow your money through JARS, investments, Jump and more.

Time to switch to Fi. Smart banking and only that.
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