Zero balance account: BSBDA does not require customers to maintain any minimum balance.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been running advertorials to educate people about the facilities offered by basic savings bank deposit accounts (BSBDA). BSBD is a zero balance account which does not require customers to maintain any minimum balance in account. Primarily meant for poor sections of the society, besides the facility of zero balance, BSBDA offers a free debit-cum-ATM card and a passbook without any charge. However, withdrawals from this account are limited as mandated by the RBI.
Here are 10 key things you should know about the basic saving bank deposit account which offers a zero balance facility:
1) Holders of BSBD zero balance account are not eligible for opening any other savings account in the particular bank, says RBI. If a customer has any other existing savings account in that bank, he /she is required to close it within 30 days from the date of opening the BSBDA. He/ she cannot have any other savings bank account in the same bank.
2) However, in the same bank, along with the BSBD zero balance savings account, one can have term/ fixed deposit, recurring deposit etc., accounts, says RBI on its website rbi.org.in.
3) The services available for free in the BSBD zero balance savings account include deposit and withdrawal of cash and receipt/credit of money through electronic payment channels or by means of deposit/collection of cheques at bank branches as well as ATMs.
4) There is no requirement for any initial deposit for opening the BSBD zero balance account.
5) Banks are free to offer more facilities than those prescribed for BSBD holders. However, the decision to allow services beyond the minimum prescribed has been left to the discretion of the banks, says RBI.
6) If BSBDA customers have more than four withdrawals and request for cheque book at additional cost, the account will cease to be a BSBD account.
7) However, if the bank does not levy any additional charges and offers more facilities free than those prescribed under BDBD zero balance savings accounts without a minimum balance, then such accounts can be classified as BSBDA, the central bank says.
8) Balance enquiry through ATMs should not be counted in the four withdrawals allowed free of charge at ATMs.
9) BSBD zero balance account holders should be offered a passbook facility free of charge in line with RBI’s instructions.
10) A normal savings bank account can be converted into a BSBD zero balance savings account at the request of the customer. Such customers should give their consent in writing and they should be informed of the features and extent of services available in BSBDAs, RBI says.