State Bank of India (SBI) offers several zero-balance savings accounts, on which the monthly average balance (MAB) rule is not applicable. The MAB is the minimum average of deposits required to be kept by bank customers in their savings accounts. When the account balance does not meet the MAB requirements, non-maintenance charges are levied.
Normally the average monthly balance for a SBI savings account in metro or urban branches is ₹ 3,000, in semi-urban branches ₹ 2,000 and rural branches ₹ 1,000. Charges for non-maintenance of minimum balance depend on the extent or percentage of shortfall. For accounts in urban areas, SBI charges between ₹ 10 and ₹ 15 along with GST.
Though zero-balance accounts are primarily meant for poor people,it can be opened by any individual with valid know-your-customer (KYC) documents. The rate of interest applicable on these accounts is similar to that available in regular savings bank accounts.
These are five types of SBI zero-balance savings accounts
1. Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD): These accounts can be opened by any individual provided he/she has valid KYC documents. It is primarily meant for the poorer sections of society as an encouragement to start saving without any burden of charges or fees. A BSBD account can be operated singly, jointly, or by“either or survivor”.
2. PMJDY accounts: Accounts opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) are also opened with zero balance. PMJDY is a national mission for financial inclusion to ensure access to financial services, including banking/savings and deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance and pension in an affordable manner.
Accounts opened under the PMJDY are provided free passbook, free personalised Rupay debit card and free cheque books. Other benefits of savings accounts opened under PMJDY include, accidental insurance cover of ₹ 1 lakh and direct benefit transfer from government schemes into the account.
3. Children’s accounts: SBI offers Pehla Kadam and Pehli Udaan savings accounts for minors. While the former can be opened in the name of an individual aged below 18 years, the latter is meant for those above 10 years of age. There is no MAB for either account. These savings bank accounts are meant for children to help them learn the importance of saving money.
4. Salary accounts: Customers of SBI under the corporate salary package schemes are not required to maintain the MAB. The salary accounts are provided free facilities such as online NEFT/RTGS transactions, demand drafts and SMS alerts free of cost, apart from unlimited ATM transactions. Special privileges and offers for salary account holders are based on the category of company/institution.
5. Pension accounts: SBI has not stipulated any minimum balance that has to be kept in your pension account maintained with the bank.