With everything online from shopping to ordering food, there is not a single aspect of human life that has not been revolutionized by information technology for good. Among the key pillars of the modern human way of living is banking, which also hasn’t been untouched by the technological revolution, and we have a full-fledged ecosystem to sustain online banking. This has paved the way for online zero balance accounts.
80% of the Indian adults have bank accounts and this percentage is increasing every day. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for fully digital accounts became prominent. Banks in India have introduced their own versions of digital banking products and attractive zero balance digital accounts have come into existence. Here’s a guide into what kind of zero balance digital accounts are available and how one can open a zero balance digital account.
What are the Benefits of a Zero Balance Digital Account?
A zero balance digital account has many benefits which a normal account does not have. Here are the key benefits:
- There is no need to maintain minimum monthly balance as the account is not going to close even if there is no balance in the account.
- There is no penalty on not maintaining the minimum balance like normal bank accounts.
- Account can be opened without visiting the branch.
- All the services can be used online.
- Easy to open the account just by one click.
- No hard copy photos or documents are not required.
Guide To Zero Balance Account Opening Online
Registering the number:
Opening an online account is easy but one has to go to the website of the desired bank and enter his/her mobile number (preferably the one registered with the aadhar) in a slot given for the purpose of a call back. Once the mobile number is entered the bank will give you a call back on that number and ask for your permission to get on a call.
Phone call from the bank:
Once you are free to speak to the agent then he will go ahead with the procedure. A proper account requires a KYC check and the one with limited KYC will not have all the features of a proper account and banks providing accounts with limited KYC have to convert the account to a full KYC account within a year of opening a limited KYC account. If the account holder is not able to produce the documents for full KYC then the account holder will not be able to continue with the account.
Once you get on a call and give the permission for the KYC check the agent will switch over to a video call, where the person will ask you to provide the KYC documents. The preferred KYC documents are Aadhar and Pancard, and most of the banks emphasize on any one of these documents.
There’s one thing that we need to clarify that as per government guidelines Aadhar is the preferred document for KYC but not mandatory and applicants may refuse to submit it. As per the government guidelines one of the two documents Aadhar or the PAN Card will have to be submitted and if one does not want to submit Aadhar then will have to submit the PAN Card along with the other documents instead.
Following are the documents to be submitted with the PAN Card.
Documents for Proof of Identity and Address to open a zero balance digital savings account:
- Voter ID Card
- Letter issued by National Population Register containing details of name and address
- Driving License
- NREGA Job Card
- Permanent Account Number (PAN)
- In case a person does not have a PAN card then he/she will have to deposit Form 60, this will be mandatory and no account can be opened without it.
Once the applicant produces the required documents he will be asked to pose for a picture at a place with a plain background and the agent will take the picture from his/her end. This will conclude the process of opening an online account and the account will be active immediately.
The required items such as passbook, checkbook, debit card and other manuals will be sent to the registered address of the account holder.
One can deposit money in this new account by transferring money from a different account, sending a cheque to the branch as most of the digital accounts have the facility to get the cheques collected from the account holder’s residence for a fixed number of days in a month.
Account holders can also visit the branch and deposit cash(few banks allow this activity only a fixed number of times for free in a month for digital accounts). Netbanking can be activated online by downloading the netbanking application or by visiting the website of the bank.
All digital bank accounts have debit cards. At times these debit cards are not physical but virtual, which can only be used for online transactions. Some banks have both virtual and physical cards but they charge extra money for a physical debit card.
Digital Cards: Digital cards are for free and like physical debit cards are issued by payment processing networks like Visa, Master, American express and Rupay. As these are not physical cards so can not be used for offline shopping or normal purchase. This card can not also be used to debit money out of an ATM machine.
Physical Debit Cards: These are normal debit cards that one gets with any other normal savings account and can be used for online or offline purchases and universally accepted. These debit cards may or may not have the facility of unlimited transitions, some companies have a restricted number of free debit card ATM transactions.
Read our guide on the Best Zero Balance Savings Account available in the country.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are NRIs (Indian passport holders) allowed to open zero balance digital savings accounts?
Yes, NRIs are allowed to open these accounts after going through the regular process and KYC online.