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Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Banks are reducing charges for digital transactions

Recently some banks waived the NEFT or RTGS transaction charges if done from net banking

If you have used digital payment options, you may have come across a list of charges that accompany each of the options. After demonetization, to encourage electronic payments in the country, the government has been looking to mitigate the charges of these services. For instance, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is currently free for consumers. Recently, some banks waived the charges for National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions as well. Here’s what has changed: 

Usually for an NEFT or RTGS transaction, banks are allowed to charge Rs2.5 to Rs50, plus GST, depending on the amount of transaction. But, recently some banks waived these charges —if done from net banking. For instance, HDFC Bank Ltd says that NEFT and RTGS transactions through net banking have been free of charge since 1 November 2017. However, NEFT and RTGS transactions done at the branch will cost you between Rs2.5 and Rs50, depending on the amount and type of transaction. Some banks have waived the charges on these transactions depending on the type of savings account you have and the minimum balance you leave in the account. For instance, ICICI Bank Ltd doesn’t charge any fee on NEFT transactions if the minimum balance in your account is Rs25,000. However, accounts with minimum balance of Rs10,000 are charged for these transactions.

Currently, banks offer many digital payment and fund transfer channels. Each transaction has a charge attached to it. All these charges are capped by the central bank. So, banks are free to charge a lower amount. Also, charges on these transaction, when done through your mobile phone or desktop computer, vary from the charges on these transaction when done at a bank branch. These differential charges are decided by the banks while staying within the caps mandated by the central bank.

Also, all these charges are to be paid by the sender only, and not the receiver. Banks are lowering charges on digital payment to popularize them.

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