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Home >Money >Personal Finance >ATM withdrawal to minimum balance: Bank service charges you should know

All of us have a saving account but having a bank account does not come free of cost. A bank account is required for various purposes. The banks levy certain charges for allowing the customers to withdraw money from ATMs, sending SMS and other facilities. So let's look at some of the charges levied by top banks including State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, Yes Bank and others.

Cash transactions

Banks restrict the number of cash transactions in a savings account to three to five per month and levy charges if you exceed a specified number or amount.

Axis Bank allows four free transactions or cash withdrawals of up to 2 lakh in a month, whichever is earlier. Once the limit is breached, the bank levy charges. From May 1, for every 1,000 withdrawn, you will now pay 10 or 150, whichever is higher, for cash withdrawals from the savings account.

ATM withdrawal charges

Normally, banks allow up to five transactions a month in their own ATMs, and three transactions at other banks’ ATMs, free of charges. For instance, SBI and ICICI Bank allow its regular savings bank account holders eight free transactions in metros. This includes five transactions from their own ATMs and three transactions from any other bank’s ATM. If you exceed these limits, you may end up paying around 20 to 50 per withdrawal. The charges vary from banks to banks.

Failed ATM transaction

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also stated that banks can’t charge customers for failed transactions. Banks charge a fee for a failed ATM transaction owing to insufficient balance in your account. SBI charges a fee of 20 plus GST for transaction decline due to insufficient balance. HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra, Yes Bank charge 25 per transaction.

Minimum Balance

Every savings bank account requires you to maintain a certain balance. If your balance falls below this limit, your bank charges you.

For instance, if you have an account with ICICI Bank, it mandates a minimum balance (MAB) of 10,000 in metro and urban branches and 5,000 in savings accounts for semi-urban and rural branches. If the average minimum balance is not maintained, the bank will levy a penalty of 100 + 5% of the shortfall in the required MAB in Metro/Urban/Semi-Urban/Rural locations.

Amid, the Covid-19 pandemic, in March 2020, SBI did away with charging savings bank account customers for non-maintenance of minimum balance and it has also waived SMS charges. Earlier, SBI savings bank customers had to maintain an average monthly balance of 3000, 2000 and 1000 in metro, semi-urban and rural areas respectively. The bank used to levy a penalty of 5 to 15 plus taxes on the non-maintenance of the average monthly balance.

Debit card charges

If you misplace your card, your bank will charge you a fee of 50-500 to replace it. If you forget your ATM PIN, you might also be charged for each time you reset it.

Cheque

RBI does not allow banks to charge more than 150 per cheque for speed clearing of cheques worth over 1 lakh; there are no charges for values up to 1 lakh. Keep in mind that you will also have to pay a fee of 100-150 if your cheque bounces.

Documentation

Banks can also charge you for issuing documents. For instance, SBI charges 150 for signature verification.

Banks offer an annual account statement once in a financial year. However, if you request a duplicate account statement, it may cost you between 50 to 100. ICICI Bank charges 100 per duplicate statement if you apply at a branch.

SMS charges

SMS alerts are sent by the banks to keep you updated about transactions happening from your accounts. This is supposed to help identify cases of fraud immediately. However, banks charges for SMS alerts. For instance, Axis Bank has also recalibrated its SMS charges. Instead of charging a flat fee of 5 every month, it will now charge 25 paise for every SMS alert, subject to a maximum of 25 per month, effective July 1 (except for one-time passwords and promotional messages) it sends you.

IMPS fund transfer

While NEFT and RTGS have been made free for all Indian banks for their customers., IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) transactions are still chargeable. The charge depends largely on the amount being transferred. It’s usually in the range of 1 to 25.

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