The idea behind opening a savings account with a bank is to save some money for your future, but now that just seems like a nightmare. Some time ago, banks announced that we could open a zero balance account and come a few years down the line, now the minimum balance required in your bank account is ₹10,000/- in the urban areas. (P.S. not everyone living in the cities earns enough to maintain that). What is even more surprising is, the facilities that the banks should have been ideally providing us free of charge, are being charged exorbitant rates.
- If the minimum amount is not maintained in account then you have to pay a fine;
- If the amount is maintained and you want to withdraw the same, then ATM charges;
- If the bank is careless in maintaining its ATM security and you want an SMS intimation for transactions, then there’s the SMS charge;
- If you want to transfer amount online using NEFT, RTGS or IMPS, your bank charges a certain amount along with GST;
- If you want to use your Debit or Credit card, then you have transaction charges for the same;
- While mobile wallets may not charge you while you transfer an amount from your bank account to your mobile wallet but they definitely charge you when you transfer an amount from your mobile wallet to your bank account;
These are some of the day-to-day transactions that we always do. Many times knowingly or unknowingly, we lose about a couple of thousands per month, because our banks believe that we have committed a mistake by depositing the amount with them. I agree that bank employees are being paid more than earlier, the infrastructure of the banks is much better, the technology is updated and all this comes at a cost and therefore, the banks need to make money but aren’t the banks already earning sufficiently?
- Through the interest on our loans, which is a different ball game altogether?
- Banks also invest in other companies and mutual funds, for which, they get huge interest (P.S. The money used to make these investments comes from the pocket of a simple Indian).
- They also invest and deal in foreign exchange;
- They sell you different mutual funds, for which they act as agents and receive huge commissions (I did not know that my refund amount would be reduced if I had withdrawn money for the mutual fund through my bank. Thanks to the mutual fund house girl who told me about the same).
- They even charge for issuing a Letter of Credit.
These are only a few sources of income for a bank. But apart from that, let us think practically, would it not be possible for the banks to at least reduce the amount that it charges as fees from the common man?
- Instead of charging a few hundred rupees for non-maintenance of minimum balance, the banks could charge you a minimum of ₹5 or ₹10. Ideally, the government should make a provision for Zero Balance Account for all;
- Waive off all the charges for single transactions and instead put a flat fee of Rs. 100 on all online and offline transactions using cards, even when a person is charged with a 2% transaction charge, the amount at the end turns out to be huge;
- If all the banks come together and open a common ATM and keep money in their ATMs full, then probably we would not have to use the other bank’s ATM, most of the time, the ATM of my bank is always empty;
These are just a few suggestions that I could think of. I am not a banking expert and do not understand much about the transaction because of my lack of interest. I have deliberately refrained from quoting statics because I want the common man to understand this. Quoting big amounts would have just made this article boring.