Yes, you can! Such savings accounts are known as zero balance savings accounts. A zero balance savings account is a deposit facility provided by banks that helps you open a savings account without the compulsion of maintaining a minimum balance. You will not be charged with a penalty even if you do not maintain the minimum balance. Zero balance savings account is ideal for those who cannot afford a regular savings account but want to save without the strings of maintaining a minimum balance.
Benefits and Features of a Zero Balance Savings Account
- No minimum balance
You can open a zero balance savings account even if you are unable to maintain a minimum balance mandated by the bank.
- No penalty
Banks usually charge a penalty when you fail to maintain the minimum balance in your savings account. However, in a zero balance savings account, banks do not charge any penalty fee even when you have no money in the bank account.
- Debit card, ATM and Chequebook
After completing your KYC, you can ask for a debit card (ATM card) and a cheque book with a zero balance savings account just like a regular savings account. You can use this ATM card anywhere around the world at the bank’s outlets. A cheque book is provided free of cost with a zero balance savings account. Once you finish its leaves, you can apply for a new one for a nominal fee.
- Net banking
Even without a minimum balance, you can use the Net Banking facility. While opening the account, you can ask the bank officials to activate your Net Banking and ask them to assist you in operating the savings account online. You can access the bank statement, check bank balance, send, and receive money through net banking and mobile banking easily.
- UPI payment
With a zero balance savings account, you can make UPI payments using any UPI app, helping you to make easy, fast, and convenient online payments.
- Locker facilities
You can enjoy all the facilities of a regular savings account with zero balance savings account. This includes locker facilities too. However, just like in case of other accounts, you might need to pay a separate fee for this service.
- Rate of interest
The rate of interest on a zero balance savings account is similar to that of a regular savings account.
With a Zero balance savings account, the government aims to encourage people to switch to savings accounts to deposit their savings. It was offered during the launch of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana to help people open a bank account without the need to maintain a minimum balance. The main purpose of this account is to encourage people to save their money safely in banks and not in cash at home. While a zero balance account provides several features, note that there could be restrictions on the number of transactions allowed in a month.