On the occasion of its Foundation Day on 18th December, IDFC FIRST Bank announced ZERO Fee Banking on savings accounts. The Bank has waived fees on 25 commonly used banking services related to savings accounts such as cash deposit and withdrawal at branches, third party cash transactions, demand drafts, IMPS, NEFT, RTGS, cheque book, SMS alerts, interest certificates, insufficient balance for ATM transactions, international ATM usage and so on.
Even customers maintaining as low as Rs. 10,000 Average Monthly Balance, as well as the Rs. 25,000 AMB savings account variant will enjoy these benefits. (See Annexure for details). This will benefit all customers, and particularly those with lesser financial literacy who find it difficult to compute the fees and charges. So, customers can bank with us with great peace of mind.
Banking charges and their descriptions can sometimes be complex and calculation-driven, making them difficult for most customers to understand. For example,
Example 1. For cash deposit / withdrawal at branches, which is one of the key services of any branch, the description may read as follows: Cash deposit and withdrawal “(By number of transactions) 4 free cash transactions/ month. Thereafter, charge of Rs. 150/ transaction. All free cash transactions at branch or cash deposits at cash recycler will be charged at Rs. 100/ transaction for first two transactions and Rs. 125/ transaction for any subsequent transactions in case of non-maintenance of MAB. (By Value): Free limit: First 4 transactions or Rs. 1.5 lakhs whichever is earlier (Self/ Third Party). Cash transactions at non-home branch: Rs. 25,000/ day, Exceeding which Rs. 5/ Rs. 1,000 or part thereof, Subject to a minimum of Rs. 150 to be charged. (Third-party cash transactions) Free limit: First 4 transactions or Rs. 1.5 lakhs whichever is earlier (Self/ Third Party). Cash transactions at non-home branch: Rs. 25,000/ day, Exceeding which Rs. 10/ Rs. 1,000 or Rs. 150, whichever is higher.”
Example 2. Description for NEFT charges at branches could read as follows” Up to Rs. 10,000: Rs. 2.25/ transaction, Rs. 10,001 to Rs. 1 lakh: Rs. 4.75/ transaction, Above Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakhs: Rs. 14.75/transaction, Above Rs. 2 lakhs and up to Rs. 10 lakh: Rs. 24.75/ transaction”
IDFC FIRST Bank believes that understanding of the fee levied involves complicated calculations, and many customers are not aware of the charges they incur. In addition, the debit entries for charges go unnoticed among the large number of entries of actual transactions made by the customer in the statement of account. In such a landscape, IDFC FIRST Bank offers a range of services with Zero fees for 25 essential services. Here is the list of Zero-Fee Services offered by IDFC FIRST Bank:
- Number of Cash Transactions at branches per month (Cumulative of Deposit and Withdrawal)
- Value of Cash Transactions (Cumulative of Deposit and Withdrawal) at Branches
- Third-party Cash Transaction Charges (Cumulative of Deposit and Withdrawal) at Branches
- Demand Drafts/ PO (Issuance Charges) – at Bank Locations
- IMPS Charges per Transaction– Outward
- NEFT Charges per Transaction – Outward (Branch)
- RTGS Charges per Transaction – Outward (Branch)
- Cheque Book Charges
- SMS Alert Charges
- Issue of Duplicate Statements
- Passbook Charges
- Balance Certificate (Charges per certificate)
- Interest Certificate (Charges per Certificate)
- Account Closure (from account opening date)
- ECS Return Charges
- Stop Payment Charges
- International ATM/ POS Transaction Charges
- Charge for Insufficient Balance per Transaction at ATM
- Standing Instruction Charges
- Managers Cheque/ Demand Drafts Cancellations/ Revalidation
- Photo Attestation Charges
- Signature Attestation Charges
- Old records/ copy of paid cheques charges
- Address confirmation charges
- Any deliverable returned by courier due to negative reasons
IDFC FIRST Bank believes in undertaking a ‘Near-Dear Test’ before launching any product. The bank checks if it would be proud and happy to offer the same product, interest and fee structures to its “near and dear” ones as it offers to its customers. Without complicated charges, customers can be at complete peace of mind that IDFC FIRST Bank will not deduct any charges as fees towards the abovementioned services to their bank account.
Mr. V Vaidyanathan, Managing Director and CEO, IDFC FIRST Bank, said, “This is a customer friendly initiative from IDFC FIRST Bank. Since inception, IDFC FIRST Bank has always put together simple and transparent terms for all products at the Bank.
We have embedded “Ethical Banking” in our vision statement, and we did this deliberately and propagated it across the organisation, so that employees across the rank and file, from bottom to top, from product designers to sales teams, all align to this principle. In this connection, our Bank has truly simplified all the terms and conditions that go with our services, such that they are easy for customers to understand.
Often, customers are unaware of the fees and charges they pay. This is even more so for customers with lesser financial literacy levels. So, we have waived fees on 25 commonly used banking services so that our customers can bank with us at peace.
We firmly believe in ethical and clean banking which gives assurance to our customers that we do not touch their bank account for this fee or that.”
IDFC FIRST Bank offers a wide range of accounts and services to customers including an online account opening process, video KYC, and a new-age digital platform for mobile and net banking with an easy-to-navigate user interface. It constantly endeavours to offer services that are easy and affordable. The ZERO Fee Banking initiative is a step in the direction of making our bank customer-friendly. Most of these services have been offered free by the Bank for the past four years, but we have formalised it under the Zero-Fee Banking program as part of this announcement.