Representative image | Photo credit: BCCL
- Cash handling fees are a significant part of the fees charged by a bank
- The IMPS charge is generally between Rs 1 and Rs 25
- You also have to pay a fee of Rs 100-150 if your check is bounced, whether you are the issuer or the depositor.
New Delhi: From this year, bank customers will no longer be required to pay fees for bank transfers via NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer) or RTGS (Real-time Gross Settlement). The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced just after its July Monetary Policy Review that processing fees levied on NEFT and RTGS transactions will not apply from January 2020.
However, the NEFT and RTGS fees weren’t the only bank charges customers had to pay. Banks charge fees on various other services and sometimes customers are not even aware of the fees.
Here is a list of bank service charges:
1. Cash management: TThese fees are levied by many banks on cash deposits above a certain transaction limit. In most cases, the first few transactions are free for customers. Generally, the rules are more relaxed if you transact in your home branch. A large part of the fees charged by a bank is cash handling fees. You have to pay a fee of around Rs 50-150 per transaction if you exceed the free transaction limit.
2. Transfer of funds While NEFT and RTGS are now free, IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) transactions are still chargeable. The fees largely depend on the amount transferred and the bank’s policy. The IMPS charge is generally between Rs 1 and Rs 25.
3. Minimum balance: Almost all banks require their customers to maintain an average monthly or quarterly balance in their savings account. For example, clients of the State Bank of India (SBI) holding savings accounts in subways and branches in urban centers are required to maintain an average monthly balance of 3,000 rupees. For customers with savings account in rural semi-urban areas, the requirement drops to Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively. The bank charges a fee of Rs 5-15 for not maintaining the required account balance. Some banks may charge up to Rs 200-500.
3. ATM machine, debit card: According to the RBI’s mandate, banks are allowed to bill customers for more than five ATM transactions in a month. The fees can vary from Rs 8-20 depending on the type of transaction. For example, SBI allows its regular savings account holders eight free transactions, including five at SBI ATMs and three at other banks’ ATMs.
In non-metros, these account holders get 10 free transactions, including five at SBI ATMs and five at other banks’ ATMs. The regulator also said banks cannot charge customers for failed transactions. If you misplace your card, the banks charge you a fee of Rs 50-500 to replace it. Several banks only allow three to five free transactions, even at their own ATMs. There are additional fees such as an annual debit card fee of up to Rs 100-1,500 depending on the card and the type of account.
4. Check: The RBI does not allow banks to charge more than Rs 150 per check for prompt clearing of checks worth more than Rs 1 lakh; there is no charge for values up to Rs 1 lakh. You also have to pay a fee of Rs 100-150 if your check is bounced, whether you are the issuer or the depositor. If you give a “stop payment” instruction on a check you have already issued, you will have to pay a charge again.
5. Documents: Banks may also charge you for issuing documents. Typically, banks charge Rs 50-150 for issuing physical passbooks and duplicate account statements. If you need a printed statement, print it yourself and have it certified by the bank. However, some banks also charge for the attestation. For example, SBI charges Rs 150 for signature verification.