While on one hand PM Modi and Govt. of India is going full throttle on encouraging digital transactions and cashless economy, India’s largest bank, State Bank of India, has some other plans.
Effective today, SBI has introduced 5 major charges for all bank account holders; and one of them is clearly anti-digital.
Now, the introduction of these charges is an important news, because usually, other banks follow what SBI does. And if these charges become a norm, then it will clearly fail the objectives of Digital India.
Here are the new charges which SBI customers will be greeted with, starting today, June 2, 2017:
a) Extra Charges For IMPS Transactions:
Effective today, SBI customers will be charged extra for conducting cashless money transfer using IMPS. Rs 5 (plus taxes) shall be charged for money transfer till Rs 1 lakh, Rs 15 plus taxes for cash transfer between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh and Rs 25 plus taxes for cash transfers between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. This is clearly an anti-digital move, because such charges will now deter the common man from using IMPS mode of money transfer, and may resort to cash now. Thumbs down for SBI here.
b) Charge for Using SBI Buddy Wallet:
Users of SBI Buddy Wallet would be required to pay Rs 25 per ATM withdrawal, in case they use their wallet inside ATM. There was much confusion regarding ATM charges regarding this charges, which we cleared here.
c) Additional Charges for Cash Withdrawals:
Basic savings banks deposit account (BSBDA) will be required to shell out Rs 50 per cash withdrawal from SBI branch, after the 4 free withdrawals. BSBDA is a basic savings account, which has zero balance facility and provides ATM Card, chequebook and account statements. They would be charged Rs 20 plus taxes after 4 free ATM withdrawals at non-SBI ATMs, and Rs 10 at SBI ATMs.
Note here, that normal saving account holders will continue to get 10 free ATM withdrawals in non-metro cities and 8 free ATM withdrawals in metro locations.
d) New Cheque Book Issuance Charges:
10-leaflet cheque book would be now charged Rs 30 plus taxes, while 25 leaflets will be charged Rs 75 plus taxes. 50 leaflets cheque book shall be charged Rs 150 plus taxes. This increased cheque book charges can be a push for avoiding cheques, and rely on internet based money transfer and payments.
e) Charges for Using Banking Correspondents:
In case a SBI user decides to deposit upto Rs 10,000 using a banking correspondent, then a charge of 0.25% of the value would be charged. This shall be Rs 2 as minimum charge, and Rs 8 as maximum charge. At the same time, cash withdrawal using banking correspondent shall be charged at 2.50% of the value plus taxes. Minimum would be Rs 6 plus taxes.
Are these new charges justified? Will SBI customers get inconvenienced? Will other banks will also follow SBI now?
We will keep you updated.