Banks start charging money for SMS alerts, mobile banking
Vishrut Patel 19 June 2013

In another example of cartelization among bankers, several banks have increased or started imposing charges for transaction alerts through SMS as well as for mobile banking. As usual, private lenders have taken the lead, which soon would be followed by nationalized banks

There is no free lunch says a popular adage. Our banks, having lured consumers with ‘free’ services, have now started charging for them or hiking already existing fees to fatten their bottomlines. So far this year, many banks have started charging for SMS alerts on transactions and hiked the annual fees on debit/credit cards. A few banks have even increased charges to deposit cash in your accounts. The list includes large banks such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Canara Bank. Here are some areas in which charges have been increased.

 

SMS Alerts: Over the past month, almost all banks have begun to charge for SMS alerts on transactions.

 

Axis Bank sent an SMS to its account holders which states that “From 15 June 2013 this (SMS banking) service will be charged Rs5 per month”. ICICI Bank is charging Rs15 per quarter. Interestingly, both amount to an identical Rs60 per annum giving rise to the suspicion that banks, working through the Indian Banks Association, decide to hike rates in tandem or to a pre-decided plan. 

 

State Bank of India (SBI) is providing various services like MobiCash, mobile banking and SMS banking free of cost. Other state-run lenders like Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Canara Bank are also providing SMS banking and mobile banking services free of cost.

(Update: As of 1 July 2013, both SBI and PNB decided charging Rs15 per quarter for SMS alert services. PNB, however, said, accounts of senior citizens, its staff-in service and retired and students, will be exempted from this charge)

 

When asked, an Axis Bank executive said whoever is subscribed to their SMS banking services will be charged Rs5 per month. He said, whoever chooses to unsubscribe from (to unsubscribe customers have to visit branch personally) their SMS Banking services will not be charged anything. Clearly, the banks are testing the ground. Nobody is likely to unsubscribe at a time when SMS alerts have helped protect part of the money.

 

ICICI Bank notifies on its websitePlease note with effect from 1 May 2013 all savings account customers availing alerts facility through an SMS will be charged Rs15 per quarter (inclusive of taxes)”. However, ICICI Bank has kept the facility free for accounts such as salary account, senior citizen savings account, silver savings account and privilege banking.

 

HDFC Bank notifies on its website, “Effective 1stApril, customers registered for InstaAlert service with ‘SMS’ as the alert delivery channel, would be charged.”

 

HDFC Bank customers registered for InstaAlert service through ‘SMS’ are charged Rs15 per quarter for salary or savings accounts, while customers who hold current account are charged Rs25 per quarter.

 

However, HDFC Bank said, InstaAlerts delivered through emails would remain free. Interestingly debit or credit card transaction alerts sent as per regulatory guidelines and net-banking transaction alerts are not covered in the HDFC Bank InstaAlertservice. Customers who are not registered for InstaAlert service will continue to get these alerts free of charge, according to HDFC Bank.

 

While all private sector lenders have increased charges for SMS alerts, Kotak Mahindra Bank has decided to reduce its already very high charges. This reduction would bring the rates at par with other banks. It notifies on its website “for savings account holders: The daily balance SMS alert that costs Rs200 per annum will be reduced to Rs120 per annum while SMS for weekly balance, transactions and value added alerts will cost Rs60 per annum from Rs75 per annum with effect from 1st July.”

 

Yes Bank, which offers up to 7% interest on saving accounts, is charging Rs10 per month to their basic saving account (smart salary) holders. While other account holders would continue to get transaction alert messages free of cost.

 

Kotak and Yes Bank, pays a higher interest on savings account balances above Rs1 lakh. But it seems both were clearly charging significantly more for other services. Even today, at Rs120 per annum, the charges are double than that of ICICI, HDFC Bank or Axis Bank.

 

Debit Cards:

Banks from the private sector also started hiking annual fees for debit or ATM cards. Among the state-run lenders, except Canara Bank, no other bank has increased the fees. From 1st July Canara Bank would charge Rs112 as annual fee for its debit cards issues to all customers, except holders of small savings account, basic savings account and financial savings account.

 

SBI is charging Rs102 annual fees on all debit cards, except Yuva International debit card. PNB is charging Rs112 and BoB is levying Rs113 as annual fees or maintenance charges on debit-cum-ATM cards.

 

Axis Bank has increased the annual charges by 50%. It would charge Rs150 instead of Rs100 as annual fee from its debit card users in metro and urban centers. For bank account holders from semi-urban and rural, the same is revised to Rs100 from Rs50. In addition, all prime salary account would be charges Rs150 as annual fee for a debit card. Axis Bank has also increased card issuance fee for all its customers to Rs150 from 1st May.

 

While ICICI Bank is charging Rs99 for gold or silver debit cards and Rs250 for business banking debit card, HDFC Bank charges between Rs100 to Rs500. Kotak Mahindra Bank is charging between Rs100 to Rs750 for platinum debit card, as annual fees.

 

Yes Bank has already increased the charges from November last year. The Yes Business Gold Debit Card has become costlier by Rs150 following the increase. The annual fees for the card are now Rs499. There is no annual fee on the debit card for the bank’s basic savings account holders.

 

Annual fees charged on ATM/debit cards

Bank

Minimum Annual Fees (in Rs.)

(Basic Debit Cards)

Maximum Annual Fees (in Rs.)

(Platinum /Business cards)

Axis Bank

100

500

ICICI Bank

99

250

HDFC Bank

100

500

Kotak Mahindra Bank

100

750

Yes Bank

149

499

State Bank of India

0

102

Canara Bank

112

112

Bank of Baroda

113

113

Punjab National Bank

112

112

 

The increase in banking charges is contradictory to the stand taken by the regulators. Earlier this month, while speaking at an Open House organized by Moneylife Foundation, Dr KC Chakrabarty, deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said that the decision on various charges levied by banks has been left to their respective board of directors while the Indian Banks Association oversees the reasonableness aspect and can suggest a cap on the charges.

 

Mohan Siroya, chairperson of the Consumer Complaints Cell (CCC) had said, "The ‘greatest wrong’ the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has committed is by disowning its responsibility to supervise the ‘exploitation’ of bank customers. RBI has given the full liberty to each bank to levy ‘service charges’ as per their wish. It has become an open market. Now it has come to the light from the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BSCBI) that the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has been given an authority to put a 'cap' on such charges, thus fully abdicating its own duty as a statutory regulator. How is such a body expected to control the greed of making more and more money by its own members?”

 

Adding to Mr Siroya's view, Sucheta Dalal, trustee of Moneylife Foundation said, “The IBA operates in a particular pattern. When one bank decides to charge Rs500 for a debit card, the others, especially nationalised banks, follow its lead and say; okay we will charge only Rs250. This is how banking charges increase every time. Competition does not work because IBA has become a cartel. When was the last time that IBA spoke to any consumer organization or sought the consumers’ views?”

 

Ashok Ravat of All India Bank Depositors Association (AIBDA) and Vasundhara Deodhar from Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) also raised questions on the reasonableness of banking charges. Both requested the banking regulator to determine reasonable service charges.

 

Interestingly, while consumers are increasingly complaining about reasonableness of bank charges, the banks themselves are lobbying hard with the RBI, claiming that high cost of technology is making each transaction very expensive. For instance, having encouraged and pushed to obtain corporate accounts of companies, banks are now cribbing about high  transaction costs on small withdrawals from ATMs.

 

For instance, a senior central banker says that each balance inquiry costs the bank Rs11 while each transaction costs around Rs18. However, this calls for a serious discussion on the cost-benefit of technology to consumers, since the solution cannot be to load higher costs on to consumers.

 

The frequent hikes in service charges are fast reaching a stage where consumers will revolt. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which follows a policy of forbearance (allowing bankers to decide charges themselves) with regard to service charges, refuses to intervene. At the same time, the RBI is pushing banks to extend services to hundreds of million unbanked Indians. There is a clear disconnect here, since no-frills accounts permit only ATM transactions and banks now claim that those too involve a huge cost.

 

Can the RBI afford to remain silent about rising service charges? It is a question that the banking regulator needs to answer.

Comments
siddhesh pednekar
7 years ago
If my savings bank ac Is opened on 17 Nov 2017 and bank is charging me SMS charges for the same month from 17 Nov Is it is a valid or not
Patriciai Josef
7 years ago
I Really happy after seeing the news. Postal economics in the ATM, banks, service charges I'm going to delete my SBI account and open a postal bank account. Why the rule is equal to everyone!? is Everyone getting the same salary. Get my records based on my income or savings set my minimum keep balance. For a girl who is getting 10000 as monthly salary, Cant maintain 5000 in account. why these basic things is not evident to those SBI people. Its time to move on. good bye SBI
Parasuram Harikrishnan
8 years ago
The procedure followed by the bank need clarification PM has informing all Indians should adopt transaction by Bank cards hope early instruction will issued for the suffering of poor indians
ajay prakash pal
8 years ago
8878780741
Anand
8 years ago
When RBI has clearly mentioned bank can charge on actual usage basis how can banks charge a flat fee of Rs. 15 or any specific amount. There is no transaction happening in one of my bank from last one year or so, but bank is continuing to charge a flat fee when I haven't received a single SMS in last one year. Isn't that violation of RBI Guidelines?
Ravindra Shamsher
1 decade ago
Only savings and current account holders are eligible for mobile banking service. If you register your number for mobile banking services you also get the freedom to access your bank balance, fetch account statement, transfer funds and do much more. With most banks offering mobile banking services, there are different ways to do the same but the basic procedure remains the same.
bala
1 decade ago
It is absolutely looting the money from salary class account holders from their hard earned money, while it should be on free of cost for which banks are asking customers to maintain minimum balance. If Indian Government definitely want to collect the money, it should be collected from the richest people like politicians, ministers, business man where richers are becoming more richer and poorer are becoming more poorer. There is no benefit of this SMS alerts but exploiting the account holder. This is absolutely tourchering the middle class. RBI should not react on collecting money from common man rather it should corner those rich people, who has more money than their requirement and information should be available through Income Tax PAN Number. Here, I am challanging Indian Government, which has been formed by people for the benefit of people. Here, I don't see the benefit by Indian Government i.e. every day price increases, petrol increases, income tax liability increases while benefits are decreased day by day. In total Indian Government is totally one sided on richest people by politicians, business men and by collecting this money from common men it is simply sleeping. I would rather say, we should by-cott the elections, for which expenses are increased by the so-called indian government and common man life is getting miserableness.
Dayananda Kamath k
1 decade ago
one more method of looting cusotmers by sbi is in gurgaon palmcourt branch of sbi suddenly the branch head desided that since it is corporate branch they need not collect cheques put in credit card drop box. i do not know whether a branch head can take such a decision on his own. since i am going out of town on holiday i dropped my cheque for sbi card in the drop box well in advance. after the due date i recive an sms that my account is overdue. i try to sms them on the number where we used to do earlier informing dropbox number and cheque number. i receive a service not available. then they have another service where you can message problem and they will contact back. i used this service also they promissed to contact back in 48 hours by sms acknowledgement but did not receive any call. subsiquenly on 20th when i came back and visited the branch. after perusing with various people they were able to locate the keys of the box and my heque along with some other 20 cheques were lying there un collected. then i went to the manager and informed the situation. and he immidetly scolded the peon why the box is lying there still and asked to remove it.however this cheque was collected on that day along with all other cheques. but sbicard has debited all the exorbitant penaltiese to all the card holders. when under core banking you are customer of a bank and not of a branch, how the action of the manager is justified. whether bankmanagment and rbi will take ation. and restore the service of drop box in the branch. they must provide it in all branches. they provide it in selected branches.and it also depeneds on whims of the branch head. whether bank will recrdit all the charges levied unethically and compensate the customers for the mental agony of being defaulter.
MDT
1 decade ago
SPECIAL REQUEST TO ALL READERS...

Moneylife requests all readers not to post their personal details like bank account number, debit/credit card number , mobile number or email ID on this and any other public forums.

Thanks,
MDT
janakiram
1 decade ago
DEAR SIR, MY NAME IS K VENKATA NARASIMHA REDDY PLEACE RIGISTAR ME FOR SBI MOBILE SMS ALERT THANKS
MDT
Replied to janakiram comment 1 decade ago
Dear Sir,
Please contact your bank branch for this. Also we request you and all other readers from posting your account number, card number and mobile number on public forums.
Thanks,
MDT
SUMER SMTH
1 decade ago
MYSMS# +639192616111=or 09192616111==SMS ONLY
SEND ME MOBILE ALERT VIA SMS


SUMMER S
Chethan S
1 decade ago
SBI to charge ₹15/quarter for SMS alerts. This is the announcement on SBI homepage: "With effect from quarter ending June 2013, SMS charges of Rs.15/- (inclusive of Service Tax) per quarter will be recovered."
arun adalja
Replied to Chethan S comment 1 decade ago
sbi already started charging rs 15 for quater ending june 13.without informing how can they deduct?icici bank waived sms charges for senior citizen,other banks must follow the same.
RUSHABH R SHAH
1 decade ago
I think such practices not only of banks but by any organisation will continue basically because of absolute disregard for their own interest on the part of customers of bank and other business organisations. I just do not understand how, we, so called educated people behave in such irresponsible way and turn blind eye to our own interest.
Dayananda Kamath k
1 decade ago
every service will be introduced free of charge initially to make it popular and then they will start charging you left right and center. and the regulators also contribute and govt also contribute by making it compulsory and then they start charging. you and you dont have any option because you come to know when you are short of time and this service is very much needed .one of the best example is service charges being charged for issuing solvency certificate. this is a certificate insisted by embassies and govt departments for tender qualifications. banks used to give it without any liability and accounting records maintined for a fees of rs. 100 to rs.1000/ but suddenly banks started charging based on the amount certified and maximum charges being rs. 25 lakhs. becoming insolvent by applying for solvency certificate. i complained to rbi with the same caption as well as how this can lead to corruption and frauds in the bank. as no entry is passed in the ledgers for issuing the certificate except for charging of charges. how an unscrupulous manager can mint money in this scheme. but no action from the rbi. but on its own bank reduced the maximum charges to rs. 25000/- but the loop hole is not yet plugged. even rs. 25ooo/- is exorbitant as there is no liability on the abnk and it is not at all accounted in the banks balance sheets.
Suiketu Shah
1 decade ago
One must not forget that this trend of charging on even the smallest of service was started by HDFC Bank.The others have only followed.
arun adalja
1 decade ago
icici banks is sending sms for creditin the money in the account but total amount in the account is not updating in sms.then why should i pay when full details are not given?
Jingo
1 decade ago
Hi, thanks for the engaging article..

I feel it needs to give a balanced view.. Banks are public limited companies, and need to make profits to be able to expand their reach, recover their costs, provide for the bad debts, invest in better technologies to prevent fraudsters from running amok, etc.

I don't think when we work for a company, we say that our cost of living is only Rs. 25,000, you don't need to pay me more than that. If my cost of living goes p, will come and ask you for a pay revision.

Banks need to increase dividend to shareholders, pay salaries to thousands of people they employ, give loans to small and big companies so that they can expand their operations and give employment.

Now, no doubt there are many things wrong about our banking system - banks' reluctance in general to give loans to smaller enterprises and individuals without taking adequate collateral to protect their capital; banks inability to expand into villages and rural areas; the propensity of politicians to manipulate banks into giving loans to undeserving organizations; corruption involved in lending decisions; the business of NPAs; tendency to increase charges frequently; et al.

What muddles the picture even more is the prevalence of the grey economy in the country. A large part of the economy works on cash only, and unaccounted cash at that. What it means is that those funds either don't enter the banking system at all, or reaches in fictitious names leaving the banks vulnerable to KYC norms.

Customers across the world pay far more charges for accessing banking services, and people don't mind paying those charges as the alternatives are either not present or are very expensive. Also, product prices vary depending on the features available on the product as well. So, if a particular banking account comes to you with free life insurance or general insurance cover, then paying a nominally higher amount as fees should be okay?

What Axis Bank has done is actually being clever by half. Whoever thought of this thing of customer canceling it by visiting branches did the bank's brand a big disservice, as customers would immediately understand that they are being taken for a ride here, and maybe lots of them wont switch banks immediately, but they will remember that the bank took advantage of the fact that they wouldn't find the time to visit the branch and cancel their mobile banking subscription. I suspect that even if the customer were to go to the branch, the branch would know nothing about this, and would require the customer to make multiple visits to get the necessary action recorded and undertaken. This is a malicious action and reeks of profiteering.

Banks spend approximately 25 paise for every sms and it sounded like a good idea to charge for actual number of sms sent, but maybe putting something like that in place might be expensive for banks.

No doubt RBI needs to pay attention to this streak of banks to increase charges from time to time. But maybe RBI also needs to see what it needs to regulate and what it needs to free up for the banks.

For instance should the banks in India be making NIMs of 4.5 percent?? That sounds very high when compared with the NIMs in other developing countries.

Should the banks be having prepayment penalties when they have already charged processing fee upfront?

The government's role in banking also needs to be assessed. Do we need the government to run banks, and dictate terms to them about whom to lend and how much?



Mun Mohan Kale
1 decade ago
No charges need be levied for any service being rendered. It is duping customers. The charges are also varying from bank to bank at their whims & fancies. Govt should step in & cancel all such charges. Unfortunately these banks must be paying hush money to all concerned especially politicians.
Deepak Sholapurkar
1 decade ago
Banks are like predators hunting the Normal account holders.
Let me give an example.
I am holding 2 accounts with Axis bank and my wife is holding one account.
On 14th -Jun I got a SMS saying that from 15th -Jun every month 5Rs will be charged for SMS banking and if don't want that then need to go "BRANCH" to discontinue this.

1)If they want to start charging from 15th-Jun why they have sent the notification on 14th.
2)As 14th and 15th are working day's for me, how can I plan and visit the Branch.
3)Why given such a short notice .
4)most importantly when enabling the SMS banking, I could do it through net banking. But to stop it why should I visit the Branch?

Basically Bank's want to charge and loot money, So they will not give sufficient time and set practically impossible things to customer.

Thanks & Regards,
Dipak.Sholapurkar
ashwin bahl
Replied to Deepak Sholapurkar comment 1 decade ago
Very good and relevant points bro, any changes in Charges by banks there should be a minimum of a Months notice to it's customers, like we have in other civilized countries in The world. The way they are behaving is totally unacceptable and the so called Regulatory authorities are doing is mere lip service
ashwin bahl
1 decade ago
we had a credit card from SBI as at the time of enrollment it offered heaven, as one year passed the charges started to creep in, we surrendered it.
For the compulsory draw bank account it charges yearly fees and it was/is supposed? to send account statement every year, we have never received it in our lives !
Hemlata Mohan
1 decade ago
Sorry Mr Siroya,
SBI charges Rs 10/ for entries in passbook outside of home branch. They also charge for transfer of SB a/cs from one branch to another, and for closing accounts. I have paid all these charges , so my experience is first hand.
MOHAN SIROYA
Replied to Hemlata Mohan comment 1 decade ago
Sorry to know your plight Ms. Hemlata.
If SBI is charging for all these small services, then its high time that either U go "Online Operation" where U may avail all these services free 24x7 or request the Branch /Nodal officer under Bank's Consumer Redressal system to credit back the charges. If they do not help, then no way but to change your bank, if some 'No charge Bank" is available. Finance Ministry and the RBI have thrown us to the wolves who grab a piece of flesh at the slightest opportunity.
Tapan Chatterjee
1 decade ago
Here's an Update to your informative article. It's quite useful Alert!
However, SBI (Versova Branch, Mumbai) has charged me Rs.102/= for a Basic Debit Card (which according to the article and Table therein is Charge-Free!)
I'll Re-Check with SBI as to Why they have charged me for the same.
Thanks for being Helpful!
Tapan Chatterjee ... 20Jun13
ashwin bahl
1 decade ago
I would have thought that by promoting Online activity for its customers would have meant cheaper administrative costs, the way it is in Europe. But here we see the opposite ! We would like to see exactly how much percentage are the banks costs with this facility of SMS/EMAIL alerts, only then they should be allowed to charge? The way they are doing now is totally arbitrary. And these will not end, wait for more surprises.
Ravindra
1 decade ago
Why Mr. Chakravarti does not take it up with the Banks instead of lecturing around on various topics?
Hemlata Mohan
1 decade ago
I have myself been a victim of these charges( I am a retired banker) but on deep reflection, should we not think that these charges are reasonable?
When every aspect of living has been increasing, how can one expect banking to be untouched by costs? A debit/credit card saves you the hassle of carrying cash and doing transactions outside of banking time, but are the banks not paying the service providers for this facility?
Yes adhoc / exhorbitant costs should be countered, but fair charges have to be paid.
Ravindra
Replied to Hemlata Mohan comment 1 decade ago
Madam,
If the charges are not much, it is all the more reason for the Banks to not charge it.
Rajamanickkam
Replied to Hemlata Mohan comment 1 decade ago
The issue is not about the cost but about the way it is done. When such services were offered free of cost voluntarily with out request from the customer, when you want to charge for such services, you should atleast ask the customer, whether they want it or not. You cannot ask the customer to come to the bank to discontinue such services. The same procedure was not followed when such services were introduced
Param
Replied to Hemlata Mohan comment 1 decade ago
agreed. in that case, perhaps banks can charge users based on actual number of SMS they had to send. there can be an enrolment membership fee (say 1 Re to add their record in a DB) & 10 ps per SMS sent (which is far higher than the bulk charges they pay). there can be a cap on charges to avoid banks overcharging by sending multiple sms 'just for fun'.
arun adalja
1 decade ago
rbi has no controls on banks and so bank is charging for such a small thing like sms.indian bank put one condition if balance more than 25000 then only they will send sms.this is strange as saving bank account balance is always fluctuating.
Ramesh Iyer
1 decade ago
On the one hand RBI wants both Banks and customers to embrace technology-driven facilities like ATMs, NEFT/RTGS, Internet &/ Mobile Banking, and on the other hand allows Banks to levy hefty charges for simple facilities like SMS Alerts (which doesn't cost Banks more than a few paise). RBI should step in to regulate these usurious charges levied by Banks, particularly private sector ones, if it really wants to increase Banking outreach. IMO, RBI should ask Banks to waive charges for tech-driven services, which actually reduces cost-per-transaction for both Banks as well as customers.
This trend is the same as private telecom operators in 1990s who made a killing (Rs. 16/minute) in the early days of mobile telephony. As in the telecom sector, investments in technology solutions in Banking too are capital intensive in the early stages only, and thereafter they reap handsome rewards, as their cost doesn't increase with customers' usage. But is RBI even bothered ?
Param
1 decade ago
this is interesting. when you want customer to enrol, there is an online feature - click & you are enrolled. now to discontinue, why can't there be an online feature as well? making the customer visit the branch for this 'trivial' amount would make people forget about this & thus this would just add to the lifestyle inflation...
SuchindranathAiyerS
1 decade ago
So far, HSBC has not. Though they have been sending me SMS transaction alerts for more than three years now.
drsharmilaraopn
1 decade ago
This reminds me of the way people are turned to drug addicts, first give it free, then they are so used to it, that they pay for it.
manohar bayyaram
Replied to drsharmilaraopn comment 1 decade ago
Exactly true.
Sankara Narayan
1 decade ago
It seems there is a mistake in table given on annual charges for ATM cards . SBI is charging Rs 102 per annum for its ATM/debit cards where as it is shown as nil in the table
Vishrut Ramesh Patel
Replied to Sankara Narayan comment 1 decade ago
Yes Mr. Sankara Narayan, SBI is charging Rs102 annual fees on all debit cards, except "Yuva International debit card" that is why it is shown as Rs0 minimum and Rs102 maximum annual debit card fees.
Suresh C Ashawa
1 decade ago
Suresh Ashawa
RBI has not doing the duty of supervising the reasonableness of ATM /Debit card charges. By using these cards workload on the bank is reduced and so the bank should actually compensate the customer.
The banks (including State bank) charges money for the transfer of Savings bank from one branch to another branch in mumbai and Navi Mumbai which is unreasonable.
MOHAN SIROYA
Replied to Suresh C Ashawa comment 1 decade ago
Mr. Ashawa
Please make it clear, IS SBI charging for 'Transfer of Savings A/c from one branch to another or transfer of 'Money' from once branch to another branch of the same bank ?
manohar bayyaram
Replied to Suresh C Ashawa comment 1 decade ago
Infact most of the regulators are not safeguarding the common man.
ashwin bahl
1 decade ago
interesting to check which other countries have this fantastic charge/s !
MOHAN SIROYA
1 decade ago
Mr. Vishrut Patel , well done job with Moneylife Foundation.

One suggestion.The list of banks who are levying these charges on Debit/ATM is Ok, but let us give credit to other equally good public sector banks which have not yet started levying any ATM or SMS/ Transaction alert charges. IDBI is once such bank . Also No Quarterly Minimum Balance (QMB) or any fee on ATM/Debit card/Alert charge on savings account holders with or without KYC in IDBI. Of course, this is the present position, can't say if they also become a part of 'Cartelisation' which RBI is encouraging openly by passing its regulatory authority to IBA.
In this scenario, I do not envisage any move on RBI's part to wield back its Regulatory function to control or decide Reasonableness or levy of the service charges with or without CAP.
nagesh kini
Replied to MOHAN SIROYA comment 1 decade ago
IDBI Bank, a PSB is perhaps the only bank in India that doesn't levy any charges whatsoever and this has increased its share of CASA - Current Accounts-Savings Accounts.
Levying charges for tech.driven services does not bring in great services but makes customers angrier!
MOHAN SIROYA
Replied to nagesh kini comment 1 decade ago
Yes agreed . I humbly say, that I have been ( On behalf of CCCell) one of the catalysts for such a change, pursuing the issue for 3 years almost at all levels.
ashwin bahl
1 decade ago
FREE FOR ALL.... when will this be stopped, one sided loot !
Suiketu Shah
1 decade ago
Excellent eye-opening article.It is amazing how much money is eaten by corruption in ALL banks private or public leading to more and more such ridiculously awful rules like sms charges.
manohar bayyaram
1 decade ago
Nationalisation of Banks was considered achievement, but now who cares,i mean government, regulators and the least the banks itself. Customers are forced/lured to open accounts by offering zero balance, free alerts, online facility, free demat, etc. Now banks have started to suck the account holders. It's high time that govt and regulators intervene and come to the rescue of the account holders.

Rajamanickkam
1 decade ago
Axis Bank had voluntarily gave the sms banking free of cost. Now it is charging Rs.5 per month with out obtaining any permission from me. For cancelling this I have to go to the branch. This is unjustified. Where can I complain about this usurious practice?
Vishrut Ramesh Patel
Replied to Rajamanickkam comment 1 decade ago
Dear Mr.Rajamanickkam, As per RBI's Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006 First you have to file a complaint at your bank, if they are not responding your complaint or you are unsatisfied with their response, you can complaint to Banking Ombudsman.
MOHAN SIROYA
Replied to Vishrut Ramesh Patel comment 1 decade ago
No Sir, to intervene on any issue of service charge, whether reasonable or otherwise, the Banking Ombudsman has no jurisdiction. On what issues, the Banking Ombudsman has got jurisdiction is specified by Banking Ombudsman. This power was was first with RBI, then with BCSBI and now this power is with IBA. So if the bank refuses to redress, Mr. Rajamanickkam will have to only write to IBA, which is not bound to even reply within any timespan . Hope you agree with me.
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