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Charges for ATM cash withdrawal, not keeping saving account minimum balance waived for 3 months

Banks have revised branch timings and are requesting customers to use mobile/net banking.

ET Online|
Last Updated: Mar 25, 2020, 01.31 PM IST
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Charges for cash withdrawal from other bank ATMs and penalties for non-maintenance of minimum balance amount in bank savings accounts have been waived for 3 months. This was announced by the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a media press briefing to address concerns regarding the impact of the coronavirus on the economy. The FM stated that these measures have been taken to ensure that individuals do not visit bank branches.

Due to the spread of Covid-19, banks are offering only essential services namely cash deposit and withdrawal, cheque clearing, remittances and government transactions from March 23, 2020. And since Monday, various banks have announced revision in their branches timings, and waiver of charges on digital transactions. For instance, Axis Bank, in a bid to fight, against the pandemic has offered complete waiver of charges till March 31, 2020. Bank of Baroda, via newspaper advertisements, have also been stating reduction of charges for online payments.

Ravi B. Goyal, Chairman & MD, AGS Transact Technologies Ltd.’s says, "Announcement by Hon’ble Finance Minister to remove charges on cash withdrawals from any ATM for the next three months comes as a relief to the customers in current situation of restricted movements."

Some like HDFC Bank, Federal Bank, Yes Bank, and HSBC have revised working hours from 10 am to 2 pm.

Recently, State Bank of India has completely waived off the requirement of holding average monthly balance for savings account. Earlier, SBI savings bank account customers had to maintain an average monthly balance of Rs 3,000 in metro, Rs 2,000 in Semi urban and Rs 1,000 in rural areas. Further, the bank used to levy a penalty of Rs 5 to Rs 15 + taxes on non-maintenance of average monthly balance as stated above.

ATM transactions rules
At present, this is what the Reserve Bank of India says about minimum number of free transactions at ATMs:
  • Transactions at a bank’s own ATM (On-Us transactions) at any location: Banks should offer their savings bank account holders a minimum of five free financial transactions in a month, irrespective of the location of ATMs. Any number of non-cash withdrawal transactions will be provided free.
  • Transactions at any other banks’ ATM (Off-Us transactions) at Metro locations: In case of ATMs located in six metro locations, viz. Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi, banks shall offer their savings bank account holders a minimum of three free transactions (including financial and non-financial transactions) in a month.
  • Transactions at any other banks’ ATM (Off-Us transactions) at non-Metro locations: At any location, other than the six metro locations as above, banks must offer its savings bank account holders a minimum of five free transactions (including financial and non-financial transactions) at other bank ATMs in a month.
  • Any transaction exceeding this limit will be chargeable. As per RBI guidelines, these charges cannot exceed a maximum of Rs. 20 per transaction (plus applicable taxes, if any) by the bank.
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