Saving accounts features
03 Jul 2019
What are the features of a savings account?
A savings account is the first step a person takes toward saving. As the name suggests it is a place where the savings are stored but it is not an investment.
The savings account is the conduit through which investments can be made. But the first step starts from taking the money out of your money box and into a bank.
Why have a savings account?
Rather than keeping money at home in your money box, keeping it in a bank is suitable as it offers interest on the deposit made. This is the main reason why you have a savings account. The interest rate is not high, but it helps in partially softening the blow of inflation. In other words, the money one deposits in the bank are working to give you some return. Not only is the money in the savings account safe and earns interest it has other advantages also.
Features of a savings account
The following are the features of savings account
- First, the money can be withdrawn at any point in time. With ‘Any-Time-Money’ (ATM) counters available across the country, a saving bank account holder who has debit/ ATM card facility can withdraw money from anywhere in the country. This adds a safety element where the depositor need not move around carrying cash in his pocket.
- With e-payment on the increase, the saving bank account helps in regular monthly payments like that of electricity, society maintenance, telephone and mobile bill payment, insurance premium payment among others.
- Salaries can be directly credited to the savings bank account. This helps both the employee as well as the employer. For the employer with a single click of the button, money is transferred to all the employees. For the employee, they are saved the travel to the bank as well as can have the money credited in their account at a faster pace.
- Post-retirement the same savings bank account helps in getting a regular pension.
- Loans that a person takes are generally linked to the savings bank account which is the primary account where his salary is deposited. Direct electronic instructions can be given from the savings bank account or Post Dated Cheques (PDCs) from this account. Savings bank account often eases the process of availing loans.
- Cheque bounce history of the customer’s savings account tells his creditworthiness. A customer with no defaults on loans on his name has a much higher credit rating and finds it easier to get loans.
- Having a savings bank account encourages the habit of saving rather than keeping cash in hand. This discourages impulsive shopping.
- Savings account helps in accessing other financial instruments like online trading, mutual funds investments through direct transfers among others.
- A standing instruction can be given to the bank where if the amount in the Savings Account crosses a particular threshold it will be transferred to any other higher yielding instrument.
- It helps in making travel plans easier by booking tickets as well as hotel bookings through online mode.
- The passbook or electronic statement of the savings bank helps in keeping an automatic tab of where the money came from and where it was spent.
- At the end of the year, it helps in filling your tax returns with the income tax authorities. Since all the transactions are recorded in the bank statement, a salaried employee has the little hassle to file his returns.
Kids Bank Accounts - Features and Benefits
With advancements in banking technology, there are different types of savings accounts that are available to the people. One such type of savings account is a kids bank account. A Kids Bank Account is an account that can be operated by a child below 18 years. The child can thus imbibe a financial savings habit from early on.
Features of a Kids Bank Account
This bank account can be opened for children below 18 years. For children below 10 years, the account can be opened but can’t be operated by the child unless it is jointly operated by the parent or legal guardian. Once the child crosses 10 years, he can manage the account.
The kids bank account becomes inoperative after the child becomes a major. However, banks give the accountholder an option to convert their kids bank account into a regular savings account.
The child gets some of the features provided in a regular Savings Account such as cheque book, pass book and ATM card. However, these come with restrictions.
The kids bank account is linked to the parent or the legal guardian’s account. Each month or at a fixed interval, a sum of money is debited from the linked account to the kids bank account. This way, there is always balance in case the child spends money on the debit card. This linking feature is not available in all Banks.
Each bank has its own limits on the ATM withdrawal allowed and the per day spend allowed in a kids bank account. These safeguards prevent misuse of this account and the possibility that the child will spend more money than a particular limit.
The bank may provide a login Id and a password so that the child can operate internet banking. However, the bank usually gets a signed mandate from the parent or legal guardian before it issues the login ID and password.
These accounts must have a certain minimum account balance. The minimum account balance differs from bank to bank. In case the minimum bank account is not met, the bank charges a penalty.
The bank sends an SMS to the parent or legal guardian every time a transaction is performed in relation to the kids bank account. This helps maintain control.
How to open a savings account for kids
The procedure on how to open a kids bank account is extremely simple. The first step is to find out which bank to open the account with. It is better to open a savings account in a bank in which the parents or the legal guardian have an account. This helps the bank to link the two accounts and to put in a standing instruction to auto debit the parents or guardian’s account for funds (if linking facility is available).
Once the bank is decided, the account can be opened by filling up an account opening form on the bank’s website. Once this form is filled up, someone from the customer care department of the bank will contact you to get documents from you. Some of the documents required are:
KYC documents for parent or legal guardian
KYC documents for child
Passport size photographs of the child
Duly completed application form
In case an online application procedure is not possible, you can visit a branch, fill the form and submit the documents to open a new account.
Benefits of Kids Bank Account
A kids bank account is an excellent way to teach your child fiscal responsibility. Through this bank account, your child can learn how to operate a bank account, especially when the funds are limited.
This account teaches a child the value of budgeting since there is a limit on the transactions that can be done every day. There is also a limit on the funds in the account and a minimum account balance that has to be maintained.
Some Banks provide free insurance for the child on opening the kids bank account
Banks may have auto sweep in facility that converts excess balance into a fixed deposit so that the earnings on the account are maximized.
Kids Bank Account Tax Implications
As per the Income Tax Act, 1961, a child’s income from investments made in his name by parents is clubbed with the parent’s income. Unless the income is from the child’s own skills, in which case it is taxed in the child’s name.
Whatever interest is earned on the savings account balance or the fixed deposit through sweep in, will be clubbed with the parent or the legal guardian’s income. This income is clubbed with the working parent’s income. In case both the parents are working, this income is clubbed with the parent whose income is higher.
However, the Income Tax Act also exempts Rs. 1,500 per child for clubbed income. This provides a little bit of relief from taxation. It is important to consider children’s bank account tax as well before opening the account. However, the benefits of opening an account and teaching your child financial lessons trumps the amount paid in terms of tax on savings bank account interest.
Savings vs Current Accounts the key differences
Opening a bank account is one of the first steps we take towards financial independence. We start with small savings that we deposit each time we come upon extra money by opening a savings account. As our financial requirements change, we find the need to open an additional account, to conduct daily transactions especially business transactions. Such an account is known as a current account. In this article, we shall highlight the major differences between savings and current account and understand the procedure to link your Aadhaar card with either account.
Savings and current accounts – how they differ
Both, savings and current accounts come with their own set of features which makes them different in several ways. Both accounts are meant to address the various financial needs of account holders. Let us look at the significant factors that distinguish the current account and savings account.
The purpose of the accounts: Savings accounts are designed by banks to encourage savings among account holders, whereas the current account is intended for people who need to make frequent transactions especially for business purpose.
The type of account holder: Savings account are best suited for individuals with a steady source of income; salaried employees, for instance. This type of account is an excellent option for anyone with short-term financial goals in which one can keep depositing or withdrawing money as per their requirements. The government encourages everyone to open savings accounts. Current accounts, on the other hand, are best suited for people in business, companies, firms, organisations, public enterprises and so on. They are meant for people who need to carry out repeated money transactions.
The frequency of transactions: Individuals, who have a savings account, are permitted to make a limited number of transactions every month. You typically get 3 to 5 transactions every month, including financial transactions like fund transfers, cash deposits and withdrawals to non-financial transactions such as getting account statements, ordering cheque books etc post which you are charged a certain amount for each transaction. The difference between current account and saving account in this respect is that you can carry out unlimited monthly transactions of all kinds.
Interest: You can earn a quarterly, half-yearly or annual interest of 3.5% to 6% per annum (depending upon your bank and account type) on your savings account. You are also allowed to accumulate an unlimited amount of funds in these accounts. On the other hand, you do not earn any interest on the monies parked in a current account.
Average minimum balance: Each bank asks the account holder to maintain a fixed sum of money or minimum balance into their accounts. One has to pay a penalty for non-maintenance of minimum balance. You are usually required to maintain a low minimum balance in savings account, (which can even be zero in case of a salary/ zero-balance account), whereas as current account holders are required to maintain relatively higher minimum balances.
Now that we have highlighted the main differences between the two accounts let us understand how to link Aadhaar card with bank account (for DBT benefits only). You can visit the bank and follow the below steps
Ask for an Aadhar linking application form at the bank; enter your current/savings account details and Aadhaar Number.
Attach a self-attested photocopy of your Aadhaar card with the application and carry your original Aadhaar card to furnish to the bank for verification purposes.
The bank will accept your request and link your account to Aadhaar.
You will receive an SMS notification from the bank when the Aadhar link to bank account is successfully completed.
You can also link your Aadhaar card to your bank account through internet banking by going on the “My Account” section and entering your Aadhaar card details and verifying using OTP or through your mobile banking app in the same way
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