The State Bank of India (SBI) stressed on Tuesday that its Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA) customers pay no fees for digital transactions, including transactions using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). ) and RuPay debit cards.
India’s largest bank pointed out that it has made all digital transactions free for its customers as of January 1, 2020. In addition, it has also removed the fees on SMS services and minimum balance maintenance for all of its customers. holders of savings bank accounts.
This claim follows Professor Ashish Das, Department of Mathematics, IIT-Bombay, alleging in his technical report that there was a systematic violation of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulations when the Bank imposed fees on BSBDA clients who traded digitally.
Das claimed that unlike any other bank in India, SBI has been charging at the rate of 17.70 for every debit transaction in excess of four per month since June 1, 2017.
The professor claimed that although SBI has stopped billing now, however, from April 2017 to September 2020, it collected over 254 crore for at least 14 UPI / RuPay transactions by charging 17.70 for each of those transactions made. by BSBDA customers under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).
Referring to an opinion of the Central Commission of Direct Taxes (CBDT) of August 30, 2020, asking banks to reimburse the fees collected, if any, from January 1, 2020, on digital transactions and not to impose fees on these future transactions, SBI said it refunded a fee of 90.20 crore to clients recovered from January 1 to September 14, 2020.
“The bank only charges more than four free cash withdrawals on the Business Correspondent (BC) channel, while there is no charge if digital channels are used. The aim is to promote digital transactions towards a “less cash” economy, ”SBI said in a statement.
SBI noted that it introduced fees beyond the first four withdrawals in BSBD accounts in the BC channel as of June 15, 2016, in accordance with RBI guidelines with prior notification to clients.
The Bank observed that a BSBD client would normally not need to make more than four withdrawals per month, and even if necessary, the same could be done from the branch at no cost.
SBI said it has a large BSBD account base of over 16 crore, with Financial Inclusion (FI) customer base of around 14 crore.