Investment is a key to secured future. However, not many people are aware of the best avenue to invest in and hence prefer to park their money in savings account. There are many banks and post offices offering savings account online to promote convenient banking experience to customers. The savings account online accrues interest on the deposited funds over time. Also, the interest rate on savings account online tends to be higher because their operating cost here is less than the brick-and-mortar banks. In India, there are many banks and post offices which offer savings account online. To help you choose the best avenue out of the two, here’s a sneak peek into the factors that differentiate normal savings account and post office savings account:-
A regular savings account is an interest-earning deposit account provided at the bank. A post office savings account is similar to the regular savings account which can be opened at the post office. The funds invested in the post office savings account also accumulate interest on all investments made by the account holder. However, there might be a difference in the interest rate that both these avenues offer on deposited funds.
A bank’s savings account earns a moderate interest on your savings. They also limit the number of withdrawals an account holder can make in a month and may even charge a fee for not maintaining minimum Monthly Average Balance (MAB). A post office savings account is therefore free from most all these clauses. It can be opened by depositing a minimum amount of Rs 20/-. However, the cheque facility is available if an account is opened with Rs 500/-. For cheque facility, the minimum balance required to be maintained is Rs 500/- and for non-cheque facility account, the minimum balance required is Rs 50/-.
A post office savings account interest rate is 4% p.a., which is similar to what most banks offer on their savings account. In post office SA, account holders have the right to withdraw the funds either fully or partially, as and when the need may arise. However, in bank savings account, it is easy to transfer funds from one account to the other but some banks impose federal limits on the number and types of withdrawals allowed per statement cycle. You can make as many deposits as you wish, but government restricts certain types of electronic withdrawals (except for ATM withdrawals) and transfers to six per statement cycle.
Both the bank and post office savings accounts are preferred by investors looking for a risk-free investment, however, people in rural and semi-rural areas greatly rely on post office savings account while the investors in metropolitan cities prefer to keep funds in a bank’s savings account.
The process to open the bank and post office savings account is simple and convenient because these accounts do not have any option of a lock-in period for funds. Also, account holders can access banks savings account online with mere simple few clicks and make necessary transaction instantly.
The interest earned on a savings account is taxable as per the account holder’s income tax slab rates. But, the deduction u/s 80TTA is permissible on interest from savings account with a maximum of Rs.10,000/- p.a. Only individual entities and members of Hindu Undivided Families (HUF) are entitled to this deduction. The section 80TTA of the Income Tax Act further states that an interest up to Rs 10,000/- earned from all savings bank account is tax-free. This is applicable to both bank and post-office savings accounts.
So all in all, both the bank and post office savings account are the safest mode of investment. The major difference between the two is that people in rural areas are major beneficiaries of the post office savings account while people in cities rely on a bank’s savings account. Secondly, post office SA does not impose any transaction limit whereas some banks have set the limit of transactions allowed per statement cycle.
A saving account maintained with a bank is the basic banking practice followed by all. Moreover, with the recent launch of Jan Dhan Yojana Scheme incorporated by our honorable Prime Minister, the penetration of savings accounts has reached even to the remotest of villages. A savings account provides us with the day-to-day banking facilities like withdrawing cash when required, depositing any excess money in hand, paying bills, making transactions using a Debit Card which comes with the account, etc. With the increasing consumer awareness, banks have added various new features to their savings account to provide an extra edge to customers. With about 100 or more banks in our country today, you have a wide variety of choices when it comes to choosing the best savings account for your needs.
A large variety of choices also makes us scratch our heads wondering which one would be the best among all and it becomes difficult putting a finger on one specific bank’s savings account. I intend to help all you confused people out there who are not able to make this decision. To choose the best savings account, the following features hold relevance and should be considered.
• Network of branches – the most important guiding factor, when it comes to choosing a back for a savings account, is location of the bank’s branch. Banks in the vicinity of your home or office would be obviously given preference as it eases carrying out banking transactions which require a branch visit.
• Variety – another important criterion is the variety in the types of Savings Accounts offered by the bank. Today, banks offer specialized accounts like salary accounts, premium accounts, women, senior citizens or children oriented accounts, basic accounts and zero balance accounts. You would be benefitted by the account most suitable to you and the choice of the bank also depends on the product variety it offers in terms of saving accounts
• Interest rate – returns are always given the prime position and you would definitely like to earn the highest rate of interest on your savings account. Since RBI has made allowances for flexible interest rates, gone are the days when savings accounts offered a universal rate of 4% per annum. Today, banks offers as high as 6% or 7% rate of interest on their savings account
• Online Banking facilities – this one is gaining importance in the current times when internet has eased the way of life for individuals. Everyone uses the all-too-dependable internet to carry out all their activities and transactions. Banking is no exception to the rule and you should consider the ease of online facilities extended by your bank before choosing it to be the best.
• Fees and charges – though often ignored, you should check the associated charges levied by the bank on its account related transactions and activities. Needless to point out that the bank with the lowest charges is the winner hands down of being the best in its category.
• Minimum balance requirement – most savings accounts require maintenance of a minimum balance in the account monthly or quarterly. If you fail to maintain this balance, you are liable to be penalized. A higher minimum balance requirement is disadvantageous because you lose the returns you would have otherwise earned on investing the minimum balance fund elsewhere. Thus, look for banks which do not have a very high requirement of maintaining the minimum balance in the offered savings account.
If we keep all the above-mentioned points in consideration, IndusInd Bank Savings Accounts qualify in all respects. IndusInd bank has an all-India presence of about 745 branches which solves the branch location problem. There are twelve types of savings accounts designed for different segments of people and each account provides great features and benefits. When we talk about interest rates, 4% is provided in all accounts where the balance is lower than 1 lakhs, 5% for balances between 1-10 lakhs and 6% for balances above 10 lakhs. Thus, individuals have the potential to earn a high rate of interest on their savings account. With internet banking, mobile banking and phone banking facilities, the bank has made banking easier. The minimum balance requirement in the accounts and the fees and charges are also kept low and affordable.
All in all, IndusInd bank does provide some of the best savings accounts and can be chosen for opening a new account.