The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), reiterated on Tuesday that it does not charge fees for digital transactions for Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts (BSBD). This includes transactions using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and RuPay debit cards.
“The bank only charges more than four free cash withdrawals in the BC channel, while there is no charge if digital channels are used. The goal is to promote digital transactions towards a “less liquid” economy, “the lender said in a statement.
In its statement, the SBI said the Central Council for Direct Taxes on August 30, 2020 advised banks to reimburse fees levied since January 1, 2020 on transactions made using prescribed digital payment methods, including UPI and RuPay debit cards, and not to charge fees on future transactions made through these modes.
As a result, the bank said it reimbursed a fee of Rs 90.20 crore to recovered customers from January 1, 2020 to September 14, 2020.
In addition, he said that the bank is required to pay interchange fees for transactions based on AePS, Card + PIN on Micro ATMs and money transfer transactions at NPCI. The average cost of such transactions amounts to Rs 12.72 which is absorbed by the bank.
“The bank has introduced fees beyond the first four withdrawals from BSBD accounts in the BC channel from June 15, 2016, in accordance with RBI guidelines with prior information to customers. A BSBD client would normally not need to make more than four withdrawals in a month, and even if necessary, the same could be done from the branch at no cost, ”he added.
Earlier in a report prepared by IIT-Mumbai, the bank failed to reimburse Rs 164 crore for unwarranted fees charged by Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) account holders for digital payments in April 2017 and December 2019.
“On the instructions of the government, the SBI returned roughly Rs 90 crore, thus withholding the larger chunk of at least Rs 164 crore with itself,” the report said.
He said that between April 2017 and September 2020, SBI collected over Rs 254 crore for at least 14 UPI / RuPay crores transactions by charging Rs 17.70 per transaction on BSBDA (Savings Bank Deposit Account base) under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).
(Edited by : Jomy Jos Pullokaran)