This Nov 8, it will be one year of demonetization.Last year (Nov 8, 2016) Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned Rs 1000 and old Rs 500 notes with the aim curbing fake currency and black money.
Whether Modi has been successful in his efforts or not, is debatable, but what demonetization exposed was that a large part of India’s 1.2 billion population was unbanked.
A Price Waterhouse Coopers India report found that in 2011, 557 million people were unbanked.
The number decreased to 233 million in 2015, primarily due to the introduction of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.
However, 68 million accounts were added immediately after the announcement of demonetization by November 2016 itself.
With new economic reforms being introduced every now and then, the role of banks as financial institutions can no longer be ignored.
Here are 10 steps to open a bank account in India:
1. Decide what kind of account you need
Most people go for a Savings Account where they can keep their savings and the money will also be readily available for their use in times of need. Generally, Savings Account earns you less interest compared to Recurring Account and Fixed Deposit Account.
2. Keep your check-list ready
Before opening an account with a bank, check whether you will be able to avail the following facilities:
i. a nearby branch where you can make deposits and withdrawals
ii. debit card for making payment against a purchase
iii. cheques to make payments
iv. direct debit that allows bill payments automatically from your account every month
v. direct deposit that automatically gets your pay into your account
vi. internet or mobile banking for cashless, instant and secured transactions
3. Compare banks
Compare service charges and interest rates of available banks before zeroing on one.
4. Choose a bank near you
Always go for a bank which has its branch and ATM machines installed near your residence or office, so that you can have easy access to them.
5. Get an Account Opening Form
Once you finalize the bank, approach an officer of that bank and ask for an Account Opening Form.
6. Fill up the form
Make sure the Account Opening Form is duly filled in all respects. You must provide proper details regarding name, address, occupation and other specifications asked.
You will require to give two-three specimen signatures. If you are opening a joint account, all parties must sign the form. You will also need to attach copies of your latest passport sized photograph for identification.
7. Attach all required documents
The Account Opening Form has to be attached with valid documents like Aadhaar Card, Voter Id Card, Pan Card, and/or electricity bill.
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8. Give references
You will need references of one or more existing account holders of that bank to open your account. The introducer(s) will refer you by signing in the column meant for the purpose.
9. Bank to verify your form
A representative of the bank will verify your Account Opening Form and the documents you submitted with it.
10. Get started by depositing the minimum amount
Once your proposal form is verified and cleared, deposit the minimum amount in your newly opened account and get started.
The bank will provide you a passbook, a cheque book and a pay-in slip book in the case of Savings Account. Fixed deposit receipt is issued in case of Fixed Deposit Account. You will get a cheque book and a pay-in slip book for Current Account. For Recurring Account, you will be issued a passbook and a pay-in slip book.
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Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.