SBI slaps Rs25 levy on e-wallet ATM withdrawal, hikes service charges

State Bank of India (SBI), which has grown fatter from acquisition of its subsidiaries, on Thursday said it would charge customers Rs25 on every ATM withdrawal, only to clarify later that the Rs25 charge applies only to its Buddy e-wallet customers.

SBI will also introduce a new facility that would enable withdrawal of cash through ATMs using the bank's mobile wallet, but the bank would charge Rs25 on each such cash withdrawal.

SBI also withdrew an earlier notice to customers announcing a fresh Rs25 charge on all ATM cash withdrawals and clarified that there will be no change in ATM charges, which will continue as earlier.

"The service charge on cash withdrawal from ATMs has not been changed for normal savings accounts," a PTI report quoted SBI MD (national banking) Rajnish Kumar as saying.

The limit of four ATM withdrawals in a month only applies to the 'basic savings banks deposit account,' he clarified.

All normal savings bank accounts will continue to get eight free ATM transactions (five SBI ATMs + three other bank ATMs) in metros and 10 free transactions in non-metro (five SBI ATM + five other bank ATMs), apart from the bank transaction.

"If a customer has money in SBI Buddy, our mobile wallet, he can now withdraw that money through ATMs. Also, now customer can deposit cash or withdraw cash through business correspondent (BC) from or into our mobile wallet. These facilities were not available earlier," Kumar added.

SBI would also charge 0.25 per cent (a minimum of Rs2 and a maximum of Rs8) plus service tax on all cash deposits of up to Rs1,000 into its mobile wallet through business correspondents.

For cash withdrawal of up to Rs2,000 from SBI Buddy through business correspondents, the service charges will be 2.50 per cent of the transaction value (minimum of Rs6) in addition to service tax.

The state-run lender, sitting on the largest pile of non-performing assets among all Indian banks, is looking at new levies on customers to make up for its squeezed lending portfolio.

SBI also revised service charges for basic savings bank deposit accounts for issue of cheque book, ATM cards and withdrawals.

Issue of a 10-leaf cheque book will now cost Rs30 plus service tax, a 25-leaf book Rs75 plus service tax and a 50-leaf book Rs150 plus service tax. Only RuPay classic card will be issued free of cost.

The revised guidelines allow four withdrawals in a month, including ATM withdrawals, free of charge. Beyond this, service charges applicable will be Rs50 plus service tax per transaction at the branch, Rs20 plus service tax at other bank ATMs and Rs10 plus service tax at SBI ATMs.

IMPS fund transfer charges through internet banking / UPI / USSD will be Rs5 plus service tax for amounts of up to Rs1 lakh, Rs15 plus service tax for above Rs1 lakh and up to Rs2 lakh and Rs25 plus service tax for above Rs2 lakh and up to Rs5 lakh.

Besides, the bank levies a service charge of 3 per cent plus service tax using immediate payment service (IMPS) for fund transfer through SBI Buddy to bank account.

There will also be no service charge for exchange of soiled / imperfect notes of up to 20 pieces and value of Rs5,000.

More than 20 pieces will invite Rs2 per piece on the entire tender, plus service tax. For value above Rs5,000, Rs2 per piece or Rs5 per Rs1,000 plus service tax, whichever is higher on the entire tender, will be levied.

The new levies will be effective from 1 June 2017, the report added.

SBI had in March announced new levies on non-maintenance of minimum balance, ATM and cash-handling.

ATM charges beyond the mandatory limit will be double - rising from Rs5 to Rs10. This, however, is still lower than other banks' ATM charge of Rs20 per transaction.

If the monthly average balance falls below Rs5,000 in savings accounts in metros, a levy of Rs100 plus service charge will be applicable. It seems the bank has taken off all zero and low-balance accounts.

In the case of debit cards, the charges will be Rs30 per quarter, where the average balance is less than Rs15, 000. The SBI group has about 220 million debit cards.