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Do you know the charges for digital payments?

While a lot of us have moved to electronic payments, not many are aware of the costs are attached with it. Various fees and charges are attached with these.

, ET Online|
Updated: Nov 26, 2018, 04.18 PM IST
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Do you know the real cost of digital transactions?
Mobile wallets gained traction during demonetisation allowing you to pay using your smartphone through an app.
Many of us have moved to electronic payments after November 2016, however, not all of us are aware of the costs that are attached with them.

Read on to find out about the various fees and charges of different types of electronic payment modes:

National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT)
NEFT is a payment system facilitating funds transfers from one bank account to another. One can access this service either by using Internet banking or by visiting the bank branch. (Not all bank branches are enabled with this service.)

Once you initiate the transfer, the money reaches the beneficiary account within hours. There is no limit on the minimum or maximum amount you can transfer, however, individual banks may put restrictions on the per transaction amount.

Here is a look at transferring funds using NEFT.

NEFT charges of the State Bank of India (SBI) are as follows:
Amount Internet banking charges Transaction charges at bank branch
Up to Rs 10,000 Rs 1 plus GST Rs 2.50 plus GST
Above Rs 10,000 and up to Rs 1 lakh Rs 2 plus GST Rs 5 plus GST
Above Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh Rs 3 plus GST Rs 15 plus GST
More than Rs 2 lakh Rs 5 plus GST Rs 25 plus GST

ICICI Bank levies the following charges:
Amount Transaction charges
Up to Rs. 10,000 Rs 2.50 plus GST
Above Rs 10,000 and up to Rs 1 lakh Rs 5 plus GST
Above Rs 1 lakh and up to Rs 2 lakh Rs 15 plus GST
Above Rs 2 lakh and up to Rs 10 lakh Rs 25 plus GST

The above charges are applicable as per transaction basis and attracts Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the rate of 18 per cent. Further, this facility is not available 24X7you can transfer money between 8AM and 7PM and only on working days.

Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)
This is a facility used for transferring high value amounts. In RTGS, the minimum amount that can be transferred is Rs 2 lakh. You can only transfer funds using RTGS on any working day between Monday and Saturday either via internet banking or bank branch.

Below are SBI's RTGS charges:
Amount Internet banking charges Transaction charges at bank branch
From Rs 2 lakh and up to Rs 5 lakh Rs 5 plus GST Rs 25 plus GST
Above Rs 5 lakh Rs 10 plus GST Rs 50 plus GST

Below are ICICI Bank's charges:
Amount Transaction charges
From Rs 2 lakh and up to Rs 5 lakh Rs 25 plus GST
From Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh Rs 50 plus GST

Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)
This facility allows the customer to transfer funds on a 24x7 basis and 365 days of the year. However, the maximum amount that be transferred is Rs 2 lakh. This facility is available only via Internet banking.

Charges of SBI are as follows:
Amount Charges
Up to Rs 1000 No Charges
Above Rs 1,000 and up to Rs 10,000 Rs 1 plus GST
Above Rs 10,000 and up to Rs 1 lakh Rs 2 plus GST
Above Rs 1 lakh and up to Rs 2 lakh Rs 3 plus GST

Charges of ICICI Bank are as follows:
Amount Charges
Up to Rs 1 lakh Rs 5 plus GST
Above Rs 1 lakh and up to Rs 2 lakh Rs 15 plus GST

Credit cards/Debit cards
On a debit card, there are usually two types of charges. One is the annual fees that a bank charges for issuing the card to the customer. Two, is the convenience fees that is charged at the merchant outlets for swiping the card at a point-of-sale terminal.

A customer is entitled to eight free monthly transactions at an ATM (five at his home bank ATMs and three at non- home bank ATMs) in a metro city. Thereafter for every transaction, a bank charges Rs 20 per financial transaction and Rs 8.5 for non-financial transactions.

Also Read: RBI rationalises MDR charges. How much you will save?

Credit cards come with higher fees and more limits compared to a debit card. Credit cards come with annual fees, renewal fees and convenience fees. Apart from that, if a person misses the due date to make a payment, then interest is payable on the outstanding balance at a rate which varies from bank to bank.

Cash withdrawals from ATMs using credit card is expensive. According to HDFC Bank's website, transaction fees of 2.5 per cent, minimum being Rs 500 (except on Infinia credit cards), would be levied on the amount withdrawn and added to your card bill.

Mobile wallets
Mobile wallets allow you to pay using your smartphone through an app. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently issued operational guidelines for facilitating money transfers between different e-wallets. However, mobile wallet companies are yet to let consumers know how these transfers will work.

There are no charges while making payments or adding cash into wallets. But did you know that there are certain charges when money is transferred to your bank account from your mobile wallet?

For instance, Paytm charges a flat 4 per cent for transferring money from your wallet to any bank account. Similarly, Mobikwik charges 2.95 per cent of the transfer amount as per the charges mentioned on the website.

Payments bank
Unlike the usual bank, a payments bank offers limited services to its customers which are as per RBI guidelines. Airtel Payments Bank, Paytm Payments Bank, India Post Payments Bank are some examples.

They offer services like accepting deposits up to Rs 1 lakh per individual customer and issuance of ATM/debit cards (not credit cards) but do not offer loans. On a savings account, Airtel Payments Bank is offering interest of 5.5 per cent per annum, whereas Paytm Payments Bank offers 4 per cent a year.

Although there are no charges for opening an account and depositing money, as per the Airtel Payments Bank app, there is a fee on cash withdrawal of 0.65 per cent of the amount.

Here is a look at the various charges on transactions.
Transfer of funds within Airtel Payments Bank using internet banking, mobile app & USSD No charges
Within Airtel Payments Bank from banking point 0.5% of the amount transferred
From Airtel Payments bank to another bank (Internet banking, mobile app & USSD) 0.5% of the amount transferred
From Airtel Payments bank to another from a banking point for amounts from Rs 10 up to Rs 1,000. Rs 10
From Airtel Payments bank to another bank from a banking point for amounts above Rs 1,000 1% of the amount transferred
Banking point refers to the business correspondence agents where a customer can avail banking services.

Adding money to your Paytm Payments bank account from another account is free of cost. Transferring money from your Paytm Payments Bank account to any other bank account via NEFT/RTGS/IMPS is free of cost, as per the customer service executive of the bank.

Paytm Payments Bank comes with a Rupay debit card and cheque book. While the digital debit card is free of cost, issuance of physical one will be cost you Rs 125. The annual subscription will be Rs 100 thereafter. Replacing a lost card will cost Rs 125. Fees for withdrawing money via ATM are similar to a normal bank account.

Issuance of a 10-leaf cheque book will currently cost you Rs 100. With effect from December 15, 2018, you will have to shell out Rs 50 extra, i.e., Rs 150 for the issuance of cheque book.

Unified Payments Interface (UPI)
UPI is an instant payments facility launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It allows the user to send and receive money using a virtual payment address (VPA) without entering additional banking information. Each bank provides its own UPI app. Even the government has its own app called BHIM. To enable the UPI transfer, your mobile number must be registered with the bank account.

As per Cashlessindia.gov.in, a website managed by the government to educate people about digital transactions, there is no charge for making payments using the UPI facility. However, if a payment is made from UPI to say a bank account using IMPS, NEFT or RTGS, then a bank may charge you for it. Get in touch with the bank to know if they are charging for transferring money by using the UPI platform. One can transfer up to Rs 1 lakh per UPI transaction.

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)/*99#
This is another facility offered by NPCI. It is a mobile based banking service that can be accessed by any mobile phone user. You can use this service in areas with zero internet connectivity as well. One can avail this facility by dialling *99# on their phone. A customer has to dial *99# and choose the service based on his requirement. The services offered include interbank accounts fund transfer, balance enquiry etc., as per Cashless India website.

A nominal charge of Rs 0.50 per transaction is charged by the mobile operator. There are no charges on the transfer of funds. However, the maximum limit on fund transfer per customer is Rs 5,000 a day and up to Rs 50,000 per annum.

Aadhaar Pay
Aadhaar Pay offers services such as balance enquiry, cash withdrawal, cash deposit, payment transactions, and Aadhaar to Aadhaar funds transfer. However, post the Supreme Court judgement on Aadhaar, it is not clear whether who can and cannot avail this service.

These transactions can be done at PoS and Micro ATMs through a business correspondent or bank mitra by using Aadhaar authentication facility. To avail this service your Aadhaar number must be linked to your bank account.

As per Cashless India website, banks are allowed to define the maximum limit by themselves for transactions. ICICI Bank has set the limit of Rs 2,000 per transaction by using Aadhaar Pay, as per its website. According to Cashless India website, there are no transaction costs for the customers.

What you should do
Yes, digital payments are convenient and are gaining traction and although the fees may not seem like too much, over a period of time they can eat into your overall account balance. So, it is always a good thing to know cost of the service that you are using, plan your method of making payments in the cost-effective manner. Read the terms and conditions carefully to avoid any surprises in the future.

*NEFT, RTGS and IMPS charges are taken from customer care centres of the respective banks. However, charges mentioned on SBI website for RTGS and NEFT through internet banking varies with respect to charges told by customer care.
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