Some private banks, including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, from 1 March have begun levying a minimum charge of Rs 150 per transaction for cash deposits and withdrawals beyond four free transactions in a month, especially at non-home branches.
It could not be ascertained whether the public sector banks have also begun imposing such charges.
Effective from Wednesday, the charges will apply to savings as well as salary accounts, HDFC Bank said in a statement. The bank would also cap third party cash transactions at Rs 25,000 per day, while cash handling charges would be withdrawn effective today, the statement added.
For several banks, including ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, these charges came into effect in early January and are the same as they were before demonetization was announced on 8 November, while there is an increase in such fees in case of some others, including HDFC Bank, today onwards.
These charges are for cash transactions in the branches, and not through ATMs.
The new measure was seen in some quarters as aimed at discouraging cash transactions and furthering the digital payment drive.
For the basic no-frills accounts, maximum four cash withdrawals would continue to remain free and there would be no fees for cash deposits.
For ICICI bank account holders
According to details on ICICI Bank website, there will be no charge for first four transactions a month at branches in the home branch, while Rs 5 per thousand rupees would be charged thereafter subject to a minimum of Rs 150 in the same month. The third party limit would be Rs 50,000 per day.
For non-home branches, ICICI Bank would not charge anything for the first cash withdrawal of a calendar month and Rs 5 per thousand rupees thereafter subject to a minimum of Rs 150.
For cash deposit anywhere, ICICI Bank would charge Rs 5 per thousand rupees (subject to a minimum of 150) at branches, while deposit at Cash Acceptance Machine would be free of charge for the first cash deposit of a calendar month and Rs 5 per thousand thereafter.
ATM interchange charges have also been re-introduced.
For Axis bank account holders
At Axis Bank, the first five transactions or Rs 10 lakh of cash deposits or withdrawals would be free and charged at Rs 5 per thousand rupees or Rs 150, whichever is higher.
When contacted, a senior official said there has been no directive from the government to the banks regarding levy of such charges.
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