Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ICICI Bank - Extra charges for E-Cheque transactions

Effective Aug 24th, 2009, ICICI bank introduced charges for all NEFT (E-Cheque) transcations. Now, the users have to pay Rs.5 + service tax for each transaction. Is this fair or not?

For those who have been using ICICI bank for quite some time, would have understood the policies of ICICI. It is very user friendly, if you have salaried account. But, if you have regular savings account, you would realize the problems with that.

If your account is not a salaried account, you have to pay money for many things. It charges money for the cash transactions. If you don't maintain quarterly minimum balance, you have to pay money for that. If you don't have enough money for few months, and deposit some amount, then they would cut for fines from that amount, and it makes a big difference for small customers. One person I know did not maintain quarterly minimum balance in ICICI for few months, and then deposited Rs.4000 cheque. The bank took the entire amount as fine for not maintaining minimum balance, and that person ended up with zero balance again. Because of guidelines from RBI, it had to cut the charges for drawing from other ATMs. Before that, if anyone withdraws from SBI, they used to cut Rs.60, which was more than any other bank's charges.

ICICI bank was never for business professionals or normal people who do not have buffer money. For the last many years, it was only for the professionals who do not have time, but have money.

Having lot of experience with ICICI, I was not surprised after coming to know that, it is charging money for E-Cheque transactions. I don't blame them for this. If anyone does not like them, they can always switch to some other bank. Unlike the era of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, now we have choice (because of the efforts of P.V.Narasimha Rao and Vajpayee). It does not cost anything to switch to another bank, provided you had good experience with ICICI till now. If you did not have, you should have switched long time back. Choosing a wrong partner and blaming them is not a good thing.

Having said that, I feel, ICICI may be going in wrong direction. It was never for business professionals or common man. Now, it is charging even the professionals also. The moment the professionals feel ICICI is doing too much, it will collapse. For any professional, if their company can transfer salary to any account, it will not take any time for them to switch to another bank. Even if they don't provide facility to transfer to any bank, still, if there is pressure, the company may switch to different bank. If corporate companies stop using ICICI, then I am sure, it would collapse.

I have not checked whether they charge this money for net banking transactions while shopping online, and payments to ICICI credit cards. If they do for both, then I am going to open another account in another bank.

Related Posts
Ankur - ICICI Bank Charges
Balaji - ICICI - Why? What Next?

Update: There is no transaction fee for transfers between different ICICI bank accounts. The transaction fee is applicable for transfers to different banks.


  1. Satish,
    I agree with you word for word. I like this statement of yours: ICICI is for professionals who have money, but no time. So true! Given that ICICI has many rural branches, wonder what their policy is there.
    YOu rightly said, we have many choices, an advantage of free market economy. Hence we need not stick to companies who do not live up to our expectations.
    For me too, the last straw from ICICI will be charging for Bill Pay service, especially if it's for ICICI products and for shopping online.
    Thank you for this post.

    ~ Balaji A
    Blog: www.twitter.com/balaji_a

  2. Yes i agree your statement. Only ICICI bank which makes more Profit out of all Legal options.Even in Investment policies there are many Loop holes in ICICI products which they r hiding.I will never recommend ICICI for any activities.

  3. Most of the companies dont give an option of keeping salary accounts at different banks. I am not sure why it is the case but they might get some benefit out of it. In The company i work they pay salary only through ICICI bank. Probably they might have some tieup with ICICI bank. I feel that ICICI should not charge any thing for money transfers.