Piggy banks are passe. The traditional coin container that children used to keep their wealth has lost its relevance, with banks opening accounts for children.
Banks are catching them young, literally, say industry officials. In fact, these days, banks are not even sparing new-born. Just-born kids are account holders in many banks.
State Bank of India (SBI), for instance, has many new-borns as account holders. Kotak Mahindra Bank, on the other hand, has a 12-day boy as their youngest account holder. SBI is conducting classes in schools asking children to move their piggy banks from the home to banks. Banks will help the piggy bank balances to grow by paying an interest 4.5%, same as saving bank accounts on them.
Ever since Reserve Bank of India (RBI) permitted children of 10 years and above to sign uniformly to start their own savings bank account banks.
Most banks such as SBI, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank have launched their individual children plans.
SBI has begun imparting a few lessons in personal savings. They are conducting classes for on banking for school children, teaching the young students on banking and on the need for savings. A senior SBI official told dna, We are getting a good response both from the urban areas and the response from rural areas is also encouraging.
SBI has two kinds of accounts which has a specialised account for kids who are even just born called the Pehla Kadam which is opened with the guardian when the kid is just born. Pehli Udaan is where 10 years who can sign uniformly are given an account of their own along with a debit card facility. Children have an ATM limit of Rs 5,000 and mobile banking limit of Rs 200.
Banks are also bundling insurance products with these accounts. For example, SBI has a child account with an insurance support, and planing for higher studies with sum assured of Rs 20 lakh. Launched in many schools, students are handed over account kits. Students were also handed over account kits containing their personalised debit cards, passbooks, cheque books, among others.
Kotak Mahindra Bank was one among the early launchers with the bank having special children account over a year back.
Sumit Bali, executive vice-president, Kotak Mahindra Bank, said, We are getting an encouraging response with the bank adding 35,000 accounts a month. These accounts come with recurring deposits and systematic investment plan facility. All our account holders are given a ID card and a debit card. The recurring deposits are for 36 months with an interest rate of 8.5%
HDFC Bank offers advantage account for kids 7 to 18 years of age with ATM offerings but only with permission of parent or guardian. The ATM withdrawal limit is Rs 2,500 and daily shopping limit is Rs 10,000. The account comes with free education insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh in the event of the death of the parent or guardian through vehicular accident by road, rail or air to safeguard the future of the child. Once the balance in the kids advantage account reaches Rs 35,000 the amount in excess of Rs 25,000 will automatically be transferred to a fixed deposit if money maximiser (sweep out) facility has been opted for by the account holder.
ICICI Bank also recently launched an account for children called Smart Star to be operated by minors over 10 years of age. Account holders will get a personalised cheque book and a debit card with a picture of their choice with access to banking channels such as ATM, mobile and internet banking.