By Surya Narayan Pradhan
Bhubaneswar: At a time when prices of food items and manufactured goods are in no mood to calm down in India, bank transaction limits imposed by the Government of India due to Demonetisation has affected the children badly.
To fulfil their wishes to buy new clothes, a pair of shoes or dine out with friends, a child asking parents for some money gets discouraged as the Demonetisation is already taking toll on the family. In this scenario, holding a bank account with some balance can ensure a smile on the face of a child who can get the things he/she wants without putting much pressure on parents.
Banker Ramesh Chandra Khadanga said, “Besides, a kind of responsibility can be developed in a minor when he/she holds a bank account in his/her name. Understanding the value of money and judicious cash utilisation habit can be incorporated in a 10-11 year old with the advice by parents or elders to save a portion of pocket money in a bank account and spend as and when he/she feels to do so.”
Khadanga added, “Therefore, to serve below 18-years-old of the country and instil savings mentality in them, banks are targeting minors as a separate customer segment and launching special plans for them. It seems to be a ‘catch them young’ plan for banks looking at the customised minor savings accounts.”
Minors can open a savings account under the ‘Pehla Kadam’ and ‘Pehli Udaan’ schemes of the State-run State Bank of India (SBI) which is one of the frontrunners to serve the minors of the country. While a child below 10 years old can have a joint account with parents under the ‘Pehla Kadam’, a minor above 10 years and can sign uniformly and hold an independent bank account under the ‘Pehli Udaan’.
Khadanga further stated, “Most importantly the photo-embossed ATM-cum-debit card provided by the bank to an account holder of a minor will give a sense of pride and responsibility. Undoubtedly, they will be the happiest one after swiping their own debit card to pay against shopping bills during a point of sale (POS) transaction up to Rs 5,000 in a month.”
“As the internet banking and mobile banking facilities and passbook with favourite comic characters printed on it are provided by the SBI to a minor account holder under both the schemes, a child gets unlimited joy and pride of having a bank account of his/her own,” he pointed out.
Besides, cheque book and standing instruction for money transfer facilities are given by the nationalised bank, he added.