A Step by Step Guide to Bank Account Opening in India
India’s banking system has undergone considerable change in recent years. The banking network and its operations have become more inclusive, more comprehensive and more effective. While the RBI is the supreme banking authority, issuing significant economic and financial policies, consumers are served by several private sectors and public-sector banks. It is a step-by-step guide to opening a Bank Account in India.
In major cities, you will quickly find HSBC and Citibank branches and ATMs that accept international cards. But you will pay a specific amount to make withdrawals, except if your home branch has branches in India.
Foreign visitors are permitted to open NON-Resident Ordinary accounts to fund their local expenses during their country stay. Only banks authorised in dealing with the foreign exchange may open the account.
In the form of current, savings, recurring or fixed deposit accounts, non-resident ordinary (NRO) accounts may be opened. It is important to note, however, that the interest rate applicable to these accounts and the guidelines for opening, operating and maintaining those accounts are in line with the directives issued by Reserve Bank of India, also known as the Department of Banking Operations and Development (DBOD). Let’s begin this guide to Bank Account opening in India.
Corporate Bank Account
All legitimate companies working in India must open a corporate bank account, which also extends to sole proprietorships. Investors intending to establish a company in India will have to provide the following details and documents:
- the certificate of incorporation
- the articles of association and memorandum;
- resolution of the company’s board of directors for opening a corporate bank account;
- the power attorney, stating the persons who can act in the name of the company for this procedure;
- a copy of the Permanent Account Number (PAN);
- information on the place of business;
- a copy of the telephone bills.
Other Documents Necessary for an India Company Bank Account
The requirements for opening a corporate bank account may vary depending on the Indian registered legal entity. In the case of a sole proprietorship, the founder of the company must provide a statement issued by the bank where his or her individual/savings current account is established. Those who wish to open a company in India as a limited liability partnership, the investors should provide a list of the representatives of the company. The latter owns more than 25% of the company’s shares, besides the documents mentioned above.
Am I Allowed to Start to Open a Bank Account as a Non-resident?
You are allowed but difficult. Non-resident accounts are only accessible to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs). If you are not included in these categories, you’ll be obliged to live in India before you can open an account. You can begin with a ‘small’ account and build more in the future.
There Are Three Types of Bank Accounts You Can Open as an NRI, PIO or OCI
- a Non-Resident External Account (NRE)
- a Non-Resident Ordinary Account (NRO)
- a Foreign Currency Non-Resident Account (FCNR)
Non-Resident External Account (NRE)
It is a standard Indian rupee bank account. Deposits and withdrawals from the account can be made freely, including international transfers. It makes it ideal if you are looking for a place to keep your money safe during a short stay, without losing access to it. Many accounts also come with an Indian debit card that you can use to make payments for ATM withdrawals. And if your account acquires the interest, this will be free from Indian tax.
Non-Resident Ordinary Account (NRO)
Unlike non-resident international deposits, this kind of account is often a typical Indian Rupees bank account. There are also a variety of significant variations.
An NRO is less versatile than an NRE and more suited for more extended stays. There are limits to how much money out of that account you can transfer back to your home country. Also, you’ll need an accountant to do your paperwork. More importantly, if you earn any type of income in India, you’ll need to deposit it here. The Government of India taxes any interest. An NRO can only be opened for up to six months.
Foreign Currency Non-Resident Account (FCNR)
This type of account can only be opened in a foreign currency, so if you are looking for an Indian account to use during your stay, it is not particularly useful. Unlike a conventional bank account, an FCNR is a daily interest-bearing fixed deposit. It makes it more tailored to your everyday needs as savings, rather than as a working account. Your account must stay open for at least one year, but not more than five years.
The Indian rupee used in India is categorised into 100 units called paisa. Banknotes are accessible in the following denominations: 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 2000 Indian rupees. Earlier 1000 rupees were in dissemination, but after the demonetisation drive, 1000 rupees notes are out of circulation. In August 2017, one euro was equal to INR 74.97 while a US dollar was equal to INR 63.68.
Banks in India
India has a sizable and robust banking system. But the six biggest banks are State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI BANK, Punjab National Bank, Axis Bank and Canara Bank. These banks give fairly basic products and have covered for further growth in services.
To open for a bank account in India, you will have to provide the following documents:
- Copy of your visa and residential permit
- Proof of identity(passport)
- Passport-size photos
- Proof of address (utility bills)
- Your PAN number (income tax card)
- Reference letter
If you are working with an Indian company, then the employer will generally take care of all the administrative formalities. You can opt to open a bank account with one of the banking partners in the company.
It is advisable to check and compare the services offered by various banks, such as the minimum deposit required, and the charges and interest rates. You can contact banks by phone, email or you can walk into your nearest branch.
In general, banks assign a representative to the home or workplace of a new account holder with a request form to obtain the paperwork needed. The representative will direct you as you fill out the application. Note that for the account to be active, it takes a day or two, after which an ATM card and PIN code are provided.
There are strict procedures when it comes to identification. You should ensure proper handling of all documents acting as proof of identity. Even the signature on your passport has to match precisely the same. Also, cash deposits are strictly regulated too. It is easier to make the first deposit with the aid of a friend or on-the-spot contact with a cheque.
You can get a cheque book along with the debit card after you have opened your bank account. Use the cheques with care, as penalties can relate to any anomalies and bounced cheques.
You can refer to your chosen bank in case of doubt, as the procedures and conditions may vary from bank to bank.
Internet banking and transactions online are becoming very common in India. Many banks provide internet banking services, so make sure you register for this option and experience quicker transfers with the banking.
In general, Indian banks are available from 9 am to 4.30 pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday. Some international banks are available till late on weekdays.
Let 3E Accounting Help You to Open Your Bank Account in India
It is a comprehensive guide to Bank Account Opening in India. This guide is intended to assist foreigners who require assistance to open a bank account in India. 3E Accounting is here to help you. Contact us today.