Selecting a bank account and advantages /disadvantages of the same

@minabell ICICI is perhaps the best bank for digital and mobile banking services. I have a friend in one of the top security firms, and he says their security is top notch.
@minabell Yes. I have noticed the smaller banks have much efficient internet systems, probably because of the size of the banks. While I have not faced a lot of issues with Kotak 811, I have faced some with HDFC / Icici. RBL has been pretty decent for me NGL.
@cn17 Actually that's not the case with every small bank. If you look at banks like Equitas, it's terrible. btw how's your experience with RBL as a whole?
@minabell I have absolute no- complaints. I have the bank account for 6 years and i rarely have had an issue with it. It also acts as my primary account and so I use very frequently. Even the customer care has been decent when I have had an issue. Also I don't think I have any aggressive advertising calls for insurance and stuff from them.
@cn17 RBL is also not reliable, once an issue happens it can take weeks to rectify small fault of there's.

IDFC bank has improved a lot with new portal, wouldn't say it's intuitive, but better than HDFC.

HDFC Bank is complete no for personnel banking needs as per my exp.
@cn17 My anecdotal thoughts on some of the banks:
  • Kotak 811 - Recently converted my account to 811. This is perhaps the only proper savings account with zero MAB. Coupled with virtual card, this is the best secondary SB. The only, but major, issue is that it is practically impossible to reach to 811 customer care team. They say call on 811-specific number, but that always takes you to normal banking team... and they say only 811 customer team can solve my issue.
  • IDFC First - I opted for two reasons - 6% interest rate and it had 3-in-1 account with Zerodha. I thought, even when 6% thing goes away, I can at least leverage the 3-in-1 part. While Zerodha-IDFC 3-in-1 account seems more like a gimmick when one observe the features (read limitations), the overall experience with IDFC First Bank has been very smooth. Customer care is great and actually gives intelligent answers, as opposed to reading from script. I'll enjoy it while it lasts (all good things do come to an end, and I guess that change as they grow. I hope not!). So, I came for the specific features, but I stayed for the customer service. While there are not many features yet, I like their net banking and mobile banking. Intuitive and it just works like a charm!
  • SBI - I needed at least one public sector bank. I'm also partial to NOT go to branches for every thing and wanted a good online setup. SBI seemed like only option. It being D-SIB is added advantage. But customer care at bank branch is horrendous. For 5 minutes work, I've routinely wasted 2-3 hours at their branch while they doing anything but work. Left a bad taste and felt like this was a mistake, but don't care after I've setup the online access. Their Net Banking and mobile banking are largely good, BUT there's WAY too many security hoops to jump through to get even the basic thing done. If I get pissed off for doing 2FA and entering 8-digit OTPs at every step, I wonder how less tech savvy people handle their account online. To move people online, they need to make it simple to use. I would like SBI's online portal and mobile banking as streamlined and intuitive as that of IDFC First Bank
I own 4 bank accounts:
  1. CITIBANK - For salary. Nothing else (except CC). I've connected nothing with this account so that it can be disposed off if my next company don't give me salary in Citibank. Well, it is a moot point now since they are planning to sell their retail operations
  2. SBI - for investments like PPF, NPS... and other government offered investment instruments if and when I need it in future. I wish their services were good, robust, and customer-friendly... I would've selected it as my main investment purpose account. I could've done away with IDFC
  3. IDFC - For investment (through Zerodha) and keeping emergency/opportunity funds. I'm mentally debating whether I should the emergency fund to SBI, or keep it here. My SIPs are through here. I consider this central and main account.
  4. Kotak 811 - For expenses. I've setup my NACH for credit card payment (automated); planning to do the same for insurance and other almost-perpetual and periodic payment.
Money moves from CITIBANK -> IDFC First on monthly basis i.e. equal to my SIPs for MFs and NPS (automated). Rest goes to Kotak for expenses (not automated).
@premier3092 Hi, I started working recently and right now I'm spending directly from my salary account. Is it not advisable? I have linked it to Paytm, Phonepe and BHIM app as well
@chiril If your salary is not much one bank account should suffice. But you should work on getting another bank account in future and ensure atleast one of the account you hold belongs to Too big to Fail list!
@chiril I, personally, avoid any dependency on my salary account. Job can change, and so can the salary account based on what they favor. If converting salary account -> saving account is not favorable (like in case of Citi), then one would have to set things up again.

Just my personal preference to avoid it.
@premier3092 Any specific reason of not using salary account for expenses and instead having a completely dedicated account for expenses?

I was myself doing this until last month, having a dedicated account just for expenses was a mess for me and created unnecessary tracking of debit card, UPI, netbanking, phonebanking, charges etc so I closed it and now use salary account for expenses.
@resjudicata On the contrary, it is easy for me to have one inlet for income and other outlet for expenses. I've connected everything (credit cards, phone wallet, cash withdrawal (rare)) through Kotak. Since I majorly use phone wallet and credit cards for almost expenses, there's only limited sources I need to look and review.

I don't use phonebanking, debit cards, etc. for expenses. Just use mobile apps to move money around once a month.

Mentioned somewhere else about keeping salary and expense account different (from your other reply, it seems you found it)
@premier3092 How is IDFC customer care compared to Citibank customer care? Citibank has a useful 24x7 helpline. Does IDFC have a good 24x7 helpline?

I think you'd have never had to visit your Citibank branch. Have you ever had to visit an IDFC branch for any purpose?
@cn17 The thing with HDFC and ICICI is if you are a preferred customer with high Bank Balance, the customer care experience for you will be completely different. Different phone support, email. Door step banking service.

Digi Bank (DBS), Niyo Bank and the likes are the worst in terms of support they are not present online nor offline. You can google their reviews. These are more like payments bank with poor support.

IDFC tried to provide good service but not sure if it will be sustainable in the long run. Their backend team is really slow to actually fix your issues.
@1008 A bit late to the party, but here it goes:

I got my bank account with ICICI along with my first job. For the first few years, the service was only slightly better than the SBH (SBI now) account I had during college. Took a long time to resolve my issues etc. requiring multiple calls/visits.

But when my salary increased they converted it into a Privilege account, I got an RM assigned to me, and that helped me a lot. Instead of holding on the line for their Customer Care execs to respond, I can just WhatsApp him and get issues resolved much faster. If I have a bigger issue, I just make an informal appointment for a call with him and he arranges for connections to other depts - CC/forex/anything else and personally follows up on my issues. Have seen a stark difference in issue resolution times.

PS. Not sure what the difference between a regular & a privilege account is other than an RM, looks like they are giving it to almost everyone now.
@cn17 Average Indian experience :

SBI : Created by parents for my college purpose . Robust Yono app and Internet banking. You will get sms , pop up when there is a planned maintenance. Luckily never had to reach out to customer service. I just love their CDM network so never have to step into the bank as well .
Sbi account is recommended

HDFC: Popular Salary account for average Indian. Netbanking is unreliable and customer support is dumb , Cut calls during conversations. Basically legacy bank with good credit cards
You won't get sms , popup for maintenance . There is no CDM for hdfc .
Hdfc is recommended only for their credit cards

Kotak 811: My first digital account . Zero balance no nonsense functional app. This has never let me down. Since this is 811 account, I dont deposit hard cash but just transfer money via above mentioned accounts in and out via upi, imps. Super smooth. No charges . Never had to deal with customer care.
Kotak 811 is recommended for their solid digital zero balance account.

Icici: I don't have account. But u have couple of their credit cards which made me decide never have an account with icici. I applied for Ecommerce partnership credit card thrice across 6 months cuz icici lost my application every time . Somehow by God's grace received on fourth application . Then chased icici again for another credit card and again application is not moved , lost again?! God only knows what runs icici infrastructure. I will never recommend icici cuz of MY PERSONAL experience. Others might vary. Agree to disagree .
Ps: if you know any escalation email id for icici credit card division, please do share .

Average Indian Consumer
@seekingmuch Astute observations. I've faced something similar in ICICI, have account, got credit card but couldn't add it in my netbanking. Couldn't transact as online is off by default and as no CIBIL entry showed i thought it is just not registered card sent to me.

some time later i get amazon icici card, and there it is written to call customer care for netbanking, i do and in this netbanking the old card is registered.

My suggestion would be to get Amazon ICICI as they are being issued without any documents, so idk how they can lose that xD
@cn17 I maintain 3 accounts:

1) ICICI - my "Consumption" account. Credit Cards and Wallets are linked to this.

2) SBI - my "Investment" account. Equity and Debt are linked to this.

3) Citibank - just for the salary day.

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