Important tips to optimise ATM usage
Purchase health insurance even if you are healthy
Important tips to optimise ATM usage
The way people access their bank is constantly evolving. While visiting a branch was the norm in the past, customers today have multiple avenues through which they can achieve the same result. ATMs are just one of these many channels. Digital channels like mobile and internet banking enable customers to bank in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Here are a few important ways to optimise digital channels for non-cash transactions thus using ATMs for cash transactions only.
1 Use free missed call service provided by the bank
Missed call banking is a toll-free service offered by some banks for basic non-cash transactions. It is used for transactions such as balance enquiry, mini-statement, requests for cheque book and account statements.
Transactions can be completed within seconds, subject to good network, and even from a basic phone. Not only is the service free, but it also saves tremendous time and effort that goes into visiting the neighbourhood ATM. Store the toll-free numbers of your bank on your phone for easy and quick access to this service.
2 Use debit cards for cash transactions
Withdrawing cash and carrying it around can be risky. It is advisable to use debit cards wherever possible. As payment through debit cards now requires the user to type the PIN on the POS terminal, it is both safe and convenient. It also allows you to avail of offers, discounts and cash back facilities provided by your bank — these are benefits that don’t come with cash payments.
3 Use alternative channels such as mobile banking and net banking
Banks today have multiple channels to service the needs of their customers. Mobile banking allows you to transact while on the move from anywhere, at any time. Not only is it cost-effective, but also immensely convenient. Net banking is also a simple, secure and speedy way to transact.
Banks also have SMS banking which allows customers without smartphones to access their bank accounts. For those with a 2G connection there is a ‘light’ version of the mobile app, as well as a Hindi language version of the application. All these channels are designed keeping the customers’ needs in mind.
It is quick and simple to use these channels to pay utility bills, phone bills as well as EMIs on home or auto loans. You can even transfer money to third parties using the bank’s NEFT and IMPS facilities. Thus, one can substantially reduce dependence on cash transactions, and thereby charges incurred on ATMs.
4 Plan cash withdrawals once every four days
Make it a point to visit your ATM not more than once every four days, unless you are in urgent need of cash. To achieve this, you will need to plan your cash flows. In non-metros, the frequency may be slightly more and one can visit the ATM every third day. Although other services are also available at the ATMs, try and restrict ATM usage to only cash withdrawals.
5 Wherever possible, use your own bank’s ATM
Banks allow up to five free transactions on their own ATMs, which works out to at least one free transaction on your own bank’s ATM every week. When expenses exceed the planned amount for a certain week, other bank’s ATM may be used. Download your bank’s app on your mobile phone to locate the ATM nearest to your home or office.
Six easy steps
The author is Head of Digital Banking, HDFC Bank. The views expressed in this article are his own
Can I get rebate in income tax for full amount of Rs 39,100, which I contributed to Central Health Scheme for the medical facilities after retirement on superannuation on 31.12.2013 for myself, wife and mother? This amount was calculated for whole life (i.e., next 10 years (120 months X Rs 325), which I was contributing per month before retirement. Please quote the provision of tax law also.
— HR Dhiman
There is no section in the Income-tax Act, 1961 (The Act) for the deduction or rebate in respect of the amount of Rs 39,100 paid towards Central Health Scheme for providing medical facilities to a Government employee after retirement on superannuation. You would, therefore, not be entitled to claim any deduction/rebate in respect of the above amount from your total income.
I am a university employee. After an accident, I had to undergo orthopaedic surgery on my right arm for which a consolidated sum was incurred at a private nursing home. My employer has given me a total of Rs 15,000 as reimbursement of the expenditure incurred by me. I have come to know that medical reimbursement up to Rs 15,000 is tax-free. Please let me know the correct position in this regard.
Section 17(2) of the Act defines perquisites which are includible in ‘salary’ for the purpose of taxability thereof. However, proviso to Section 17(2)(vi) exempts any sum paid by the employer in respect of any expenditure actually incurred by the employee on his medical treatment. However, such sum should not exceed Rs 15,000 as per rules in the previous year. In view thereof, the reimbursement of Rs 15,000 would not be taxable in case the total reimbursement does not exceed Rs.15,000 in respect of the previous year.
My query is as under:
The amount of deposit of Rs 1.5 lakh directly in the Public Provident Fund account in the name of your wife would not entitle you to claim any deduction against your total income. The amount of interest earned on PPF account is exempted from tax. No addition would be made to your total income in respect of such an interest earned on the deposit of the amount of Rs 1.5 lakh in the PPF account of your wife. She would, however, be entitled to claim deduction from her total income in respect of the amount deposited in her account.
Purchase health insurance even if you are healthy
As the saying goes — “Health is Wealth”, believe it or not, somewhere down the line it has interchanged its role in our constantly busy life. Not many believe in investing in their health. Instead, people invest to use the funds when they fall ill.
Are you investing right?
Looking at the statistics in India, the out-of-pocket expenditure in healthcare is as high as 75%. That means most of the people pay from their own pocket when a health emergency strikes. In short, people earn or invest money to spend them on their ill-health or medical emergencies. So, whatever hard-earned money we put in any form of investment, just depletes at one go when emergency strikes. In short you work hard to earn money which goes wasted on your treatment.
Technically, an individual invests in various investment tools such as fixed deposits, mutual funds, ULIPs etc., just to pay for future medical exigencies. The question arises, is this the right way to invest?
Do you ignore health insurance?
We often see people eating healthy, running, climbing stairs, going for morning walks or even run marathon to stay fit. However, not many people focus on, “what if” they fall ill. The thought of falling ill seldom crosses one’s mind. Hence, people tend to ignore investing in health insurance thinking the adverse can never hit them.
As India is grappling with the challenge of a significant increase in lifestyle-related diseases and with steadily growing medical inflation, the need for investing in health insurance at an early stage has become imperative.
Why to start early?
Starting to invest early in health insurance brings its own benefits.
Generally, health insurance has a waiting period for pre-existing diseases. However, if one starts early, the early the waiting period would be cleared in the initial less risk days. Also, the premium amount rises with growing age and ailments, as it involves more risk. It’s recommended to start early to enjoy lower premiums.
A health insurance plan also motivates an individual for routine check-ups and preventive care as health maintenance benefits are part of health insurance products available in market. These benefits could be redeemed in the form or regular health check-ups or reduction in the subsequent premium amount.
While health insurance ensures smooth sailing through medical emergencies, it is also an approach to avoid the debts that could come about due to the high cost of medical treatment and medicines.
Though health insurance is not mandatory in India, every individual should take it since, with growing medical inflation, it has become imperative to stay insured against all the medical emergencies. Health insurance may not be a form of direct investment option but, there are immense benefits of starting early which has direct repercussion on the individual’s health and wealth. Hence, starting investment early in health insurance along with healthy habits, ensures longevity and prosperity in one’s life.
A healthy mix of investment, including health insurance, ensures positive growth of the investment along with healthy living. In short, investing in health insurance truly ensures, “Health hai to life hai”!
The author is Managing Director & CEO, CignaTTK Health Insurance. The views expressed in this article are his own