RBI/2013-14/381
DBOD. No. Dir. BC. 67/13.10.00/2013-14

November 26, 2013

All Scheduled Commercial Banks
(Excluding RRBs)

Dear Sir/ Madam

Charges Levied by Banks for Sending SMS Alerts

Please refer to paragraph 37 of the Second Quarter Review of Monetary Policy Statement 2013-14 announced on October 29, 2013 (extract enclosed) on ‘Customer Service- Charges Levied by Banks for Sending SMS Alerts’.

2. In this connection, a reference is also invited to our circular DBOD. No. Dir. BC. 56/ 13.03.00/ 2006-2007 dated February 2, 2007 on ‘Report of the Working Group to Formulate a Scheme for Ensuring Reasonableness of Bank Charges’ whereby banks were advised to identify basic banking services on the basis of broad parameters indicated by the Working Group constituted by Reserve Bank of India for the purpose and the principles to be adopted/ followed by them for ensuring reasonableness in fixing and communicating the service charges for the basic banking services.

3. Banks are required to put in place a system of online alerts for all types of transactions irrespective of the amounts involving usage of cards at various channels in terms of circular RBI/ DPSS No. 1501/ 02.14.003/ 2008-2009 dated February 18, 2009 and DPSS. CO. PD. 2224/ 02.14.003/2010-2011 dated March 29, 2011. Banks have accordingly put in place a system of SMS alerts so as to help customers in fraud mitigation and have been levying uniform service charges to various categories of customers.

4. Considering the technology available with banks and the telecom service providers, it should be possible for banks to charge customers based on actual usage of SMS alerts. Accordingly, with a view to ensuring reasonableness and equity in the charges levied by banks for sending SMS alerts to customers, banks are advised to leverage the technology available with them and the telecom service providers to ensure that such charges are levied on all customers on actual usage basis.

Yours faithfully,

(Rajesh Verma)
Chief General Manager

Encl: As above


Extract from Second Quarter Review of Monetary Policy 2013-14

Customer Service – Charges Levied by Banks for Sending SMS Alerts

37. With a view to ensuring reasonableness and equity in the charges levied by banks for sending SMS alerts to customers, banks are advised to leverage the technology available with them and the telecom service providers to ensure that such charges are levied on all customers on actual usage basis.

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