ICICI Bank’s iWish Recurring Deposit : Understand the product flexibility and fine print
ICICI iWish claims to offer the freedom to choose when and how much to save. While it is an innovative and flexible product, savers need to understand the fine print related to the upper limit you can save and what happens if you try to save too fast
ICICI Bank has launched iWish, a recurring deposit (RD) offering flexibility of amount you pay monthly, deposit multiple times in a month and have ability to skip an instalment. The product is innovative considering the regular RD accounts expect fixed instalment amount to be paid on the same day of the month. RD gives same interest rate as fixed deposits (FD) for the same period. Offering flexibility of the amount you pay monthly can lead to customers taking advantage in the falling interest rate scenario. Savers need to understand the fine print on the upper limit of your monthly savings.
iWish is an online product for those who already have savings account and internet banking. It is not a product purchased after walking into a branch. It is targeted for younger segment, who need to create life goals and make savings towards realisation of it. These goals can be shared with friends and family on Facebook. The friends and family can choose to contribute to the goal. The saver can monitor the goal and know exactly how much they are ahead of behind in realising the goals.
Central Bank of India had launched a recurring deposit scheme ‘Centswashakti’ for retail depositors. This scheme allows depositors the flexibility to deposit up to 10 times the originally decided minimum amount every month. It does not offer the flexibility of skipping an installment. There are other RD products in the market which appeal to younger customers with goals based investment approach. E.g. YES Bank RD. iWish is more flexible, but you need to understand the fine print.
Here are important points to know about the iWish product:
- • Maximum goals and amount limit – There can be only 10 active goals at a time and the goal amount can be of maximum up to Rs10 lakh.
- • Monthly instalment – The maximum initial deposit amount is Rs49,999. You can pay higher or lower than the monthly instalment, but you cannot pay after the goal amount limit is reached.
- • RD term – It can be six months to 10 years. It means you can set the goal duration to be from six months to 10 years.
- • Rate of interest – It is the same as FD interest rate of 6.50% to 8.75% p.a.
- • Achieving goal early – Depending on the monthly contribution you make or payment made by friends and family, you may achieve the goal faster than the set duration. You cannot make any further payment towards it and the rate of interest is guaranteed only if you leave the funds till maturity. In short, even if you achieve the goal early, you can get the locked RD interest rate if you keep the funds till maturity.
- • Skipping a monthly instalment – It is allowed and there is no need to make up for it. You have option to make up as there is flexibility in the amount you pay monthly as well as the number of monthly payments.
- • Closing the goal – Your goal is not auto closed even if the goal is achieved or if the goal period has ended. In both the cases, you need to place an online request for goal closure.
- • Closing the goal mid-way – You can close the goal mid-way even if it is not achieved. In such a case, you will not earn the interest rate mentioned at the time of goal creation. You will earn interest at the rate corresponding to the period the goal remained with the bank. Beside this, a penalty of premature closure of account will be levied on the applicable rate.
• Partial withdrawal - You cannot partially withdraw the money from your goal mid-way. You can withdraw the money mid way by closing your goal. However in this case, you will earn interest at the rate corresponding to the period the goal remained with ICICI bank. Besides this, an applicable penalty will be charged for premature closure of goal.
To access other articles by Raj Pradhan, click here.
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