Experience from trying to open SavingsMax with HDFC - Why does anyone bank with HDFC at all?

Deal Cadet

I have been looking to maximize my savings and given the high interest rates I thought FDs might be a good way. But I wanted to have an automated sweep facility. After Googling I found three options:

  1. SBI - You can convert Savings to SavingsPlus using Internet Banking but the Internet Banking is terrible with tens of OTPs, profile passwords etc. So, I wanted to avoid using this option.

2. ICICI - You can upgrade account to Gold account online. I have yet to talk with my RM about this. 

3. HDFC - They have a higher sweep limit of 1 lakh which seemed perfect for me. 

My last experience with HDFC was 10 years ago. I found that it was a shady operation at its core with process worse than even government banks. Bank employees had steep targets so someone signed me up for various products by producing my fake signature. It took me couple of months to close the account. 

I thought 10 years later with everything going online things would be better and shadiness would have reduced. I was so wrong. 

I applied for SavingMax online and opted for a branch near my office. But it seems that HDFC allows any branch to see the applications and race to onboard people. Because there is a quota of 12 accounts per month which needs to be completed. That is fine with me. 

The issue cropped up when I asked the HDFC guy why he was filling the application again at my house. He said it was normal process. But what he really did was cancel my online application and created a fresh application with his name to collect commissions. So, the shadiness and lying due to sales target is still part and parcel of the image. 

The second issue cropped up was that the HDFC guy insisted for a government proof for communication address. I told him my house was rented and I had rental agreement, broadband bills etc. But he said nothing works. Without that he had to put my permanent address at my village as communication address. It sounded like HDFC is living in dark ages of banking. Just one day ago I had SBI open account by simply visiting and verifying that I live at my communication address. But not HDFC. It took some back and forth with branch manager to push for communication address be my current address. Again the answer came off as shady - "We will use the current address and no will notice. Just ensure that if there is verification call you need repeat this address". 

The third issue was that I repeatedly expressed that the whole reason I wanted SavingsMax was the Moneymaximizer. I was told it will be present once the account is opened and I can see it in internet banking. But guess what? There is no such option in Internet banking. I called up PhoneBanking to understand what I needed to do. PhoneBanking was clueless and said I need to visit branch or call RM. He wasn't able to help even with contact numbers for branch or RM.

The fourth issue, turns out an undertaking needs to be signed and attached when SavingsMax is opened for the MoneyMaximizer option to be enabled. Mind you, MoneyMaximizer is touted as a feature of SavingsMax. So, it should be there by default and people should have to opt out rather than opt-in. And additionally, another thing which requires physical sign and cannot be done online. Even SBI allows this to be done online without issues. So, again HDFC looks like to be living in dark ages. 

I have decided to close the HDFC account and proceed with ICICI for now. But seriously can't help but wonder - Why do people even use HDFC? And how the hell they are bigger than ICICI with their terrible products? I mean even credit cards require people to ask for point conversion. Who does that in this day and age? It is not that ICICI doesn't have its fault they seem like miles ahead of HDFC technology-wise.

And if someone knows good sweep-in/sweep out bank apart from the three listed above, do let me know. 

We are not SEBI/IRDA registered. The information provided herein is for education purposes only. We will not be responsible for any of your profit/loss with this channel's suggestions. Consult your financial advisor before making any decisions.
6 Dimers
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Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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You know right sweep in accounts are a hoax. better keep money in small banks where they give 6-7 % in savings.

sweep in account will break the fd every time the sweep limit is breached(ie  1 % interest deduction) say you have  25k seep limit and you need 26k for some use then they will break the fd(interest will be duration - 1%) and again make a fd of total amount-26k.if you use the money every month then you will not get even savings interest. don't do sweep in fds.

better do fd in small amounts for different time period as you can break one if you need fund in emergency.

Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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I know that sweep in when money is required has an issue where if you keep breaking the interest is not even worth the savings interest rate. And with last in first out for FD means that there is always a chance of breaking a FD which is less than 7-14 days and earning no interest. 

But here we are talking about MoneyMaximizer which is a sweep out facility. I have surplus most of the time. and I am okay with the FD creation process being automated. There are downsides to this automation when sweep in kicks in but I feel that it will work out if the limits are high enough. That's why I wanted HDFC savingsmax with the 1 lakh sweep in limit. 

You have to realize most Sweep out facilities are for high value accounts like SavingsMax (with 25k Monthly balance) for a reason. If there is no surplus then better not to use it. 

The standalone sweep in available for normal accounts makes things difficult for most people as they need to go and keep creating FDs as they have surplus. But breaking of FD is fully automated. 

@GautamgR - That is quite insightful looking at all the banks. 

Though I wouldn't say HDFC is digital at all. They have stupid rules like converting points whereas everyone just converts the rewards earned without prompting. And even worse things like if you need to update mobile number for credit card you need to fill in paper form and then send a courier. Who does that in this digital age? 

The only saving grace is that though process is horrible they have better reward rates. And I guess that is what is working for them in India as we are all price conscious.

My primary bank was Citi but now they are sold to Axis so I have been looking for alternatives. and it seems like ICICI is on top for now. 

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Helpful Helpful
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Here are my insights for Bank Accounts I hold:

• ICICI is great at banking,
They upgraded my ZB account to Privilege Banking Account as soon as they pre approved a Signature Credit Card for me..

They provided Card Limit of approx 3x my existing cards (FD Based)

Plus The Bank always value security by calling and confirming High Value Transactions and those on new merchants...

Also, the support is easily reachable via Twitter and I found it amazing that they follow-up issues throughly until I say Resolved, rather than Automated replies.

• SBI seems Lazy at times, with Issue Resolutions and I often have to esacalate to get it resolved.

• As for HDFC, They are most useful for all financial needs for a digital user.
ie, Faster Preapprovals, Reward Rates, Spend Based Incentives, etc...
Its truly most rewarding Bank, and for new age on Online Banking, they seem upto mark..

• Axis has given me the worst experiences actually,
Everytime there is a verification for Credit Card application, Bank employees purposefully opt to conduct Offline KYC and then they 'BULLY' you into opening a Savings Account with them,
They try all nasty mindgames until you give in... Even asked my Grandma to open an account justfor no reason...even taunts you by keeping Credit Card application!
Like if you don't open Account with his referral, He'd report documents missing to Bank.

• IDFC appeared to be Customer First banking BUT their network is so weak, Banks are on very few cities and Cards aren't too rewarding compared.
Plus they alwaus convince you to open FD and all anytime you contact them. All flashy not promising

Rest Kotak - Good as Bakup
IndusIND - App & UI is 💩
AU - Innovative, Value for ZB accounts too

Recently started using Indie Account by IndusIND (pm for referral)
With initial funding of 50k, Got Signature DC with NIL Charges for everything and Zero Forex.
Plus rewarding for DC purchases too (varies from 0.5-3%)

Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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So far, IDFC is best in terms of customer support, app, cards. Most of the services doesn't incur fee & the communication channels are properly mentioned for different services.

HDFC, ICICI on the other side mostly depends on the relationship you hold with branch manager. I filed various complaints against them years back & now they are very polite & most of the things are sorted over phone call.

I don't hold an Axis saving account, but from what i have heard its only good if you hold Burgundy account with them.

SBI as always remains the worst in all terms still I do hold an account with them.

Benevolent Benevolent
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Don't know why many dimers hate axis.

I have axis salary and faced no issue till now.
Savings Mentor Savings Mentor
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MoneyMaximizer was enabled by default for my SavingsMax without my consent/by default (amount above 1.25L gets swept out) and they are not disabling it even if I don't want it.

Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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Considering that MoneyMaximizer is touted as a feature, default enabling is expected. Though from what HDFC told me you need to sign a form for auto sweep out. So, did you sign anything like that during account opening? 

Also, not removing it even if customer wants to remove is another stupid thing from HDFC. 
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