Opening a Zero Balance Account in UAE

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While most of us have been habituated to bank accounts, it’s worth remembering that bank accounts have greatly simplified the storage and management of funds. With a vast array of associated financial services, bank accounts have ensured that users can access their funds and utilise them for plenty of reasons with minimal effort. However, one of the biggest deterrents to opening bank accounts is the minimum balance. This is especially so for large companies, which may require different accounts for functioning but seek to avoid the minimum balance criteria (which draws a fine if not fulfilled). 

In such cases, zero balance accounts (ZBAs) prove highly profitable. These are essentially savings accounts that require you to maintain a zero balance at the time of opening. The funds are added or transferred to these accounts from a master account. Commonly used by large businesses, ZBAs are vouched for their ability to mitigate risk. With a ZBA, any company can attain a better command over the cash balance and expenditures. 

The following write-up is a guide about why businesses these days require zero balance accounts in the UAE, the top banks that offer these accounts, and features that you can avail yourself of with these accounts. As a bonus, you will also get to know how to open a Zero Balance Account in the UAE. 

How do Zero Balance Accounts Work in the UAE?

While most banks charge you a penalty in case you fail to have a minimum balance in your account, the case is the opposite with a zero balance account. This account is usually funded by a master account. As the entire process is automated, no employee of a company having such an account needs to manually exact the required amount. 

The ZBA is often used as an expenditure-regulating mechanism that helps manage charges across a massive company. It limits the access of funds via debit cards and requires complete approval procedures before completing a purchase. This helps in tracking the transfers and reconciliation between the accounts.

Banks Offering Zero Balance Account in the UAE

BANK ACCOUNT NAME INTEREST RATE MINIMUM SALARY REQUIRED
Al Hilal Savings Account NA NA
FAB One Account NA AED 10,000
FAB iSave Account 2% NA
ADIB Smart Banking Account Profit is earned on closing balance. This account can be opened by  both salaried and non-salaried individuals.
Commercial Bank of Dubai Esaver Account 1.5% AED 5,000
RAK Bank Fast Saver Online Account 0.5%  NA
Mashreq Happiness Account NA  AED 10,000
HSBC Esaver Account 0.1% NA

The following are the banks that offer ZBAs (and their features) to businesses for maintaining a cash balance. 

Al Hilal Savings Account

  • Shariah-compliant Islamic Account
  • Zero Balance Account
  • Provision of MasterCard Debit Card for both virtual and physical use. 
  • No charges incurred for local or global transfers 
  • Competitive profit rates in the UAE market
  • Other features like instant account opening, real-time onboarding through UAEPASS, and so on 
  • The account holders have the privilege to withdraw cash from ADCB ATMs without being charged any fees.

FAB One Account

  • This Zero Balance Account is loaded with special offers and discounts from exclusive retailers across the UAE.
  • Free chequebook, debit card, and access to internet banking upon joining
  • Complimentary access to leading airport lounges at the airports 
  • FAB stars earned on expenses that can be redeemed with any airline and at any place
  • The included Debit Card offers you access to a variety of shopping and lifestyle perks
  • Secured online shopping that makes use of the one-time password system 

FAB iSave Account

  • Up to 1.68% interest rate per year 
  • Easy and immediate opening of accounts either using FAB Internet Banking or Mobile Banking Application 
  • No monthly charges and no restrictions in terms of withdrawals 
  • Interest earned on the median monthly balance 
  • Internet banking access after opening the account 

ADIB Smart Banking Account

  • Option to instantly open the account via internet banking
  • Customised debit card and a chance to earn profit on every AED in the account upon opening the account
  • Easily accessible and affordable – can be opened by individuals above the age of 18 years having a minimum monthly salary of AED 3,000. Even housewives can open this account.
  • No fees on ATM withdrawals at ADIB ones in the UAE
  • Rewards for referring friends and one free transfer every month to any other bank globally
  • Convenient mobile banking application

Commercial Bank of Dubai Esaver Account

  • Access to debit card and internet banking at joining 
  • You can earn up to 1.5 % interest on the monthly balance on average 
  • Up to three debits each month (transfers and payments) from the account allowed 
  • If you are a regular CBD customer, you can easily open this account using CBD online banking 

RAKBANK Fast Saver Account

  • You get access to internet banking and a chequebook after joining
  • Option of completing transactions in multiple currencies
  • The account offers interest rates up to 1% per year
  • The list of allowed payments includes one withdrawal and 5 Utility/ RAKBANK Credit Card Payments every month 
  • No restriction on maximum account balance eligible for interest
  • The interest is calculated daily on your savings account and is paid every month

Mashreq Happiness Account

  • Facilities like online banking, free cheque book, debit card, and mobile banking provided upon joining
  • Can be used as a salary transfer account 
  • You can get a welcome bonus of AED 2,000
  • Option to earn salaam points worth AED 25 upon 5 online transactions per month - these points are redeemable regarding the purchase of travel tickets, shopping at select brands, and so on 

HSBC Esaver Account

  • Interest rate of up to 0.10% provided on the balance maintained in the account 
  • Easy access to the withdrawal of the money
  • Provision for transferring money within the UAE or internationally in multiple currencies 

How to Open a Zero Balance Account in the UAE?

You can easily open a zero balance account using a phone application, online banking, or by visiting the nearest branch of your preferred provider. Given below is a detailed explanation of how these three procedures will work:

  • Branch Visit: You can visit the nearest branch of the bank of your choice. Carry all the mandatory documents, obtain an application form, and submit it with the required documents to open a zero balance account in the UAE.
  • Mobile Banking: This can be done further in two ways - via call or by mobile application. The applicant can call the help desk of the bank and choose the option to open the account via call. In case you want to use a mobile banking application, you can visit the section of bank accounts on the app and follow similar steps like filling out the application form and submitting it with the required documents. 
  •  Online Banking: The applicants can visit the bank’s official website or continue on our website to open zero balance accounts. You can find the best zero balance accounts in the UAE on our website, from which you can select one. The process is quite convenient, as the next steps like the submission of the application form can also be completed on our website. If the application is approved, you will be contacted by the bank for further processes. 

Important: This is to bring to your notice that it often takes 2 to 4 business days for the account to get opened. Moreover, once you open the account, take care of the following things:

  1. Securely maintain the customer number, IBAN number, SWIFT code, and bank account number. These details are usually present in the welcome letter.
  2. Know the withdrawal limits well in advance. 
  3. As customer care numbers can be of great help in case of any confusion, keep the specified numbers handy. 
  4. Be aware of the different charges levied on your account. 

Documents You Need to Carry or Keep Handy When Opening a ZBA

The following are the type of documents requested by most banks to open a zero balance account in Dubai, UAE, and some key documents included in the specific categories: 

1. Address and ID Proof

  • Valid Passport
  • UAE Residence Visa
  • Passport-size Photographs
  • Recent utility bills or signed rental agreement

2. Employment Documents

  • Paperwork showing the name of the employer and the salary earned
  • NOC either from the employer or the sponsor 

Key Takeaways

A Zero Balance Account in the UAE is one of the most commonly used bank accounts by several businesses and individuals. A great medium to regulate your expenditure, this automated account can be opened in three ways - mobile banking, branch visit, and online banking. However, it is crucial to note while there is no minimum balance requirement with these accounts, other limits and charges like the maximum withdrawal limit, monthly charges, and so on still apply for these accounts. Consequently, just like when obtaining any major financial services, examine the conditions of the policy thoroughly.

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