Banks levying charges for SMS Alerts

While reviewing my bank statement recently, I see a deduction of Rs.56 under following description:


This charge is for Insta Alerts service of HDFC Bank

Effective 1st April 2013, customers registered for InstaAlert service with ‘SMS’ as the alert delivery channel, would be charged as follows:

  • Salary/Savings Account : Rs. 15/- per quarter
  • Current Account : Rs. 25/- per quarter

Please note:

  • Customers who have selected only ‘Email’ as the delivery channel for receiving InstaAlerts will not be charged.
  • Debit/Credit Card Transaction alerts sent as per regulatory guidelines and NetBanking transaction alerts do not form part of InstaAlert Service. Customers who are not registered for InstaAlert service will continue to get these alerts free of charge.

IDBI Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India, State Bank of Patiala, ING-Vysya Bank and Vijaya Bank are currently charging their customers for SMS alerts, even though the RBI hasn’t issued any guidelines in this regard.

While SBI started charging for SMS alerts in April, PNB and SBP imposed it from July.

Banks, led by SBI, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, are charging Rs 60 annually to send text messages about cash withdrawals and other facilities. Others such as Canara Bank are charging more than Rs 100, while HDFC Bank said they were levying a Rs 60 fee only for “special alerts” such as bounced cheques, salary credits or the balance going below a specified level. IDBI Bank and Vijaya Bank have excluded savings bank accounts from the paid SMS alert service.

Disabling SMS Alerts in HDFC Bank:

  • Login
  • Click “Insta Alerts” on the top bar.
  • Select Account, Click View
  • Under “Set alerts for account xxx”, Select the alerts and click the delete button in the bottom.
  • Confirm the action.
  • You’re done. No money will be deducted from your account now.

Disabling SMS Alerts in SBI Bank:

  • Login to your account
  • Click e-Services button on tab on top.
  • Click “Sms Alerts” on left panel.
  • Select the account and click proceed.
  • Click “To disable sms alerts click here”
  • Click ok in “Are you sure you want to disable sms alerts?” popup.
  • Done.

Join the Conversation


  1. Hello ,

    I have checked the insta alerts , email is selected in all the alerts, but still Rs. 16.85 is getting deducted quarterly, let me know what can be done to avoid the same.

    Bhavin Mamtora

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