2 min read
April 10, 2024

Table of Contents

2 min read
April 10, 2024

Explaining different types of Fixed Deposits

Fixed Deposit investments in India have always been a cornerstone of savings for the conservative investor. Data from the Reserve Bank of India indicates that in 2023, ₹103 trillion ($1.1 trillion) is invested in Fixed Deposits across more than 24 million accounts. When we look at how people are investing their money, it's clear that Fixed Deposits are a favorite. For comparison, Mutual Funds received about ₹1.8 trillion ($21 billion) in the same period.

Fixed Deposits are a go-to for many in India because they're straightforward and offer a guaranteed return. They're a popular choice in times of uncertainty, and currently, a lot of the money is in deposits that last between one to three years, especially since interest rates are quite attractive. Much of the Fixed Deposit money comes from people in big cities. In fact, a huge portion of these deposits are in metropolitan areas.

With this context, we'll take a closer look at fixed deposits in our blog. We'll discuss the different types available, what makes them unique, and how they can fit into your financial plans. Whether you're saving for the future or just looking for a safe place to keep your money, understanding fixed deposits is key.

Understanding Fixed Deposits

Fixed deposits (FDs) are a financial product that's favored by many for its simplicity and security. When you open an FD, you're putting away a sum of money with a bank or a non-banking financial company (NBFC) for a fixed period. This could range from a few days to several years, depending on your financial goals and needs.

Here's what you need to know to understand Fixed Deposits better:

Safety and security

One of the main attractions of FDs is their safety. Since they are governed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), there's virtually no risk involved. Your principal amount is safe and you'll get back exactly what was promised at the time of opening the FD.

When discussing the safety and security of fixed deposits (FDs), an integral part of the conversation is the protection offered by the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).

With DICGC insurance, each depositor in a bank is insured up to a maximum of ₹5 lakh for both principal and interest amounts. This limit covers all the deposits held by an individual in different capacities in the same bank. It encompasses various types of deposits, including FDs, Savings Accounts, Current Accounts, and Recurring Deposits.

Interest rates and tenures

FD interest rates can vary widely depending on the bank, the amount deposited, and the tenure chosen. Typically, banks offer higher interest rates for longer tenures and for larger amounts. The interest can be compounded quarterly or annually and is paid out at the maturity of the deposit.

Opening an FD

Opening an FD is quite simple. You can do it either online or offline. If you're tech-savvy, online banking platforms make it very easy to open an FD from the comfort of your home. If not, you can always visit a bank branch.

For Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)

NRIs have the option to open NRE (Non-resident External) and NRO (Non-resident Ordinary) Fixed Deposits, which allow them to deposit their overseas earnings.

Premature withdrawals

If you need your money back before the FD matures, most banks allow premature withdrawals. However, this usually comes with a penalty on the interest rate, so it's best to plan your finances to avoid this.

Types of Fixed Deposits

Let’s take a look at the different types of FDs available, each tailored to cater to diverse requirements and providing options for saving and investment.

Types of Fixed Deposits

Cumulative Fixed Deposit

A Cumulative Fixed Deposit is a savvy choice for investors who don’t need immediate income from their investments. Here, interest is not paid out at regular intervals but is reinvested into the FD. This means the interest also earns interest, taking advantage of the power of compounding. 

By the end of the FD’s tenure, the amount received includes the principal and the interest earned over the entire period. It's ideal for long-term goals where you want your savings to grow unhindered.

Tenure Minimum Amount Maximum Amount Eligibility Taxation
6 months to
10 years
No limit No limit Salaried, Partners,
Sole Proprietors
TDS if interest > ₹40,000 for regular
citizens and > ₹50,000 for senior citizens

Non-cumulative Fixed Deposit

For those who require a steady flow of income, a Non-cumulative Fixed Deposit might be the right fit. Interest is paid out at regular intervals—monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly—based on the depositor's choice. Although this might offer a lower interest yield compared to cumulative FDs due to the regular payout, it provides a predictable source of income for managing day-to-day expenses, making it suitable for retirees or those who need periodic payouts.

Tenure Minimum Amount Maximum Amount Eligibility Taxation
6 months to 10 years No limit No limit Residents, Firms, Companies, HUFs, Trusts TDS if interest > ₹40,000 for regular citizens and > ₹50,000 for seniors

Flexi Fixed Deposit

Flexi Fixed Deposits combine the high interest rates of Fixed Deposits with the liquidity of Savings Accounts. This hybrid model often comes with a 'sweep-in' facility where the excess funds in a savings account are automatically transferred to a fixed deposit to earn higher interest. 

Funds can be swept back into the savings account when needed, ensuring funds are always accessible while still earning higher returns when they're not needed. It's a dynamic choice for those who desire both interest income and flexibility.

Tenure Minimum Amount Maximum Amount Eligibility Taxation
7 days to 10 years ₹5,000 No limit Indian Residents including Minors and Senior Citizens No tax benefits

Standard Fixed Deposit

A staple in the world of banking, the standard Fixed Deposit is the most common type of FD. You deposit a lump sum of money for a fixed duration, generally with higher interest rates than a savings account. 

At the end of the tenure, you receive your principal amount back along with the accrued interest. This is the go-to option for most risk-averse investors looking for a straightforward, reliable investment vehicle.

Tenure Minimum Amount Maximum Amount Eligibility Taxation
7 days to 10 years ₹1,000 No limit Indian Residents including Minors and Senior Citizens, NRIs Firms, Companies, Societies, Clubs TDS if interest > ₹40,000 for regular citizens and > ₹50,000 for senior citizens

Tax Saving Deposit

Specially designed to offer tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, Tax Saving Fixed Deposits come with a lock-in period of 5 years and offer tax deductions on the invested amount up to ₹1.5 lakhs. 

These deposits encourage long-term savings while reducing your taxable income, making them a dual-benefit investment choice. However, liquidity is restricted, as you cannot withdraw the money before the term ends without forfeiting the tax benefits.

Tenure Minimum Amount Maximum Amount Eligibility Taxation
5 years ₹1,000 ₹1.5 lakhs Indian Residents (above 18 years old), Members of HUF Deductions under Section 80C

Senior Citizen Fixed Deposit

Catering to the needs of the older generation, senior citizen Fixed Deposits offer higher interest rates compared to regular FDs, providing seniors with a means to earn more from their life savings.

Often, these FDs also come with flexible interest payout options, allowing for better financial planning in retirement. These FDs recognize the limited earning capability during the golden years and aim to provide financial comfort.

Tenure Minimum Amount Maximum Amount Eligibility Taxation
7 days to 20 years ₹100 No limit Indian Residents above 60 years Deductions under Section 80TTB

NRE Fixed Deposit

NRE Fixed Deposits are ideal for NRIs who earn in foreign currency and want to convert it into Indian rupees to invest. The standout feature of NRE FDs is that the interest earned is not subject to Indian tax, and both the principal and interest are fully repatriable. This means you can move your money back to the country where you currently reside without any hassles. 

However, the investment is subject to currency exchange risks, as the conversion rates at the time of deposit and withdrawal could affect the value of the deposited amount.

Tenure Minimum Amount Maximum Amount Eligibility Taxation
1 to 10 years ₹500 No limit NRIs, PIOs Tax-free

NRO Fixed Deposit

Conversely, NRO Fixed Deposits are suitable for NRIs who have income sources in India. The interest earned on these deposits is taxed at a flat rate of 30% as per the Income Tax Act, 1961. 

While the interest is fully repatriable, the principal amount can only be repatriated within the set limits prescribed by the RBI. A key benefit of NRO FDs is that they are immune to currency fluctuation risks since the investment can be made and withdrawn in Indian rupees. For NRIs with financial commitments in India, NRO FDs offer a convenient way to manage and grow their earnings efficiently.

Tenure Minimum Amount Maximum Amount Eligibility Taxation
7 days to 10 years ₹1 lakh No limit NRIs, OCI, PIOs 30% TDS including surcharge and cess

Importance of Fixed Deposit Data for Lenders and Fintech Players

The significance of Fixed Deposit data extends far beyond the basic measurement of how much money is parked in banks. For lenders and fintech companies, this data is a treasure trove of insights, pivotal for shaping their business strategies and understanding their users. 

Here's a deeper look at the nuanced importance of FD data:

Understanding saving patterns: FD data gives lenders insight into the saving patterns of their customers. For instance, an increase in FD rates might suggest that consumers are looking for safe investment avenues, possibly indicating a more risk-averse mindset in the current economic climate.

Enhancing customer engagement: Knowledge about when FDs are due to mature offers fintech firms a timely opportunity to engage with customers. They can prepare to offer reinvestment options, ensuring funds stay within their institution, or suggest alternatives based on current financial goals and market conditions.

Refining risk profiles: FD data, particularly the size and duration of deposits, helps in crafting detailed risk profiles. Long-term FDs might suggest a conservative investor, while short-term deposits could indicate a customer who values liquidity, impacting the types of credit products offered.

Tailoring financial products: Fintechs can leverage FD data to develop innovative products. For example, if data shows a preference for short-term FDs in a fluctuating interest rate environment, fintechs might create flexible FDs with variable rates or the option to switch to higher rates during the deposit period.

Credit scoring innovation: The stability suggested by a customer's FD history can be integrated into credit scoring models. Fintechs can use this data to offer better loan terms or faster approvals, using the presence of FDs as a positive credit behavior indicator.

Strategic marketing and promotions: By analyzing FD data, fintech companies can identify the perfect timing for marketing investments and insurance products to customers, aligning promotional activities with the maturity period of FDs.

Assisting personal financial management: For new-age fintech firms that offer personal financial management tools, FD data can be instrumental in providing users with an overview of their financial health and helping them make informed decisions about their investment portfolios.

Essentially, the strategic use of Fixed Deposit data can significantly enhance financial services, from product development to customer engagement. Finsire is leading the charge with its advanced APIs, which fetch detailed asset information, including valuable FD data. This capability allows financial institutions and fintechs to tailor their offerings more effectively, leveraging insights to meet customer needs and stay ahead in the competitive market.

Parameter Use Cases
Understanding saving patterns
  • Creating age or demographic-specific FD products
  • Designing seasonal FD promotions based on historical saving spikes.
Enhancing customer engagement
  • Personalizing communication to offer FD renewal incentives.
  • Using FD maturity reminders to upsell relevant financial products.
Refining risk profiles
  • Incorporating FD tenure and amount data into creditworthiness assessments
  • Adjusting interest rates for loans based on FD investment behavior.
Tailoring financial products
  • Launching short-term FDs with higher interest rates during periods of high liquidity.
  • Offering FDs with variable interest rates tied to market benchmarks.
Credit scoring innovation
  • Using FD maturity patterns to enhance credit scores
  • Developing alternative credit models that include non-traditional data points like FD investments.
Strategic marketing and promotions
  • Targeting customers with nearing FD maturity dates for new investment opportunities
  • Offering special rates on FDs to customers with large savings account balances.
Assisting personal financial management
  • Integrating FD data into financial planning tools to provide comprehensive wealth management advice.
  • Suggesting automatic FD renewals or switches to higher-yield options based on personal financial goals.

FAQs on Fixed Deposits:

What are the features of Fixed Deposits? 

Key features of Fixed Deposits include guaranteed returns, flexible tenures, higher interest rates compared to savings accounts, options for periodic interest payouts, loan facilities against FDs, and insurance coverage (for bank FDs) up to ₹5 lakh per depositor.

What are some benefits of investing in Fixed Deposits?

Benefits of investing in FDs include assured returns, capital preservation, compounding interest, low minimum investment requirements, liquidity through premature withdrawal options (with some penalties), tax benefits (for tax-saving FDs), and higher interest rates for senior citizens.

What is the minimum and maximum amount I can invest in Fixed Deposits? 

The minimum amount required to open a fixed deposit varies across banks and NBFCs, typically ranging from ₹1,000 to ₹25,000. However, there is generally no maximum limit on the amount you can invest in FDs.

What role can FDs play in your portfolio? 

Fixed Deposits can help diversify your investment portfolio by providing stable and predictable returns, offsetting the volatility of market-linked investments. FDs are suitable for short-term goals and can ensure that the overall value of your portfolio remains positive during market downturns.

How often will I receive interest? 

For cumulative FDs, interest is compounded and paid along with the principal at maturity. For non-cumulative FDs, you can opt for monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annual interest payouts as per your preference and liquidity needs.

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