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Modes of PPF Payment

The various modes that an investor can use to make payments towards PPF are as mentioned below:

  • Cash or Cheque at The Bank or Post Office – One of the traditional modes of making payments towards PPF is by cash or cheque. Individuals will need to visit the bank or post office to make the payment via cheque or cash. The steps required to make the payment by cash or cheque are mentioned below:
    • Fill Form B with relevant details and submit the same.
    • In case individuals are paying via a cheque, it must be in the name of the PPF account holder in case the payment is made at banks. In the case of post offices, the cheque must be made in the name of the Postmaster. However, the PPF number, name of the PPF account holder, and the name of the post office must also be mentioned on the cheque. The date the deposit has been made will appear on the PPF account and not the date that the cheque was presented.
    • It is important to get the passbook updated as the last step.
  • Via Mobile Banking Application - Online payment facility is available for those who use the mobile application of the bank. Individuals can use the mobile application in order to make PPF payment. However, individuals will be able to make the PPF payment only if the PPF account is linked to the savings account. This is why it is important to link the accounts before processing any payments.
  • National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) - PPF payments can be made through the savings account from another bank by using NEFT. This form of transfer allows money transfer from a savings account to the PPF account. However, it is important that individuals check with the bank if the NEFT facility is available for PPF Account transfer. Individuals will also need to know the PPF account number and IFSC code in order for this facility to work. In order for the facility to work both the banks must be enabled with NEFT. NEFT transfer facility is available for interbank and intrabank only.
  • ECS Mandate - Electronic Clearing System (ECS) Mandate is the procedure where a fixed amount of money is transferred from one bank account to another on a periodic basis. This facility is available for a PPF account as well. Individuals will have to visit the bank in order to activate this facility. Once the facility is activated, the money will be deducted automatically from the bank account and deposited into the PPF account. Like NEFT, ECS also works for inter and intra-banks.
  • Standing Instructions - Standing instruction (SI) is an instruction by an account holder to the bank for debit and transfer of funds from one account to another. A standing instruction can be registered for transfer of funds from your savings/current account to the PPF account held with the same or different bank. This is a flexible online PPF deposit method as you can schedule it on a monthly basis for a period of 1 month to 12 months as well as on a daily basis for a period of 5 days to 30 days. (Applicable SI tenure may vary by bank.) This mode is similar to a third-party transfer, apart from the fact that in case of an SI, the same transaction can be automatically repeated multiple times.

Rules Around PPF Payments

There are some online PPF payment rules that you need to keep in mind if you are planning to make online payments into your PPF account. Some of these are:

  • The minimum payment required for retaining your PPF account is Rs. 500 annually.
  • Maximum payment allowed into a PPF account is limited to Rs. 1.5 lakhs yearly as a lump sum or in instalments.
  • The maximum number of instalments that you can make into your PPF account in a year is restricted to 12.

Missed PPF Payments

There could be times when you miss your PPF payment. Some of the common reasons for missed PPF payments could be:

  • Insufficient balance in the originating account is perhaps the most common cause, especially for online PPF payments. In such cases, you will be charged a penalty such as that applicable to a bounced ECS payment.
  • In case you deposit a cheque, insufficient balance and signature mismatch are the common causes for a missed PPF payment. In such cases too, the cheque-issuing bank is liable to charge a fine in the form of cheque bounce charges.

A minimum annual deposit of Rs. 500 is required to retain PPF account, else it will lead to account deactivation. In such cases, you can reactivate the account by paying a penalty of Rs. 50 plus Rs. 500 for each year you have missed the minimum PPF payment amount requirement.

About PPF

Public Provident Fund or PPF is a low risk fixed return investment scheme one can avail through India Post Office as well as leading public and private sector banks in India. The interest on the PPF account is set for every quarter and is paid by the government. The applicable interest rate on PPF for the first quarter of the year, 2021-22 i.e. from 1st April 2021 to 30th June 2021has been fixed at 7.1% per annum. The interest rate for the previous quarter was also the same, i.e. 7.1% per annum.

Investors can now use different online modes to make payments into their PPF account. Online PPF payments can be made only if you have an account in a public or private sector bank. The facility is not available to those who have opened their PPF account with India Post Office. ECS Mandates, NEFT and Standing Instructions are the various methods you can use to make PPF payments. Many leading banks such as SBI, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and Bank of Baroda support online payments.

FAQs

1. Is it possible to transfer a PPF account?

Yes, transferring a PPF account from one account office to another is possible.

2. What are documents that are required to open a PPF account?

Given below is the list of documents that are required to open a PPF account:

  • PPF account opening form
  • Passport size photograph
  • Residence proof and ID proof
  • Nomination form
  • PAN card copy

3. Can I withdraw PPF after 5 years?

The Government has lately amended the PPF scheme and propagated some positive changes regarding the withdrawal of balance from the account. You can now withdraw the whole amount and close your PPF after 5-years.

4. Is it mandatory to submit Aadhaar details to open a PPF account?

Submitting Aadhaar details is not mandatory to open a PPF account.

5. What is the PPF lock-in period?

Investments made to a PPF account have a lock-in period of 15 years. However, individuals can make a partial withdrawal from the PPF account after 5 years from the date of opening the account.

End Note

PPF scheme is backed by the Indian Government and hence there are no risks associated with investments made in the scheme. With the availability of online payments, it is easy to open and maintain a PPF account to avail maximum future benefits.

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