“Your A/C is subscribed to SMS banking service. From 15 June 2013 this service will be charged Rs.5 per month. To unsubscribe visit nearest branch.”
That’s the message I received this morning. I have an Axis bank account since 3 years and I remember ticking the box beside SMS banking while opening this account. It was free back then. I haven’t used the service even once in these 3 years. What a waste of a feature that was. Who remembers all those keywords when I can have mobile apps? I knew it before but still subscribed to it as it is a free service provided by the bank.
Not any more. As the message reads, account holders who have subscribed for SMS banking will be charged Rs.5 per month. And it says I have to visit a branch to unsubscribe from the service.
I hate going to a bank and so I searched if I could unsubscribe online. It turns out; I can.
Two ways to unsubscribe from SMS banking
I first logged into my Internet Banking account to see if there was a way to unsubscribe. Unfortunately, it was only one way, the subscribe way. There I can see and confirm that my account is ‘active’ for SMS banking.
Then on searching Axis bank’s site, I have found a couple of working ways. One is through phone banking, which requires you to call their toll free number and enter some details of your account to verify and then press ridiculous number of buttons to finally reach unsubscribe from SMS banking service option. Press the final button and be happy.
Two, via SMS banking. What an irony; we’re trying to stop SMS banking service by using the service itself. And in my case, I’m using it for the first time wanting it to be the last time.
If you didn’t know, +919717000002 is Axis banks’ SMS banking number. The keyword to use here is SUSPEND (not case sensitive, but type in capitals, just in case). Give a space after the keyword and enter the last 3 digits of your A/C number and send it to the SMS banking number. That’s it, your account is now deactivated for the SMS banking service.
I did not get any reply that I was unsubscribed from the service but on another visit to my internet banking account, I could confirm that I am indeed unsubscribed. ‘Active’ it said before; ‘deactive’ it says now.
Effect on SMS alerts
Unsubscribing from SMS Banking will limit your SMS alerts. While you were subscribed to SMS banking, you would have got SMS alerts for all transactions (ATM, cheque book, online transactions etc) regardless of the amount involved. Now, after unsubscribing, you will only get alerts if the amount is more than Rs.5000. For example, you will not get SMS notification if you withdraw any amount less than Rs.5000 from an ATM. So some compromise here when you are not willing to pay Rs.5 a month.
Note: If you use Axis Mobile application on your smart phone, you will no longer be able to use mobile banking when you unsubscribe from SMS banking. In other words, if you want to keep using Mobile banking application, you have to pay Rs.5 a month.