RBI makes NEFT transfers available 24X7

Just like IMPS, NEFT will now be available round the clock. Here’s everything you need to know about the charges and limits

RBI makes NEFT transfers available 24X7

In a welcome ruling, RBI has made National Electronics Fund Transfer (NEFT) available 24X7 with effect from December 16, 2019. This facility was only extended to Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) transfers with a cap of Rs 2 lakh.

NEFT will now be available on all days, including Sundays and holidays. With this move, RBI has lifted restrictions, enabling bank customers to transfer funds at any time on any given day.

What were the rules so far?

Till now, NEFT was only available from 8 am to 6.30 pm on bank working weekdays. On the first and third Saturdays, settlements could happen only from 8 am to 1 pm. 

Transactions were not settled on Sundays and other bank holidays.

Related: How Unified Payment Interface (UPI) can change the way you bank

What are the new NEFT transfer time slots?

Keeping in mind the vision of Digital India, RBI’s new diktat states that fund transfers will be settled through the day in 30-minute time slots. The first slot starting at 12.30 am till 1 am and the last slot at 11.30 pm to 12 am. There will be a 30-minute break at midnight. 

This essentially means customers will not be able to transfer funds after 11.30 pm till 12.30 am when the first slot of the day begins. 

RBI has asked banks to deploy the infrastructure to support 24X7 NEFT transfers. Banks will have to automate NEFT transactions after banking hours using the Straight Through Processing (STP) technology. The NEFT transfer time taken will be the same. The current practice of crediting beneficiary account within two hours of the transaction will continue.

Related: Everything you need to know about the BHIM app

Is there an NEFT transfer limit?

While there is no minimum limit for NEFT, different banks have different upper limits. These could range from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh. Specific bank rules and customer categories influence the maximum amount.

Talking about NEFT vs. RTGS, customers generally use NEFT for transfers up to Rs 2 lakh. RTGS is leveraged for higher-value transactions.

What are the charges?

In mid-2019, RBI had waived off NEFT and RTGS charges for banks. It had asked banks to extend the same benefit to customers. In keeping the line with this, many banks such as ICICI Bank and State Bank of India do not levy any NEFT charges.

RBI has proposed a mandate to make NEFT transfers free for all savings account customer from January 2020 onward.

With this move, India joins a few global countries that provide such a seamless process. These include Singapore, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, Mexico and Sweden.

Did you know 42% of Indian consumers prefer digital payments? Read this survey


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