In its statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies on Wednesday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that there will be round-the-clock availability of the National Electronic Funds Transfer System (NEFT) from December 2019.
At present, the NEFT service is available to internet banking customers between 8 am to 7 pm only on bank working days. It allows fund transfers between any two NEFT-enabled bank accounts on a one-to-one basis.
"The Reserve Bank will make available the NEFT system on a 24x7 basis from December this year. This is expected to revolutionise the retail payments system of the country," said Shaktikanta Das.
The announcement is in line with RBI's Payments Settlement Vision 2019 to 2021 wherein it aims to make NEFT and RTGS facilities available for free and available at all times. In the last monetary policy review, RBI announced that it would waive NEFT and RTGS processing charges from 1 July 2019, the benefits of which were transferred by major banks to its customers. The State Bank of India also waived charges on IMPS transactions upto a limit with effect from 1 August.
NEFT transfers do not occur in real-time basis like RTGS, they are transferred in half-hourly batches . However, unlike IMPS and RTGS, there are no transaction amount limits set on these.