Starting December 16, NEFT system will be available 24x7 for all days of the year, including holidays, the RBI said.
NEFT transactions to be settled in half-hourly batches
According to RBI's notification, from December 16, NEFT transactions will be settled in 48 half-hourly batches every day, between 00:30-00:00 hours.
The first settlement under the new facility will take place at 12:30 am on December 16.
Till now, the transactions were settled in hourly batches from 8 am-7 pm on weekdays and 8 am-1 pm on first and third Saturdays.
After banking hours, transactions will be automated
Transactions after usual banking hours will be automated by 'Straight-Through-Processing (STP)' modes by the banks. "The existing discipline for crediting beneficiary's account or returning the transaction (within 2 hours of settlement of the respective batch) to the originating bank will continue," the RBI said.
RBI directs member banks to maintain adequate liquidity
The RBI has directed member banks to send positive confirmation messages after each transaction.
The RBI expects member banks to maintain adequate liquidity in current accounts with the apex bank to successfully post NEFT batch settlements.
It said the banks are to maintain the existing discipline of either crediting beneficiary's account, or returning the transaction to the originating bank within 2 hours of settlement.
Initiate necessary action, infrastructural requirements: RBI to member banks
RBI said, "Member banks are also advised to initiate necessary action and ensure availability of all necessary infrastructural requirements at their end for providing seamless NEFT 24x7 facility to their customers. Banks may disseminate information on the extended timings for NEFT to all their customers."
NEFT, RTGS charges were waived earlier this year
Earlier in June, the apex bank had decided to waive charges on NEFT and RTGS transactions.
Digital payments comprised 96% of all non-cash retail payments between October 2018-September 2019.
Within the period, while NEFT systems handled Rs. 252 crore, a 20% year-on-year growth, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) systems handled Rs. 874 crore, marking a year-on-year growth of 263%.