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After NEFT now, the RTGS payment system will be available 24*7

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India Governor Shashikant Das on Sunday confirmed that the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) will be operational from Monday, December 14, 12:30 am. With this move, India becomes one of the few countries in the world to operate its payment system 24*7*365.

“RTGS facility becomes operational 24X7 from 12.30 am tonight. Congratulations to the teams from RBI, IFTAS and the service partners who made this possible,” Das said in a tweet on Sunday.

RTGS, which is meant for high-value instant fund transfers, was currently available between 7.00 am to 6.00 pm on all working days of the week except the second and fourth Saturdays.

RTGS began its operations on March 26, 2004, with a soft launch involving only four banks and it presently handles about 6.35 lakh transactions per day amounting to the tune of Rs 4.17 lakh crore across more than 230 participant banks. This is a safe and secure system for funds transfer, with no upper amount ceiling though the minimum amount to be transmitted through RTGS is Rs 2,00,000. Since the fund settlement takes place in the books of RBI, the payments are final and irrevocable once made. The funds are transferred immediately after the transaction is processed. However, on the other hand, payments made through NEFT usually take a couple of hours and have an upper cap of Rs 2,00,000. 

In December 2019, RBI had made the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) service available 24X7. “Making available NEFT 24×7 is part of RBI’s vision of empowering every Indian with access to a bouquet of e-payment options,” the official handle to India’s central bank had tweeted. In October 2020, RBI had announced that RTGS will be available 24*7 from December 2020 onwards.

RBI earlier decided not to levy charges on transactions through NEFT and RTGS to promote digital transactions in the country. Making RTGS 24*7 will make the payment ecosystem in India more efficient. 

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