Around 11.40 lakh transactions were settled in the first eight hours after widely-used National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) was made operational on a 24X7 basis, the RBI said. The RBI operationalised NEFT System 24X7 from 12:00 am on Monday.
"This ensures availability of anytime electronic funds transfer," it said.
The RBI now joins an elite club of countries having payment systems, which enable round-the-clock funds transfer and settlement of any value.
"Between 12:00 am and 8:00 am this morning, NEFT settled over 11.40 lakh transactions," it said.
The RBI said making NEFT available 24x7 is part of its vision of empowering every Indian with access to a bouquet of e-payment options.
In order to give further impetus to digital retail payments, banks have been asked to levy any charges from their savings bank account holders for funds transfers done through NEFT system, which are initiated online from January 1, 2020.
Online transactions include internet banking and through mobile apps of banks.
Earlier, in August, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said,
“Currently, the NEFT payment system operated by the Reserve Bank as a retail payment system is available for customers from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm on all working days of the week (except 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month). As mentioned in the Payment System Vision 2021 document, the Reserve Bank will make available the NEFT system on a 24x7 basis from December 2019.”
According to the Central Bank, this move is expected to revolutionise the retail payments system of the country, and further give an impetus in the growth of digital payments in the country.
As part of the vision, the RBI expects payments made through NEFT to increase by over 40 percent by 2021. It also expects the number of digital transactions to increase more than four times from 2,069 crore (20.69 billion transactions) in December 2018 to 8,707 crore (80.07 billion transactions) in December 2021.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
(Edited by Megha Reddy)