The National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) service will not be available from 00:01 hrs to 14:00 hrs on Sunday, May 23, 2021, the Reserve Bank of India said on Monday. The services will remain unavailable due to a technical upgrade. "A technical upgrade of NEFT, targeted to enhance the performance and resilience, is scheduled after the close of business of May 22, 2021. Accordingly, NEFT service will not be available from 00:01 hrs to 14:00 hrs on Sunday, May 23, 2021," the RBI statement said.
The RTGS (Real-Time Gross Settlement) system will continue to be operational as usual during this period, the central bank said. The RBI had also conducted a similar technical upgrade for RTGS on April 18, 2021. "Member banks may inform their customers to plan their payment operations accordingly," the statement said. The NEFT members will continue to receive event updates through NEFT system broadcasts, it said.
The NEFT service is available round the clock, though transfer happens in batches of half an hour. The biggest benefit of the service is that there's no maximum limit on the amount that can be transferred via the NEFT mode. Banks, however, have different limits on the amount that can be transferred via it. NEFT functions on all the RTGS working days and the banks participating in NEFT are required to participate on all such working days.
The RBI had last month expanded RTGS and NEFT facilities to non-bank payment system firms to provide benefits to users of fintech firms such as Paytm, PhonePe, and others. The RBI also increased the maximum end-of-day balance limit for payment banks to Rs 2 lakh. Earlier, the limit was Rs 1 lakh.