The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday announced that the money transfer facility, Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), will be available round the clock on all days of the year from December 14, 2020. With this, India will become one of the few countries in the world to operate its RTGS system round the clock throughout the year, says the central bank.
Currently, the transfer facility is available between 7 AM and 6 PM on all working days except for the second and fourth Saturday of the month and on Sundays.
"RTGS 24x7x365 will be launched with effect from 00:30 hours on December 14, 2020," the RBI notified today.
RTGS facilitates inter-bank transfer of funds from the account of the remitter in one bank to the account of the beneficiary maintained with any other bank branch. The minimum amount to be remitted through RTGS is Rs 2 lakh with no upper or maximum ceiling.
As per the RBI, round the clock availability of RTGS will provide extended flexibility to businesses for effecting payments and will enable introduction of additional settlement cycles in ancillary payment systems.
This can also be leveraged to enhance operations of Indian financial markets and cross-border payments, it added.
RTGS and NEFT are two systems for interbank transfer facilities supervised by the RBI.
The move comes within a year of operationalising National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) 24x7 by the apex bank. NEFT is an electronic fund transfer system in which the transactions received up to a particular time are processed in batches. Contrary to this, in RTGS, the transactions are processed continuously on a transaction by transaction basis throughout the RTGS business hours.
On October 9, the RBI, in its statement on development and regulatory policies, has announced that RTGS will be available round the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from December 2020.
RTGS, which began its operations on March 26, 2004 with a soft launch involving four banks, presently handles 6.35 lakh transactions daily for a value of Rs 4.17 lakh crore across 237 participant banks. The average ticket size for RTGS in November 2020 was Rs 57.96 lakh making it a truly large value payment system.
RTGS uses ISO 20022 format which is the best-in-class messaging standard for financial transactions. The feature of positive confirmation for credit to beneficiary accounts is also available in RTGS.
By Chitranjan Kumar