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NEFT transfers to become faster as RBI increases settlements in a day

The National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) payment system will have an additional 11 settlement batches during a day taking the total number of batches to 23, the Reserve Bank of India said in a notification. Earlier, the NEFT system had 12 settlement batches from 8 am to and 7 pm on weekdays and 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays.

““The half hourly settlements would speed up the funds transfer process and provide faster credit to the destination accounts,” the RBI said.

The additional settlements at half-hour intervals will be introduced with effect from July 10, 2017. The announcement was made during the first-monthly monetary policy statement.  Banks were advised to carry out the required changes in their core banking software to initiate the NEFT transactions for half hourly settlement and also to accept and credit the inward transactions on half hourly basis.

Under the NEFT, once a fund transfer request is raised, the bank branch sends a message to the pooling centre which is sorted by the RBI and sends it to the beneficiary branch to credit the amount. However, if the beneficiary bank is unable to credit the amount to an account, it is required to send the money back to the originating bank within two hours of the original processing batch.

Note that the RBI does not limit the amount of money that can be transferred using NEFT, however, individual banks can set a limit and advise customers to use another mechanism such as the Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system.

Latest RBI data showed the number of NEFT transactions stood at 143.2 million for the month of April and the value of these transactions stood at Rs 12,15,620 crore.

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