What is RTGS ?
The abbreviation 'RTGS' stands for Real Time Gross Settlement, which can be defined as the continuous (real-time) settlement of funds individually on an order by order basis (without netting). 'Real Time' means the processing of instructions at the time they are received rather than at some later time.'Gross Settlement' means the settlement of funds transfer instructions occurs individually (on an instruction by instruction basis). Considering that the funds settlement takes place in the books of the Reserve Bank of India, the payments are final and irrevocable.
National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) is a nation-wide payment system facilitating one-to-one funds transfer. Under this Scheme, individuals can electronically transfer funds from any bank branch to any individual having an account with any other bank branch in the country participating in the Scheme.
NEFT is an electronic fund transfer system that operates on a Deferred Net Settlement (DNS) basis which settles transactions in batches. In DNS, the settlement takes place with all transactions received till the particular cut-off time. These transactions are netted (payable and receivables) in NEFT whereas in RTGS the transactions are settled individually. For example, currently, NEFT operates in hourly batches. [There are twelve settlements from 8 am to 7 pm on week days and six settlements from 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays.] Any transaction initiated after a designated settlement time would have to wait till the next designated settlement time Contrary to this, in the RTGS transactions are processed continuously throughout the RTGS business hours.
The RTGS system is primarily meant for large value transactions. The minimum amount to be remitted through RTGS is 2 lakh. There is no upper ceiling for RTGS transactions
Under normal circumstances the beneficiary branches are expected to receive the funds in real time as soon as funds are transferred by the remitting bank. The beneficiary bank has to credit the beneficiary's account within 30 minutes of receiving the funds transfer message.
The remitting bank receives a message from the Reserve Bank that money has been credited to the receiving bank. Based on this the remitting bank can advise the remitting customer through SMS that money has been credited to the receiving bank.
. Yes. Funds, received by a RTGS member for the credit to a beneficiary customer’s account, will be returned to the originating RTGS member within one hour of the receipt of the payment at the PI of the recipient bank or before the end of the RTGS Business day, whichever is earlier, if it is not possible to credit the funds to the beneficiary customer’s account for any reason e.g. account does not exist, account frozen, etc. Once the money is received back by the remitting bank, the original debit entry in the customer's account is reversed.
The RTGS service window for customer's transactions is available to banks from 9.00 hours to 16.30 hours on week days and from 9.00 hours to 14:00 hours on Saturdays for settlement at the RBI end. However, the timings that the banks follow may vary depending on the customer timings of the bank branches.
With a view to rationalize the service charges levied by banks for offering funds transfer through RTGS system, a broad framework has been mandated as under:
a) Inward transactions - Free, no charge to be levied. b) Outward transactions - 2 lakh to 5 lakh - not exceeding 30.00 per transaction; Above 5 lakh – not exceeding ` 55.00 per transaction.
The remitting customer has to furnish the following information to a bank for initiating a RTGS remittance:
- Amount to be remitted
- Remitting customer's account number which is to be debited
- Name of the beneficiary bank and branch
- The IFSC Number of the receiving branch
- Name of the beneficiary customer
- Account number of the beneficiary customer
- Sender to receiver information, if any
FAQ on NEFT
: For being part of the NEFT funds transfer network, a bank branch has to be NEFT- enabled. The list of bank-wise branches which are participating in NEFT is provided in the website of Reserve Bank of India at http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/neft.aspx
Individuals, firms or corporates maintaining accounts with a bank branch can transfer funds using NEFT. Even such individuals who do not have a bank account (walk-in customers) can also deposit cash at the NEFT-enabled branches with instructions to transfer funds using NEFT. However, such cash remittances will be restricted to a maximum of Rs.50,000/- per transaction. Such customers have to furnish full details including complete address, telephone number, etc. NEFT, thus, facilitates originators or remitters to initiate funds transfer transactions even without having a bank account
Individuals, firms or corporates maintaining accounts with a bank branch can receive funds through the NEFT system. It is, therefore, necessary for the beneficiary to have an account with the NEFT enabled destination bank branch in the country.
The NEFT system also facilitates one-way cross-border transfer of funds from India to Nepal. This is known as the Indo-Nepal Remittance Facility Scheme. A remitter can transfer funds from any of the NEFT-enabled branches in to Nepal, irrespective of whether the beneficiary in Nepal maintains an account with a bank branch in Nepal or not. The beneficiary would receive funds in Nepalese Rupees.
No. There is no limit – either minimum or maximum – on the amount of funds that could be transferred using NEFT. However, maximum amount per transaction is limited to Rs.50,000/- for cash-based remittances within India and also for remittances to Nepal under the Indo-Nepal Remittance Facility Scheme.
. No. There is no restriction of centres or of any geographical area within the country. The NEFT system takes advantage of the core banking system in banks. Accordingly, the settlement of funds between originating and receiving banks takes places centrally at Mumbai, whereas the branches participating in NEFT can be located anywhere across the length and breadth of the country.
Presently, NEFT operates in hourly batches - there are twelve settlements from 8 am to 7 pm on week days (Monday through Friday) and six settlements from 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays.
Step-1 : An individual / firm / corporate intending to originate transfer of funds through NEFT has to fill an application form providing details of the beneficiary (like name of the beneficiary, name of the bank branch where the beneficiary has an account, IFSC of the beneficiary bank branch, account type and account number) and the amount to be remitted. The application form will be available at the originating bank branch. The remitter authorizes his/her bank branch to debit his account and remit the specified amount to the beneficiary. Customers enjoying net banking facility offered by their bankers can also initiate the funds transfer request online. Some banks offer the NEFT facility even through the ATMs. Walk-in customers will, however, have to give their contact details (complete address and telephone number, etc.) to the branch. This will help the branch to refund the money to the customer in case credit could not be afforded to the beneficiary’s bank account or the transaction is rejected / returned for any reason.
Step-2 : The originating bank branch prepares a message and sends the message to its pooling centre (also called the NEFT Service Centre).
Step-3 : The pooling centre forwards the message to the NEFT Clearing Centre (operated by National Clearing Cell, Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai) to be included for the next available batch.
Step-4 : The Clearing Centre sorts the funds transfer transactions destination bank-wise and prepares accounting entries to receive funds from the originating banks (debit) and give the funds to the destination banks(credit). Thereafter, bank-wise remittance messages are forwarded to the destination banks through their pooling centre (NEFT Service Centre).
Step-5 : The destination banks receive the inward remittance messages from the Clearing Centre and pass on the credit to the beneficiary customers’ accounts.
IFSC or Indian Financial System Code is an alpha-numeric code that uniquely identifies a bank-branch participating in the NEFT system. This is an 11 digit code with the first 4 alpha characters representing the bank, and the last 6 characters representing the branch. The 5th character is 0 (zero). IFSC is used by the NEFT system to identify the originating / destination banks / branches and also to route the messages appropriately to the concerned banks / branches.
Bank-wise list of IFSCs is available with all the bank-branches participating in NEFT. List of bank-wise branches participating in NEFT and their IFSCs is available on the website of Reserve Bank of India at http://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/bs_viewcontent.aspx?Id=2009 . All the banks have also been advised to print the IFSC of the branch on cheques issued to their customers.
Further, banks have also been advised to ensure that their branch staff provide necessary assistance to customers in filling out the required details, including IFSC details, in the NEFT application form, and also help in ensuring that there is no mismatch between the IFSC code and branch details of beneficiary branch as provided by the customer.
The beneficiary can expect to get credit for the NEFT transactions within two business hours (currently NEFT business hours is from morning 8 AM to evening 7 PM on all week days and from morning 8 AM to afternoon 1 PM on Saturdays) from the batch in which the transaction was settled..
In case of non-credit or delay in credit to the beneficiary account, the NEFT Customer Facilitation Centre (CFC) of the respective bank can be contacted (the remitter can contact his bank’s CFC; the beneficiary may contact the CFC of his bank). Details of NEFT Customer Facilitation Centres of banks are available on the websites of the respective banks. The details are also available on the website of Reserve Bank of India at http://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/bs_viewcontent.aspx?Id=2070.
If the issue is not resolved satisfactorily, the NEFT Help Desk (or Customer Facilitation Centre of Reserve Bank of India) at National Clearing Cell, Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai may be contacted through e-mail or by addressing correspondence to the General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, National Clearing Centre, First Floor, Mumbai Regional Office, Fort Mumbai 400001
If it is not possible to afford credit to the account of the beneficiary for whatever reason, destination banks are required to return the transaction (to the originating branch) within two hours of completion of the batch in which the transaction was processed.
For example, if a customer submits a fund transfer request at 12.05 p.m. to a NEFT-enabled branch, the branch in turn forwards the message through its pooling centre to the NEFT Clearing Centre for processing in the immediately available batch which (say) is the 1.00 pm batch. If the destination bank is unable to afford the credit to the beneficiary for any reason, it has to return the transaction to the originating bank, not later than in the 3.00 pm batch. On receiving such a returned transaction, the originating bank has to credit the amount back to account of the originating customer.
Yes. NEFT can be used to transfer funds from or to NRE and NRO accounts in the country. This, however, is subject to the adherence of the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 2000 (FEMA) and Wire Transfer Guidelines.
No. However, a facility is available to send outward remittances to Nepal under the Indo-Nepal Remittance Facility Scheme.
Besides personal funds transfer, the NEFT system can also be used for a variety of transaction including payment of credit card dues to the card issuing banks, payment of loan EMI etc. It is necessary to quote the IFSC of the beneficiary card issuing bank to initiate the bill payment transactions using NEFT.
No. NEFT is a credit-push system i.e., transactions can be originated by the payer / remitter/send only to pay/ transfer / remit funds to a beneficiary.
Yes. In case of successful credit to the beneficiary's account, the bank which had originated the transaction is expected to send a confirmation to the originating customer (through SMS or e-mail) advising of the credit as also mentioning the date and time of credit. For the purpose, remitters need to provide their mobile number / e-mail-id to the branch at the time of originating the transaction.
Yes, the remitter can track the NEFT transaction through the originating bank branch or its CFC using the unique transaction reference number provided at the time of initiating the funds transfer. It is possible for the originating bank branch to keep track and be aware of the status of the NEFT transaction at all times.
NEFT offers many advantages over the other modes of funds transfer:
The remitter need not send the physical cheque or Demand Draft to the beneficiary.
The beneficiary need not visit his / her bank for depositing the paper instruments.
The beneficiary need not be apprehensive of loss / theft of physical instruments or the likelihood of fraudulent encashment thereof. Cost effective.
Credit confirmation of the remittances sent by SMS or email.
Remitter can initiate the remittances from his home / place of work using the internet banking also.
Near real time transfer of the funds to the beneficiary account in a secure manner.
Following are the pre-requisites for putting through a funds transfer transaction using NEFT.
Originating and destination bank branches should be part of the NEFT network
Beneficiary details such as beneficiary name, account number and account type, name and IFSC of the beneficiary bank branch should be available with the remitter.
Customers should exercise due care in providing the account number of the beneficiary, as, in the course of processing NEFT transactions, the credit will be given to the customer’s account solely based on account number provided in the NEFT remittance instruction / message.