NEFT or National Electronic Fund Transfer is a payment system that facilitates one to one fund transfers. The payment mode enables companies, firms, corporates and individuals to transfer funds electronically to anyone they wish to within the country. In order to be able to take part in an NEFT transaction, a bank has to be part of the NEFT network. So, this becomes of extreme importance to know about the NEFT Transfer Timings before making any NEFT transaction.
Who all can use NEFT?
- Any individual, corporate, firm or company having a bank account can carry out NEFT transactions
- The only pre-requisite being, the bank should be part of the network
- If your bank allows NEFT transfer, you can easily proceed with the transaction
- You are only required to enable internet banking for your account with the bank
- The downside being, you will only be able to transfer Rs.50000 per transaction and within the specified NEFT timings. Also, you need to be aware of the bank account details, contact details and also IFSC code of the person you want to transfer the money to
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If you want to transfer funds to anyone using NEFT, you should also be aware of NEFT timings specified by the Reserve Bank of India. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduced the 24×7 NEFT payment system in 2019 to promote digital transactions and global integration of Indian financial markets. NEFT uses a simple mechanism for clearing of all the funds.
- Every time someone places a request for NEFT transfers, the same is queued up
- NEFT has predefined clearance timings that run once every hour
As mentioned, the NEFT works for 24×7, 365 days. NEFT transactions after usual banking hours of banks are expected to be automated transactions initiated using ‘Straight Through Processing (STP)’ modes by the banks.
Earlier, the particulars of NEFT timings were as follows-
- For working weekdays, there are 12 hourly batches, and they start from 8 AM in the morning until 7 PM in the evening. So all the transactions initiated within these NEFT timings will be cleared off within the same day
- If you do place an NEFT transaction either before or after these NEFT transfer timings, the order will be cleared off at the next available clearance slot
- If you want to transfer funds to someone on a Sunday using NEFT, you can place the order but the same will be executed in the first clearance batch on Monday or the next working day
- As far as Saturdays are concerned, there are six slots for settlements that are available throughout the day. The timings start from 8 AM in the morning and go all the way until 1 PM. Any requests placed post these timings would be cleared off at the next available clearance slot on the next working day
- The timings are also valid to the recent changes to bank working schedules on Saturdays
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NEFT Timings Post COVID-19 Lockdown
After the unprecedented situation and nationwide lockdown in India due to Coronavirus, Private & Public Sector Banks took favourable measures by altering the operating hours, reducing staff count in the branch offices, etc.
Nonetheless, post lockdown, all banks have reinstated their normal working hours and have resumed the suspended services. There was no impact on NEFT services. In fact, service charges applied to the transfer of funds via NEFT online were suspended.
Please Note: NEFT services are available for 24*7 for 365 days. No charges are levied on the transfer of funds online via the NEFT system.
How does NEFT work?
- To initiate an NEFT transaction, you need to fill a form with all the details of the beneficiary
- Details such as Name of the beneficiary, account number, type of account, IFSC code of the branch in which they have their account and of course the amount you want to transfer
- Once you send all these details to your bank, they will debit the mentioned amount from your account and pass on the same to the beneficiary account
- Internally, once you place a request for the transfer, your bank will send a message to the pooling Centre or also known NEFT Service Centre
- The message is then transferred from the pooling Centre to the NEFT Clearing Centre
- The Reserve Bank of India’s National Clearing Cell is in charge of the NEFT Clearing Centre
- The orders are then organized based on the destination bank. It then also accounts for the sending bank and receiving bank
- The messages are then forwarded to the destination bank using the NEFT Service Centre or the pooling Centre
- Once the destination bank receives the message, the fund is then transferred to the beneficiary’s account
What are the NEFT Charges?
The RBI has asked all banks to stop levying charges on NEFT transactions initiated online via internet/mobile banking portals. Moreover, there are no charges whatsoever when it comes to receiving funds via NEFT. However, if you want to process NEFT at the bank, you will have to pay charges according to the different slabs.
- For transactions up to Rs.10000, charges should not exceed Rs.2.50 (excluding taxes)
- For transactions above Rs.10000 but below Rs.1 lakh, charges would be Rs.5 (excluding taxes)
- For transactions above Rs.1 Lakh but below Rs.2 lakh, charges would be Rs.15 (excluding taxes)
- For transactions above Rs.2 lakh, charges would be Rs.25 (excluding taxes)
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The introduction of NEFT in 2005 has again and again proven to be a smart step by the RBI. There are enough statistics to show that the payment mode is the incredibly famous amount of customers seeking online services. Though there are no limits when it comes to the amount of money that one can transfer under the mode, you cannot transfer money to someone outside India. Apart from the above features, the originating bank should also provide an acknowledgement once transferred amount is deposited in the receiver’s account. NEFT services are now available on a round-the-clock basis i.e. 24×7, 365 days.