RTGS, the short form of ‘Real Time Gross Settlement’, is an inter-bank funds transfer system where money is transferred from one account / bank to another account / bank in ‘real-time’. It was launched by the Reserve Bank of India in March 2004, to meet the growing demand by customers for a speedy funds transfer system.
The three keywords in the term RTGS, if read separately, define the meaning and purpose of this funds transfer format:
- Real-Time means in actual time or immediate, with no waiting time. If you decide to transfer money in the RTGS format, you can expect the transfer to complete almost immediately. This is unlike other systems like NEFT where transfers can happen even on the next banking day.
- Gross means that each transaction is considered a ‘gross’ or ‘complete’ transaction wherein your fund transfer instruction is actioned individually and immediately instead of waiting to bundle it with other transactions.
- Settlement means that once the fund is transferred, it is considered ‘settled’ or concluded, and cannot be reversed. This is more so because the fund transfer is routed through Reserve Bank of India, making the transfer final and irrevocable.
Can RTGS Transactions be Done at Any Hour?
RTGS is, by nature of its format, the fastest method of transferring funds from one account or bank to another. So, if you have to send money to someone within a fixed timeframe, you can do so with RTGS, with the money being debited from your account, and credited in the receiver’s account, all in a matter of a few minutes.
However, it must be noted that the transaction process has to be done as per RBI banking hour guidelines, as the online process for both debit and credit in the respective banks has to be managed by a bank official.
What are the RTGS Banking Service Hours?
To provide the maximum convenience to customers and boost digital payments, RBI has notified that RTGS payment system will be available for customers on a round-the-clock basis, from 1st December 2020. This means that RTGS is available 24×7, 365 days. Earlier, RTGS was available for customers from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm on all working days of a week, except the second and fourth Saturdays of every month.
Time Taken to Complete a Funds Transfer
As RTGS money transfers happen in real-time and it is expected that the money should reach the beneficiary account in just a few minutes. To make sure that transactions take place at the utmost speed, RBI has stipulated that the beneficiary bank has a strict timeline to follow. They need to process the credit towards the beneficiary account within half an hour of receiving the instruction for the fund transfer. They also have to immediately confirm the action taken to the remitting bank, who then sends out a confirmation SMS. Thus, it can be assumed that a debit/credit process will be completed in a little over half an hour.
What is the Procedure if a Funds Transfer Does Not Happen in the Stipulated Time?
Sometimes, a funds transfer cannot be completed, due to reasons such as non-existent beneficiary account, frozen account, etc. In such cases, where the beneficiary account is not credited, the amount will be credited back into the originating account either a) within an hour of originating bank receiving failure notification, or b) before the end of RTGS business hours, whichever is earlier.
In case the transaction process does not meet laid down standards, or there have been unwarranted delays and the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved, you should immediately contact your bank branch.
You also have the option of writing or emailing the customer service department at Reserve Bank of India with your complaint, at the following address:
The Chief General Manager
Reserve Bank of India
Customer Service Department
1st Floor, Amar Building, Fort
Mumbai – 400 001
Alternately, you can send an email to email@example.com, or write directly on RBI’s webpage: www.rbi.org.in
How to Ensure a Smooth and Timely RTGS Transaction?
As noted above, RTGS is a highly simple and quick transaction process. At the outset, you will have to verify that both your bank branch and the beneficiary bank branch are RTGS enabled. Secondly, you should have a net banking facility attached to your account.
Furthermore, to make certain that unnecessary barriers do not suddenly crop up while you are transacting online, it is important to have the following necessary information ready with you at the start:
- Name of beneficiary
- Account number of the beneficiary
- Name of beneficiary bank and branch
- IFSC code of the beneficiary branch
- The amount that needs to be remitted
- Senders account number which needs to be debited
- Reason for transfer, in case you want to give specific information to the receiver
Make sure that all details listed above are absolutely correct, whether it be the account number, the IFSC code, or the spelling of the beneficiary name. Your bank branch will be able to provide you with the required IFSC code. Also, the IFSC code will be printed on the beneficiary’s cheque leaf.
Any discrepancy can result in delays or non-transfer and return of funds, both of which are highly undesirable, given that the purpose of RTGS is the speedy transfer of funds.
Also, it is worthwhile to check whether the recipient branch is RTGS enabled. Even though over 1,00,000 branches of several banks in India are RTGS enabled, many still don’t have this facility.