The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) will not be available from 0001 hrs (00:01 am) to 1400 hours 2 pm on Sunday, May 23, 2021. RBI said the service will be shut during the hours owing to a scheduled technical upgrade to NEFT systems.

“A technical upgrade of NEFT, targeted to enhance the performance and resilience, is scheduled after the close of business of May 22, 2021. Accordingly, NEFT service will not be available from 00:01 hrs to 14:00 hrs on Sunday, May 23, 2021. The RTGS system will continue to be operational as usual during this period,” the RBI tweeted today.

The central bank has asked member banks to inform their customers to plan their payment operations accordingly. Also, NEFT Members will continue to receive event update(s) through NEFT system broadcasts.

However, the RTGS (real time gross settlement) system will continue to operate normally during the above period, the central bank said.

Member banks may inform their customers to plan their payment operations accordingly.

Similar technical upgrade for RTGS was completed on 18 April 2021.

Both NEFT and RTGS are fund transfer systems with the distinction that the latter is based on gross settlement while the former is based on net settlement. Gross settlement is when transactions are settled on a one-to-one basis without bunching with other transactions in real-time while NEFT uses Deferred Net Basis (DNS) or net-settlement in which transactions are done in batches at specific times. Both NEFT and RTGS facilities are available 24×7 on all days of the week.

In order to transfer money through NEFT a person needs to mention the IFSC code, the name of the beneficiary, the name and bank account number of the person to whom money needs to be transferred.

Last month, the central bank had proposed to expand RTGS and NEFT facilities to non-bank payment system firms in a phased manner. The objective of the move is to encourage participation of non-banks across payment systems.