In a business friendly move, the Reserve Bank of India on Friday said that Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), used for large value transactions, will be made available round-the-clock from December.
In December 2019, the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system was made available on a 24x7x365 basis.
Currently, RTGS is available for customers from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm on all working days of a week, except second and fourth Saturdays of every month.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that to support the ongoing efforts aimed at global integration of Indian financial markets, facilitate India's efforts to develop international financial centres and to provide wider payment flexibility to domestic corporate and institutions, it has been decided to make RTGS available round-the-clock on all days.
"With this, India will be one of the very few countries globally with a 24x7x365 large value real time payment system," he said after the the meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
The round-the-clock RTGS facility will be made effective from December 2020.
From July 2019, RBI stopped levying charges on transactions through NEFT and RTGS, with an aim to promote digital transactions in the country.
RTGS is meant for large-value instantaneous fund transfers while NEFT is used for fund transfers of up to Rs 2 lakh.
The central bank has also decided to grant perpetual validity for Certificate of Authorisation (CoA) issued to Payment System Operators (PSOs) to reduce licensing uncertainties.
Currently, the RBI issues "on-tap" authorisation under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 to non-banks issuing Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs), operating White Label ATMs (WLAs) or the Trade Receivables Discounting Systems (TReDS), or participating as Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs).
Authorisation, including renewal of authorisation, of such PSOs has been largely for specified periods of up to five years.
While such limited period licences were necessitated in the initial period of evolution of the payment system, it can lead to business uncertainty for the PSOs and involves avoidable use of regulatory resources in the process of renewal, the Governor said.
"To reduce licensing uncertainties and enable PSOs to focus on their business and optimise utilisation of scarce regulatory resources, it has been decided to grant authorisation for all PSOs (both new applicants as well as existing PSOs) on a perpetual basis, subject to certain conditions," Das said.
He also pointed out that RBI's oversight framework has gradually developed into a more mature and comprehensive system, which clearly lays out its oversight expectations and the methodologies adopted for oversight of PSOs.
Photograph: Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters