The Reserve Bank of India has finally facilitated the 24/7 functioning of the Real-Time Gross Settlement System that has been used by businesses for large payments. The change has been in effect from 12:30 am today, according to RBI sources. The central bank’s governor Shaktikanta Das had mentioned the same in his Twitter post.
The press release adds, “Round the clock availability of RTGS will provide extended flexibility to businesses for effecting payments and will enable the introduction of additional settlement cycles in ancillary payment systems. This can also be leveraged to enhance operations of Indian financial markets and cross-border payments.” Fundamentally, the central bank believes that the move will help businesses maintain their transactions within and outside their time zones without the hassles of time-bound transaction systems.
The RTGS facilitates high-value transactions from a minimum of Rs 2 Lakh to no upper limit on a real-time basis. However, before the change, the system functioned alongside bank timings — from 7 am to 6 pm on all days except Sundays and second and fourth Saturdays.
According to a press release from the Reserve Bank, the system started on March 2004, as a soft launch with four banks in tow. It currently handles 6.35 lakh transactions daily for Rs 4.17 Lakh Crore’s value across more than 200 banks. The average ticket size for RTGS in November this year was almost Rs 58 lakh, making it an integral system for large transactions. The central bank also clarifies that the system is very safe as well since it uses the “best-in-class” messaging standards.