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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its Monetary Policy Review meet today announced round-the-clock availability of the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) payment system from December 2019. Currently, NEFT payment system operated by RBI as a retail payment system is available for customers from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm on all working days of the week (except 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month). The availability of NEFT on a 24x7 basis is expected to revolutionise the retail payments system of the country.

The banking regulator's latest decision indicates its larger intention to encourage digital payments.

As expected, RBI today cut repo rate for the fourth consecutive time this calendar year by 35 basis points amid low inflation, faltering economic growth and uncertain global scenario. After today's rate cut, it is very likely that top lenders will again revise their interest rates on fixed deposits in the coming days.

Watch | RBI policy: MPC cuts repo rate by 35 basis points, 4th reduction in a row


The Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), an interoperable platform for repetitive bill payments, currently covers five segments viz., (i) direct-to-home (DTH); (ii) electricity; (iii) gas; (iv) telecom; and (v) water bills. In order to leverage the advantages of the BBPS and harness its full potential, it has been decided to permit all categories of billers (except prepaid recharges) who provide for recurring bill payments to participate in BBPS on a voluntary basis. Apart from digitisation of cashbased bill payments, these segments would also benefit from the standardised bill payment experience for customers, centralised customer grievance redressal mechanism, prescribed customer convenience fee and the like. Detailed instructions in this regard will be issued by the end of September 2019.

In June 6 review meet, RBI decided to eliminate levy on online payment modes—Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) and National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT).

“In order to provide an impetus to digital funds movement, it has been decided to do away with the charges levied by the Reserve Bank for transactions processed in the RTGS and NEFT systems," the banking regulator had said in a statement.

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