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National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) is a nation-wide payment system facilitating one-to-one funds transfer. Under this Scheme, individuals, firms and corporates can electronically transfer funds from any bank branch to any individual, firm or corporate having an account with any other bank branch in the country participating in the Scheme.
Who can transfer funds using NEFT?
Individuals, firms or corporates maintaining accounts with a bank branch can transfer funds using NEFT.
Even such individuals who do not have a bank account (walk-in customers) can also deposit cash at the NEFT-enabled branches with instructions to transfer funds using NEFT. However, such cash remittances will be restricted to a maximum of ₹ 50,000/- per transaction.
Amount that could be transferred using NEFT?
There is no limit – either minimum or maximum – on the amount of funds that could be transferred using NEFT. However, maximum amount per transaction is limited to ₹ 50,000/- for cash-based remittances within India and also for remittances to Nepal under the Indo-Nepal Remittance Facility Scheme.
operating hours of NEFT?
settlements of fund transfer requests in NEFT system is done on half-hourly basis.
How does the NEFT system operate?
Step-1 : An individual / firm / corporate intending to originate transfer of funds through NEFT has to fill an application form providing details of the beneficiary (like name of the beneficiary, name of the bank branch where the beneficiary has an account, IFSC of the beneficiary bank branch, account type and account number) and the amount to be remitted. The application form will be available at NEFT enabled originating bank branch. The remitter authorizes his/her bank branch to debit his account and remit the specified amount to the beneficiary. Customers enjoying net banking facility offered by their bankers can also initiate the funds transfer request online. Some banks offer the NEFT facility even through the ATMs. Walk-in customers will, however, have to give their contact details (complete address and telephone number, etc.) to the branch. This will help the branch to refund the money to the customer in case credit could not be afforded to the beneficiary’s bank account or the transaction is rejected / returned for any reason.
Step-2 : The originating bank branch prepares a message and sends the message to its pooling centre (also called the NEFT Service Centre).
Step-3 : The pooling centre forwards the message to the NEFT Clearing Centre (operated by National Clearing Cell, Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai) to be included for the next available batch.
Step-4 : The Clearing Centre sorts the funds transfer transactions destination bank-wise and prepares accounting entries to receive funds from the originating banks (debit) and give the funds to the destination banks(credit). Thereafter, bank-wise remittance messages are forwarded to the destination banks through their pooling centre (NEFT Service Centre).
Step-5 : The destination banks receive the inward remittance messages from the Clearing Centre and pass on the credit to the beneficiary customers’ accounts.
Service charges for NEFT transactions?
a) Inward transactions at destination bank branches (for credit to beneficiary accounts)
– Free, no charges to be levied on beneficiaries
b) Outward transactions at originating bank branches – charges applicable for the remitter
– For transactions up to ₹ 10,000 : not exceeding ₹ 2.50 (+ Applicable GST)
– For transactions above ₹ 10,000 up to ₹ 1 lakh: not exceeding ₹ 5 (+ Applicable GST)
– For transactions above ₹ 1 lakh and up to ₹ 2 lakhs: not exceeding ₹ 15 (+ Applicable GST)
– For transactions above ₹ 2 lakhs: not exceeding ₹ 25 (+ Applicable GST)
NEFT can be used to transfer funds from /to NRE and NRO accounts in the country.
Benefits of using NEFT
- The remitter need not send the physical cheque or Demand Draft to the beneficiary.
- The beneficiary need not visit his / her bank for depositing the paper instruments.
- The beneficiary need not be apprehensive of loss / theft of physical instruments or the likelihood of fraudulent encashment thereof.
- Cost effective.
- Credit confirmation of the remittances sent by SMS or email.
- Remitter can initiate the remittances from his home / place of work using the internet banking also.
- Near real time transfer of the funds to the beneficiary account in a secure manner.