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.
Another important question is whether all bank branches in the country part of the NEFT funds transfer network?
For being part of the NEFT funds transfer network, a bank branch has to be NEFT- enabled. The list of bank-wise branches which are participating in NEFT is provided in the website of Reserve Bank of India at http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/neft.aspx
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 Rs.50,000/- per transaction. Such customers have to furnish full details including complete address, telephone number, etc. NEFT, thus, facilitates originators or remitters to initiate funds transfer transactions even without having a bank account.
Who can receive funds through the NEFT system?
Individuals, firms or corporates maintaining accounts with a bank branch can receive funds through the NEFT system. It is, therefore, necessary for the beneficiary to have an account with the NEFT enabled destination bank branch in the country.
The NEFT system also facilitates one-way cross-border transfer of funds from India to Nepal. This is known as the Indo-Nepal Remittance Facility Scheme. A remitter can transfer funds from any of the NEFT-enabled branches in to Nepal, irrespective of whether the beneficiary in Nepal maintains an account with a bank branch in Nepal or not. The beneficiary would receive funds in Nepalese Rupees.
Is there any limit on the amount that could be transferred using NEFT?
No. 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 Rs.50,000/- for cash-based remittances within India and also for remittances to Nepal under the Indo-Nepal Remittance Facility Scheme.
Whether the system is centre-specific or has any geographical restriction?
No. There is no restriction of centres or of any geographical area within the country. The NEFT system takes advantage of the core banking system in banks. Accordingly, the settlement of funds between originating and receiving banks takes places centrally at Mumbai, whereas the branches participating in NEFT can be located anywhere across the length and breadth of the country.
What are the operating hours of NEFT?
Presently, NEFT operates in hourly batches – there are twelve settlements from 8 am to 7 pm on week days (Monday through Friday) and six settlements from 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays.