Change in RTGS Timings
On 9th October 2020, an announcement was made in a Press release – Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies – declaring the decision on making the RTGS Timings be round the clock with no holidays.
On 4th December 2020, a notification was rolled out on the RBI website in reference to the Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies, deciding that RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) will be available at all times and on all days i.e 24x7x365 from 00:30 hours on December 14, 2020.
Very few countries have adopted this approach of 24×7 RTGS timings approach and India will be one of them to process the real-time payment system for large transactions.
This decision was made as part of the continued attempt for the international level inclusion of the Indian financial markets, to support the attempt of India to develop international financial centers, and to facilitate and increase the flexibility of payments to domestic corporates and institutions.
As per the RBI (Reserve Bank of India), this change will expand the flexibility to businesses for transacting and will make the introduction of additional settlement cycles in ancillary payment systems possible.
What is RTGS?
‘RTGS’ is used for the payment and transfer of large amounts on a real-time basis. As per the RBI, it is a system that facilitates online real-time settlement of payments either on a gross basis or through Multilateral Settlement Batches, received from the banks.
The fund transfers or payments are done in a continuous and real-time settlement on a transaction by transaction basis.
ISO 20022 format is used by Real Time Gross Settlement. It is a best-in-class messaging standard for financial transactions. RTGS also has the feature to notify the credit to beneficiary accounts.
Before the application of these declared changes, RTGS was available from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm on all working days (except the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month).
From 00.30 hours on December 14th, the customers and inter-bank transactions can be processed 24×7, except for the time gap interval between ‘end-of-day’ and ‘start-of-day’ processes (timings would be duly broadcasted through the RTGS system and/or publication on the Bank’s website). With a former notification, the Bank may change the functional hours of RTGS for a particular day or any period.
As per RTGS System Regulations, 2013 (Amended in December 2020), Annex 5, the Cut-off Timings in RTGS at RBI (effective December 14, 2020) would be as under:
|Sr. No.||Timing/Event||All days|
|1.||Open for Business||00:30 hours|
|2.||*Cut-off (Customer and Inter-bank transactions)||23:50 hours|
|3.||End of Day||00:00|
*The cut-off for the customer (preceding initial cut-off) and interbank transactions shall be carried out at 23:50 hours in RTGS.
#RTGS End of the day shall be carried out after the cut-off has been executed
Before the changes the RTGS timings were as follows:
|Sr. No.||Time Event||Business days (except Second and Fourth Saturdays of the Month)|
|1.||Open for Business||07:00 hours|
|2.||Initial Cut-off (Customer transactions)||18:00 hours|
|3.||Final Cut-off (Inter-bank transactions)||19:45 hours|
|4.||IDL Reversal||19:45 hours – 20:00 hours|
|5.||End of Day||20:00 hours|
Annex 6 of the RTGS System Regulations, 2013 (Amended in December 2020) provides the details about the minimum transaction limit and the maximum service charges for the customers.
|Sr.No.||Transaction Type||Threshold Value|
|1.||Customer||Rs. 2 lakh (Minimum limit)|
The banks can levy the Maximum Service Charges to the Customers as below:
|Sr. No.||RTGS Transaction Type and Value Band||Maximum customer charges|
|2a.||₹ 2 lakh to ₹ 5 lakh||₹ 25/-|
|2b.||Above ₹ 5 lakh||₹ 50/-|
 Before the changes, the charges were as below:
|2a.||₹ 2 lakh to ₹ 5 lakh||₹ 25 + applicable time-varying tariff subject to a maximum of Rs.30/-.|
|2b.||Above ₹ 5 lakh||₹ 50 + applicable time-varying tariff subject to a maximum of Rs.55/-.|
RTGS Statistics and Numbers
As per Statista data, in the fiscal year 2014, the RTGS transaction volume amounted to only 81 million. There was a notable increase to around 150 million in the fiscal year 2019 across India.
As per the RBI data, RTGS started operating on March 26, 2004 and currently 237 participant banks process overall daily transactions of 6.35 lakhs for a value of Rs 4.17 lakh crore. In November 2020, the average ticket size was Rs 57.96 lakh.
RBI provides the bank-wise data for the Inward and Outward transactions. Below are the totals from November 2020 datasheet.
|Bank Wise RTGS Inward and Outward – November 2020|
|Participant||Volume||Value (in Rupees Crores)||Volume||Value (in Rupees Crores)|
RTGS is governed by the RTGS System Regulations, 2013 (amended from time to time). For REAL TIME GROSS SETTLEMENT SYSTEM details and holiday list: https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/Bs_viewRTGS.aspx
Read the related blog: Important Features of NEFT, RTGS, IMPS, and UPI