New Delhi: In good news for savings bank account holders, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), after making National Electronics Funds Transfer (NEFT) system available 24*7, has now instructed banks to make all online payments done through NEFT and Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) free for them.

The decision, as per a notice issued by the RBI last week, has been taken in order to give further impetus to digital retail payments. “It has now been decided that member banks shall not levy any charges from their savings bank account holders for funds transfers done through NEFT system which are initiated online, i.e. internet banking or mobile apps of the banks,” the central bank said in the notification.

The new rule shall come into effect from January 1, 2020 onwards.

Earlier this year, in July, the RBI had waived off all charges it imposes on banks for processing NEFT and RTGS transactions. Additionally, it had asked the banks to pass on the benefits to its customers after which some banks including the State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI made online NEFT transactions free.

The SBI, which is India’s largest bank, does not levy charges on charges through NEFT, RTGS, Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), You Only Need One (YONO), internet banking and mobile customers. HDFC, meanwhile, imposes no charges on NEFT transactions.

Before the new rule kicked in, NEFT transactions were available between 8 AM and 6:30 PM on bank working days.