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A branch of HDFC bank in New Delhi. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI, the central bank) has recently changed the rules of the National Automated Clearing House (NACH). Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: Indians with loan obligations such as personal loans, home loans and credit card payment obligations in India should keep sufficient balance in their bank accounts even on bank holidays, starting August 1, 2021.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI, the central bank) has recently changed the rules of the National Automated Clearing House (NACH).

Going forward automated clearance will happen even on holidays when banks are not open. Services of NACH will now be available seven days a week. Currently, facilities are available only when banks are open, from Monday to Friday.

Keep sufficient funds

The new change in the clearance rules would mean, any outstanding financial obligations such as loan repayment, credit card payments or post-dated cheques that are due, even if the due date falls on a bank holiday will come up for clearing. Insufficient funds in the accounts could result in applicable penalties, additional interest costs or both.

Until recently, the services of NACH was available only during the working hours of banks. During the credit policy review of June, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, had announced that in order to further enhance the convenience of customers and to avail the benefits of 24x7 Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), NACH proposed to be implemented on all days of the week, with effect from August 1, 2021.

Advantages

NACH is a bulk payment system operated by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). Which facilitates various types of credit transfers such as dividend, interest, salary and pension. Apart from this, the facility of payment of electricity bill, gas, telephone, water, loan EMI, mutual fund investment and insurance premium payment, is also provided. In other words, bank customers will not have to wait for Monday to Friday window to get all these facilities. Now on all these transactions can be done on weekends and on Indian bank holidays too.

NACH has emerged as a popular and prominent digital mode of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in India for beneficiaries, which helps in timely and transparent fund transfers. The new changes will make National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) systems more efficient.