Mumbai:  Taking note of non-adherence by some banks to rules on sending confirmation of payments made through the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system, the RBI has directed lenders to put in place a system for issue of such receipts.

In a circular, the Reserve Bank has also asked banks to submit a copy of their plan for putting in place a system to generate confirmation of NEFT payments within 15 days.

"... All banks should put in place systems to ensure positive confirmation is sent to the originator (sender)... While it is expected that such confirmation messages are sent as soon as the beneficiary account is credited, it should not exceed beyond the end-of-the-day under any circumstance," the apex bank said.

It has asked the banks to send an immediate report on the existing procedure followed by them for sending such messages, both as originator and receiver.

"Banks are advised to put in place suitable mechanisms immediately by which such confirmation will be sent for all inward/outward messages if such systems are not already in place. A copy of your plan of action in this regard may please be sent to us within 15 days of receipt of this letter," the RBI said.

The apex bank had issued guidelines in 2010 for banks to put in place a mechanism which would enable NEFT participating banks to provide a positive confirmation to the remittance originator confirming the successful credit of funds to the beneficiary's account.

Banks had been advised to confirm completion of necessary arrangements to ensure its implementation by March 1, 2010.

"... Even though banks have had sufficient time for making necessary changes in their systems, it is observed that not all banks are sending such confirmations," today's notification said.

"In most cases, the bank that originated the remittance is unable to provide the confirmation to the originator/sending customer since they do not receive the corresponding confirmation message (N-10 message) from the beneficiary bank," it said.

Citing a recent analysis, the RBI said in respect of a large number of banks, the percentage of positive confirmations sent vis-a-vis the inward messages received was lower than 10 percent.

"... Positive confirmation is a unique feature of NEFT and has played a major role in popularising the system amongst users. Non-adherence to instructions in this regard will undermine the customer service efficiency of the system," it said.

Meanwhile, in another circular, the RBI directed banks to adhere to norms under which they have to pay penalty in case of a delay in crediting funds sent through the NEFT system to the  beneficiary customer's account or in returning the uncredited amount to the remitter.

(Agencies)