National Financial Switch
With a view to inter-connect the ATMs in the country and facilitate easy banking for the common man, the Institute of Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), Hyderabad conceptualized, developed and implemented the National Financial Switch.
The National Financial Switch facilitates routing of ATM transactions through inter-connectivity between the Bank’s Switches, thereby enabling the citizens of the country to utilize any ATM of a connected bank.
The National Financial Switch was dedicated to the Nation on August 27, 2004.
The Institute started off the switch by connecting the ATMs of three banks. Thereafter, the Institute continuously worked towards bringing all banks on board and by December 2009, the network had grown to connect 49,880 ATMs of 37 banks, thereby emerging as the largest Network of shared ATMs in the country.
Take Over by NPCI:
The IDRBT had been providing ATM switching service to banks in India through National Financial Switch . IDRBT decided to hive off its operational role on ATM switching to have focus on research and development and was looking for a suitable arrangement for shifting this business to some national level payment system organization. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) considered this as an opportunity and started discussions with IDRBT on the feasibility of taking over. NPCI is an umbrella institution for all the Retail Payments Systems’ in the country.
Recently, the Institute handed over the National Financial Switch to National Payments Corporation of India.
Recently, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has said any bank with round-the-clock core banking solution capabilities, with or without ATMs, can now join the national financial switch (NFS) through a sponsor bank.
The objective of this move is to facilitate even non-scheduled urban cooperative banks and regional rural banks to have access to the national network of over 78,000 ATMs in the country. Please note that so far, access has been limited to only scheduled banks with RTGS membership.