24 x 7, also often written as 24/7, is an abbreviation for the phrase “24 hours a day, 7 days a week”. This simply refers to the hours of operation of a business, with those open 24/7 indicating that they never close their doors, even during weekends and holidays.
Businesses that are often open 24 x 7 include convenience stores, airlines, hotels, call centers, gas stations, cab companies, internet and phone service providers, etc. If you look at it more closely these businesses usually fall under the travel/tourist industry, service industry, and telecommunications industry.
Nowadays, more and more businesses are giving round the clock service to their customers with some restaurants even joining in. This indicates the changes in society, with more and more people coming to work at odd hours and staying up late for entertainment.
As more businesses open their doors 24 x 7, people are becoming more accustomed to the convenience of being able to buy and access whatever they need, whenever they need it. This makes for an even steeper competition between businesses, which is why it is becoming more common for companies to declare themselves open 24 x 7 when in fact it is only the contact center or websites that are open 24 x 7.
Examples of such businesses include online and phone banking facilities where customers can transfer money or make payment online 24 x 7. Transactions do happen real-time but it usually isn’t until the next business day that the changes reflect on the statement.