Understanding NEFT, RTGS, and IMPS

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If you’re a business owner in India who has recently started implementing digital transactions in your business, your knowledge shouldn’t be limited to net banking and card payments. If you’ve heard about NEFT, IMPS, and RTGS, you would already know that they are used to transfer funds from one account to another. However, are you well-versed in the difference between the 3 modes?

Payment and Settlement Systems in India

Without knowing the difference between the three methods, you had no way of knowing which one would work for you. Let’s fix that. Read on to understand the three methods and how each one can help you. We’ve done the research so you won’t have to.

NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer)

With NEFT, you can transfer any amount to the recipient’s account in a one-on-one transfer basis. NEFT transactions don’t have a maximum limit for funds that can be transferred in a single day.

– Timings for NEFT

The NEFT system is available round the clock throughout the year on all days (24x7x365). Funds are transferred in batches that are settled in 48 half-hourly time slots throughout the day.

– Transaction limits

There is no maximum or minimum limit on the amount of funds that could be transferred through NEFT. With NEFT, you can initiate transactions to transfer funds from one bank account to another throughout India. However, you must make sure that the banks are a part of the NEFT transfer network (another way to say this is that the banks should be NEFT-enabled).

– Procedure

To transfer funds via NEFT, all you have to do is log in to your net banking portal and add the recipient as a beneficiary. You’ll need to enter details like their name, account number, account type and IFSC code under the Add New Payee section. Once you choose NEFT as the preferred mode of transfer and enter the amount to be transferred, the fund transfer will be completed.

RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement)

Business owners can use RTGS when they need to transfer large amounts instantly. One advantage that RTGS has over the other methods is the transaction speed, since the entire amount is transferred in real time.

– Timings for RTGS

Though the available hours for RTGS transactions vary based on the individual banks and their branches, this is the standard timing:

  • 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for customer transactions
  • 7:00 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. for inter-bank transactions

From December 2020, the RTGS system will be available round the clock on all days (24x7x365).

– Transaction limits

There’s a minimum limit of Rs. 2 lakhs for RTGS transactions, and there’s no maximum limit as such.

To get an RTGS-enabled account, you can either contact your bank or check your eligibility status in your online banking portal. If you’re using RTGS for a fund transfer, make sure that both you and the recipient have RTGS enabled accounts.

– Procedure

To transfer funds via RTGS, log in to your banking portal and add the recipient as a beneficiary by entering details like their name, account number,  account type and IFSC code. Then choose RTGS as the mode of transfer and enter the amount to be transferred, and the fund transfer will be completed.

IMPS (Immediate Payment Service)

IMPS is another real-time payment service, but the distinguishing factor is that IMPS is available 247 and you can avail the service even on bank holidays. Using IMPS, you can transfer comparatively lower amounts, up to Rs. 2 lakhs, instantly.

So, you can think of IMPS as the fund transfer mode that has the best features of both RTGS and NEFT. You can transfer amounts as low as you want, any time you want, with instant results. Though IMPS services are mostly used online, a few banks offer SMS services. Check with your bank to see if they support IMPS transfers via SMS.

The IMPS service is offered by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). Their services allow customers to transfer funds through both banks and Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) issuers. PPIs are instruments that allow you to purchase goods and services or initiate fund transfers using value that is stored in thePPI. Some examples of PPIs include smart cards, magnetic stripe cards, digital wallets, and vouchers. Individuals without bank accounts can transfer funds by IMPS using PPI.

– Procedure

To transfer funds via IMPS, you should first register for the mobile banking service of the concerned bank and generate a Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) and MPIN from the bank. You should make sure that your beneficiary or recipient has the MMID and MPIN too.

Once you’ve registered, log in to your net banking portal and select IMPS as the preferred mode of transfer. Then you should fill in details like the recipient’s mobile number, the recipient’s MMID, the amount to be transferred, and your MPIN. Once this is done, you will receive a confirmation message via SMS.

Factors that differentiate the 3 modes

  • Timing: The available hours for each type of fund transfer depend on the individual bank and their customer service schedule. NEFT and RTGS services will be unavailable on weekends and bank holidays, while IMPS services can be availed round the clock. Also, NEFT transfers funds in timed batches, while RTGS and IMPS are real-time transfer modes.
  • Transaction limit: This is one of the most important differences. NEFT and IMPS have no minimum value, while RTGS has a minimum fund value of Rs. 2 lakhs. Each mode has a different maximum fund limit.
  • Service fee: The fee charged for the fund transfer transaction varies between the three modes. RTGS is comparatively expensive, while NEFT and IMPS are less so.
  • Transaction speed: NEFT has fixed batch time slots and can take around 2 hours for the recipient to receive the funds, whereas RTGS and IMPS transfers take place in real time and are usually complete within minutes.

Tip: Before initiating a transfer using any of these modes, read the applicable conditions and rules (if any). Consult your bank in case of queries and verify the details with a bank official to stay on the safer side.

Advantages of using online fund transfer services

Online fund transfers are reliable, fast and convenient. Using these services, you can transfer funds easily without having to wait in long queues to withdraw cash or try to be physically present at the bank. They also offer choice and flexibility — if you consider factors like the value of funds you want to transfer, transaction speed, cost and timing, you can select the service that suits your needs best for each transaction.

Still having trouble completing vendor payments?

If you’re using Zoho Books, you can carry out B2B payments right from your Zoho Books account as soon as you receive a bill from your vendor. All you have to do is enter the amount to be transferred, the recipient’s name, and account number. Then choose NEFT, RTGS, or IMPS as the preferred transaction type and click Send. It’s simple! You can even track the status of your transaction (processed or in progress) once you’ve initiated the transfer.

Having an accounting system that incorporates the different online fund transfer modes will simplify your payment process even more. With Zoho Books, you can carry out B2B payments right from your accounting software as soon as you receive a bill from your vendor. You can also offer these convenient payment options to your customers, and get paid quicker. Try our free online accounting software today to manage your cashflow with greater cognizance.

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  1. sulman

    Thank You Ashika! it’s a great read.
    I have a question actually, Could you please tell me that if RBI decides to make the RTGS available 24/7 what will be effect on commercial banks’ timings. won’t it be necessary for banks too to remain open 24/7.

    • Ashika R

      Hi Sulman. The recent RBI updates don’t mention anything about RTGS being a 24/7 system in future. As of now, the RTGS timing for customer transactions is from 8 am to 6 pm on all working days. Please note that the timing may vary from bank to bank.

      • Sheethal

        Can you plz help me out.. I had sent money to somone though imps its showing that the transaction is successful in my mobile and the receiver haven’t got the money plzzzz help me out early as possible….😑The information is so perfect i filled…plzz

        • Ashika R

          Hi Sheethal,

          It’s best to contact your bank regarding the status of the transaction.

  2. Prathibha Priyadarshini

    Thank u Ashika, cleared all my doubts…

  3. Prabhakar

    Excellent article. Well explained

  4. Sri kamal

    Thank you bro…..

  5. Hemant

    It’s very informative. Thanks.

  6. Hitesh Pawar

    I was doing a visa application payment and I added beneficiary details as NEFT which was having different account number . But at the time of payment I choosed IMPS which was having a different account number . So money transfered to wrong account number . Now I wish to get reverse transaction . What should I do? I’m adding transaction details attached to this email. Please Help me out

    • Ashika R

      Hi, Hitesh. If you’ve transferred money to the wrong account, you could try visiting the bank to ask for the procedure to deal with this. Once this is done, keep following up with the operations team in your bank’s branch for more updates.

  7. VALLABAN VAIDYANATHAN

    nice explanation of the three types of funds transfer good job best wishes

  8. Abakash

    Thank u sir..

  9. ramesh dhingra

    very nice artical,well explained

  10. Chaluva

    Nicely framed Ashika.

  11. Meena

    Very important information, nicely explained.
    Thank you

  12. rtfcrtfs

    Absolutely Great 👍 thanks for your valuable info.

  13. aquaremo

    This is just awesome. I have always wondered whats the difference. Thanks for this info,

  14. Ram Chhabra

    Thankyou Ashika
    Very helpful Article

  15. Saibal Mitra

    Excellent! One factor is missing though – cost of transfer. Comments, please.

    • Ashika R

      The following are the transactional charges for NEFT, RTGS, and IMPS as mandated by RBI:

      NEFT:

      No charges for inward transactions (at destination bank branches for credit to beneficiary accounts).

      In case of outward transactions at originating bank branches, charges are applicable for the remitter.
      – For transactions up to ₹ 10,000 : not exceeding ₹ 2.50 (+ Applicable GST)
      – For transactions above ₹ 10,000 up to ₹ 1 lakh: not exceeding ₹ 5 (+ Applicable GST)
      – For transactions above ₹ 1 lakh and up to ₹ 2 lakhs: not exceeding ₹ 15 (+ Applicable GST)
      – For transactions above ₹ 2 lakhs: not exceeding ₹ 25 (+ Applicable GST)

      RTGS:

      With effect from July 01, 2019, the Reserve Bank has waived the processing charges levied by it for RTGS transactions. Banks may pass on the benefit to their customers. With a view to rationalize the service charges levied by banks for offering fund transfer through RTGS system, a broad framework of charges have been mandated as follows:

      Inward transactions – Free, no charge to be levied.

      Outward transactions:
      – ₹ 2,00,000/- to 5,00,000/- : not exceeding ₹ 24.50/-;(exclusive of tax, if any)

      – Above ₹ 5,00,000/- : not exceeding ₹ 49.50/-. (exclusive of tax, if any)

      Banks may decide to charge a lower rate but cannot charge more than the rates prescribed by RBI.

      IMPS:

      The charges for remittance through IMPS are decided by the individual member banks and PPIs.Please check with your bank or PPI.

  16. Prem Menon

    Very well explained!

  17. G Prakash Rao

    Thank you. Clearly explained.

  18. Paresh

    HI
    Which is the fastest / instant mode of making making payment to other bank within India

    • Ashika R

      Hi Paresh,

      IMPS is an instant fund transfer service, and the fastest mode of transfer.

  19. jayachandran

    Are upi payments coming under IMPS

    • Ashika R

      Hi Jayachandran,

      UPI and IMPS are two different payment modes.Though they are similar, UPI and IMPS differ in terms of transactional charges, security, transfer time, details needed, etc. For an IMPS transfer you need details like bank account number, IFSC, and the customer name whereas for UPI transfer you need the recipient’s VPA (virtual payment address).

      • P. Surya Abhilash

        Wonderful and Very informative Article in understanding RTGS, IMPS and NEFT Transactions in details along with the fees. Kudos!!! to @Ashika. It would be great if you can explain how the UPI transfers also work and if any other type of payments that are available.

  20. V.Ranjith kumar

    Texts are so good and ideology…..thanks

  21. S Janarthanan

    It’s simple sweet and explains all about fund transfers even to a beginners who have net banking like me. Thanks & hats off ur efforts for collecting all minute details and way of its presentation. Keep it up. Thanks again

  22. Abha

    Thank you so much Ashika,
    It’s very well explained and clarified all the doubts and questions about different modes of payments.

  23. K.Ratnakumari

    Thank you Ashika ,it is well explained, my doubts were cleared.

  24. AMIT

    Thank u sooo much ma’am.my all doubts are clear.this article is very useful for all.

  25. Tcsreddy

    Even though I am a graminbank officer I learn the Main, differences of 3 remitting procedures of cash.Thanks for your valuable information.

  26. Jitender sahani

    Thank you for this valuable information.

  27. Salim. M

    Its greatly informative. Thanks for your great service.

  28. D.Purushothaman

    Great exposure to the three types of money transfer, Ok Thanks.

  29. Shadab jawed

    It’s really great reading this article it made me clear all the doubts that I had in my mind about these payment methods and also full form as well.

  30. Shadab jawed

    Great article about these payment methods Got to know a lot about it

  31. Vijaya

    Very clearly explained. Thank you

  32. Tribhuvan Singh

    Excellent and compact article, thank you for explaining.

  33. Kirthika

    Hi Ashika.

    Very useful information.

    Which will be best one to choose for transferring money during weekends. Please suggest

    • Ashika R

      Hi Kirthika,

      You could try IMPS provided it satisfies your other requirements.

  34. Purnima

    Thank you for the wonderful distinguishing information

  35. Saith Madollathil

    First of all, thank you for the information and it is very useful

  36. S Sujoy

    Very nice information given.

  37. Rahul

    Neat and clean information.

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