The Indian banking system has come a long way since the old days when money transfer would take days . The systems are now enabled with electronic transfers like NEFT, RTGS, IMPS where funds are transferred real time. So what is the difference between NEFT and RTGS and IMPS ? What are the timings and transfer limits ?
The electronic fund transfers enable us to receive and send cash in a jiffy making life easier. While RTGS and NEFT have evolved considerably in India, IMPS is still finding its feet in India. RTGS and NEFT are maintained by Reserve Bank of India. Let us now check out the difference between NEFT vs RTGS vs IMPS.
Note: For those impatient readers, skroll to the table at bottom for quick reference. But read the full post if you’re interested in details
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What is NEFT, RTGS, IMPS
Both NEFT and RTGS are part of Indian electronic clearing systems (ECS). When the ECS transactions are bulk and repetitive ,this is basically of two types:
1) ECS Credit (One large debit & multiple credits ) – For eg., salary, dividends
2) ECS Debit (One large credit & multiple debits) – For eg., bill payments, mutual fund SIP
Apart from repetitive corporate transactions, NEFT and RTGS are also used by individuals on need basis . When you transfer fund to your friend or relative you’re essentially using NEFT or RTGS only.
NEFT is the acronym of National Electronic Fund Transfer. In this process, the funds are transferred in batches from one bank account to another. When an individual transfers money from one account to his friend/relative it is not immediately credited but done after in the next settlement cycle which occurs at 60 minutes intervals.
NEFT was an improvement from SEFT (Special Electronics Funds Transfer) and came into effect around December 2005. For this the sender and beneficiary should both be part of the NEFT network.
For more details: Click here
RTGS is acronym of Real Time Gross Settlement. In this process, the funds are transferred between bank accounts real time. As soon the transaction is processed, the funds are created to the beneficiary.
RTGS is fast, without delay and is handled by large corporates for real time transactions. The transaction is accounted in the books of Reserve Bank of India books. So it is irrevocable and final.
For more details: Click here
IMPS is acronym of Immediate Payment Services. In this process, funds are transferred electronically by mobile phone services. The customers use mobile phones as a medium for transferring funds and hence IMPS is a mobile based payment service.
This is facilitated by NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) and was introduced in 2010.
For more details: Click here
Timings of NEFT, RTGS, IMPS
NEFT settlement timings
|Monday – Friday||8 AM to 7PM||12|
|Saturday||8 AM to 1 PM||6|
The payments are cleared/settled in batches every hour. For the last two settlements on weekdays and last settlement on Saturday the account of beneficiary will be credited the next day.
For eg., if you transfer after 5PM on weekdays or after 12PM on Saturdays, most likely it will be credited the next working day depending on the bank you operate with. Any payments made before the cut-off are credited on same day to beneficiary.
RTGS settlement timings
In RTGS the settlement is made real time and the funds are credited in a minute on successful processing. So if you use RTGS to transfer Rs 2,00,000 at 4PM then it will most likely be credited to the beneficiary before 4:05 PM
|Day||Start Time||End Time|
|Monday to Friday||09:00 hrs||16:30 hrs|
|Saturday||09:00 hrs||13:30 hrs|
IMPS is a 24 X 7 transfer facility using mobiles. So you can transfer funds at any time of the day. Enjoy transferring at 5 AM in morning or at 10PM in the night. Even on Sundays and public holidays.
Note: IMPS is a 24 hour service. But NEFT and RTGS are not available on Sundays and public holidays.
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Requirements for NEFT, RTGS, IMPS
NEFT & RTGS Requirements
- Both the bank branches of sender and beneficiary must be part of NEFT network
- Amount to be transferred/remitted
- Account number to be debited/withdrawn
- Account number and name to be credited ie., beneficiary account name, number
- Bank Name, IFSC code of beneficiary bank branch
- Both the sender and beneficiary must be registered for IMPS
- MMID is 7 digit number. First 4 digits allotted by NPCI and last 3 digits are member mobile network
- The combination of MMID and mobile number represents the bank account
- You can also register Aadhaar Number and use if for transfer
- Mobile PIN password (MPIN)
Transfer/Transaction Limits of NEFT, RTGS, IMPS
NEFT – There is no minimum limit for transfer under NEFT . Similarly the maximum limit is undefined. So for, individual account transactions you can transfer anywhere from Re1 to as much you want.
However, for cash-remittances to Nepal are restricted at Rs.50,000 limit. Also remember the per transaction upper limit is fixed at Rs.10 lakhs.
RTGS – For RTGS the minimum limit is set to Rs. 2 lakh. This is to prevent the volume of transactions. RBI wanted to make sure that it is not misused. It is meant only for large value transactions. There is no maximum limit for RTGS transactions.
But some banks do set a maximum limit for single transaction . For eg., ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank imposes this limit at Rs. 10 lakh for individual accounts.
IMPS – IMPS is mobile phone based transfer service. There is no minimum limit for IMPS. The maximum limit is set based on your bank and the transaction mode. As per my knowledge, ICICI Bank & HDFC Bank sets this limit at Rs. 2 lakh. Citi Bank has maximum IMPS limit at Rs 50,000.
Transaction Charges for NEFT – RTGS – IMPS
|Amounts upto Rs 10,000||Rs 2.50 + Service Tax|
|Amounts above Rs 10,000 upto Rs 1 lakh||Rs 5 + Service Tax|
|Amounts above Rs 1 lakh upto Rs 2 lakh||Rs 15 + Service Tax|
|Amounts above Rs 2 lakh upto Rs 5 lakh||Rs 25 + Service Tax|
|Amounts above Rs 5 lakh upto Rs 10 lakh||Rs 50 + Service Tax|
There are no charges for inward transactions. However charges are applicable for Outward transactions in RTGS
Amount above Rs 2 lakh upto Rs 5 lakh – Rs 25 + Service Tax
Amount above Rs 5 lakh upto Rs 10 lakh – Rs 50 + Service Tax
In addition to this, a time based variable charge from Re.1 to Rs.5 is also levied per RTGS transaction done after 12:30 PM.
The transaction costs for IMPS is
Rs 2.5 + service tax for transaction upto Rs.10,000.
Rs 5 + service tax for transaction in range Rs.10,000 to Rs. 1,00,000
Rs 15 + service tax for transaction in range Rs.1,00,000 to Rs. 2,00,000.
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Difference between NEFT and RTGS, IMPS
|Monday to Friday||8:00 AM
to 7:00 PM
to 4:30 PM
to 01:00 PM
to 01:30 PM
Note: For NEFT, transaction done during the last 2 batches on weekdays and last batch on Saturday will get credited the next working day.
|Minimum||Re 1||Rs 2 lakh||Re 1|
|Maximum||Rs 10 lakh||Rs 10 lakh||Rs 2 lakh|
|Amounts upto Rs 10,000||Rs 2.50 + Service Tax||Not Applicable||Rs 2.50 + Service Tax|
|Amounts above Rs 10,000 upto Rs 1 lakh||Rs 5 + Service Tax||Not Applicable||Rs 5 + Service Tax|
|Amounts above Rs 1 lakh upto Rs 2 lakh||Rs 15 + Service Tax||Not Applicable||Rs 15 + Service Tax|
|Amounts above Rs 2 lakh upto Rs 5 lakh
(Incl. Rs 2 lakh for RTGS)
|Rs 25 + Service Tax||Rs 25 + Service Tax||Not Applicable|
|Amounts above Rs 5 lakh upto Rs 10 lakh||Rs 50 + Service Tax||Rs 50 + Service Tax||Not Applicable|
What to do in-case money is not credited: Check out RBI website here
The banks branches participating in NEFT given here
Advantages of NEFT – RTGS – IMPS
- No physical cheques or demand drafts
- Does not need physical presence of individual
- Less fraud and physical instrument misusage
- Confirmation of transaction by SMS or e-mail
- Anywhere access and usage – from home, office, travel
- Almost real time transfer and quick transactions
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Hope we have clarified the differences between NEFT and RTGS and IMPS . Did you find this useful. Let us know in your comments below. Subscribe to our newletter for latest updates through e-mail.
Disclaimer: I have made every effort to make sure factual information like timing,charges, limit is correct as on March 2014 . In case you feel any information is incorrect, please point out with official references in COMMENTS SECTION and I will clarify or make necessary changes with a BIG THANKS!.