What is the Difference between RTGS, NEFT, and IMPS?



A drastic wave of a surge in the different modes of electronic payments has been noticed in the recent past. More so because the Reserve bank of India (RBI) is doing its best to encourage these secure and efficient payment systems. The increasing consumer awareness due to the ease and efficiency of the internet and mobile transactions has also uplifted this wave of e-payments. Ever since the introduction of e-payments in India, the Indian banking sector has witnessed substantial growth in banking transactions. Business and retail transactions are rapidly gaining pace towards these electronic modes and channels of payments and settlements owing to their ease and promptness. These systems of payment not only provide speedier, cost-effective and secure payment, but they are hassle-free, and save ample time too!

NEFT, RTGS, and IMPS are the most popular systems of payments. Let us have a look at these 3 modes of payment:

National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT):

  • Transactions through this mode do not happen on the spot but at a specific time known as a batch. For example, on weekdays, there are 12 batches when the transactions can take place between 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and on Saturdays, there are 6 batches between 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • A payment through NEFT would show up in your bank account after 1-2 hours from Monday to Friday, but for Saturdays, after 12:30 p.m., it will be shown on the next working day.
  • It is a payment system which has no limit on the number of funds to be transferred- either maximum or minimum
  • It can also be used by walk-in customers, who do not have a bank account, in case they want to deposit cash, but it should be a NEFT -enabled branch
  • But, these cash remittances are restricted to an amount of Rs. 50,000 per transaction.
  • The amount is credited to the account on the same day or next day depending upon the batch of settlement.

Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)

  • In this mode of payment, the funds are transferred between bank accounts in real time, means as soon as the transaction takes place, the funds are received by the beneficiary
  • The transactions are accounted in the books of the Reserve Bank of India; therefore, they are irrevocable and final and mostly handled by large corporates
  • The minimum amount to be remitted here is Rs. 2 lakhs without any maximum limit, except for some banks who have set up a limit of Rs 10 Lakhs.

Immediate payment Services (IMPS)

  • Under this, process, funds are transferred electronically through mobile phone services, instantly, safe and secure.
  • This requires both the sender and the beneficiary to be registered for IMPS.
  • This is facilitated by the National Payments Corporation of India introduced in 2010.
  • Here, the money transfer facility can be availed 24×7 at any time or day, including Sundays or public holidays and is easily accessible
  • Many banks allow this 24-hour service but have also set a limit of the number of beneficiaries in a day.


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