How do the mechanisms of IMPS, NEFT and RTGS Fund transfers differ?


In today’s fast-paced digital world, transferring funds securely and conveniently has become a necessity. With multiple options available, it can be confusing to determine which method suits your needs best. In this blog post, we will delve into the mechanisms of three popular fund transfer systems: IMPS (Immediate Payment Service), NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer), and RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement). Understanding the differences between these systems will help you make an informed decision when it comes to transferring money swiftly and effortlessly! So, let’s dive right in and explore the intriguing world of IMPS vs NEFT vs RTGS fund transfers!

What is NEFT?

NEFT, or National Electronic Funds Transfer, is a popular method of transferring funds electronically in India. It allows individuals and businesses to transfer money from one bank account to another via online banking platforms, mobile applications, or by visiting their respective bank branches.

To initiate an NEFT transaction, all you need are the beneficiary’s account number and the Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) of their bank branch. The IFSC acts as a unique identifier for every bank branch in the country.

One of the key advantages of NEFT is that it operates on a deferred settlement basis. This implies processing transactions in batches at fixed intervals throughout the day, not settling instantly. As a result, NEFT transfers may take some time to complete – typically within two hours but can sometimes take longer depending on various factors.

People widely use NEFT for both small and large value transactions since this system imposes no upper limit on individual transactions. However, certain banks may set limits on daily transaction amounts based on their own policies and guidelines.

Moreover, compared to other fund transfer mechanisms like RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement), NEFT charges tend to be relatively lower or even free for certain types of accounts such as savings accounts held by individuals.

NEFT offers a convenient and cost-effective way to transfer funds securely across different banks in India. Its popularity can be attributed to its ease-of-use and widespread availability among financial institutions nationwide.

What is RTGS?

Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) is a fund transfer system in India that enables individuals and businesses to make large-value transactions. It operates on a gross basis, which means each transaction is settled individually and immediately. This ensures real-time settlement of funds without any delay.

RTGS transfers are processed in real-time, meaning the funds are transferred instantly from one bank account to another. This makes it an ideal option for time-sensitive payments or high-value transactions.

To initiate an RTGS transfer, you need to provide the recipient’s bank account number and their bank’s Indian Financial System Code (IFSC). The IFSC acts as a unique identifier for each bank branch participating in the RTGS network.

One key advantage of using RTGS is that there is no upper limit on the amount that can be transferred. Whether you need to send a few lakhs or crores, RTGS allows you to do so seamlessly.

However, it’s important to note that while there may not be an upper limit, most banks set their own individual limits for RTGS transfers. These limits vary depending on factors such as your relationship with the bank and your transaction history.

RTGS provides a secure and efficient way to transfer large sums of money instantly. Its real-time processing ensures quick settlement without any delays or intermediaries involved in the process. This makes it a preferred mode of payment for businesses and individuals alike.

What is IMPS?

IMPS, or Immediate Payment Service, is a real-time interbank electronic funds transfer system in India. It allows individuals to instantly transfer money from one bank account to another using their mobile phones. Unlike NEFT and RTGS which operate during specific banking hours, IMPS enables transactions 24/7.

With IMPS, users can send and receive money by simply registering their mobile number with the bank and generating an MMID (Mobile Money Identifier). The unique combination of the sender’s mobile number and MMID allows for secure transactions.

One of the key advantages of IMPS is its convenience. Users can initiate transfers at any time without having to visit a bank branch or ATM. Whether it’s paying bills, splitting expenses with friends, or sending money to family members in need, IMPS offers a quick and hassle-free solution.

Additionally, IMPS provides instant confirmation once the transaction is completed. This ensures that both parties involved have immediate notification about the successful transfer of funds.

IMPS has revolutionized how people carry out financial transactions in India by simplifying the process and making it accessible anytime, anywhere through mobile technology.

Comparison of IMPS NEFT RTGS:

IMPS NEFT RTGS Fund Transfers

When it comes to fund transfers, there are several options available in the market. Three popular methods that individuals and businesses often use are NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer), RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement), and IMPS (Immediate Payment Service). While all three serve the purpose of transferring money electronically, they differ in various aspects.

NEFT is a widely used electronic payment system where transactions take place in batches throughout the day. The settlement process typically happens within a few hours, making it suitable for non-urgent transfers. On the other hand, RTGS facilitates real-time settlement on a transaction-by-transaction basis. It is commonly utilized for high-value transactions as it offers immediate clearance.

IMPS stands out from both NEFT and RTGS due to its instant transfer capabilities at any time of the day or night. This makes it highly convenient for quick payments or emergencies when time is of the essence.

In terms of limits, NEFT does not impose any cap on transaction amounts while RTGS has a minimum limit but no maximum limit. IMPS allows smaller transactions with a maximum limit set by individual banks.

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Each method also differs regarding charges levied on customers. The fees for NEFT and RTGS depend on factors such as transaction amount and type of account held by sender/receiver whereas IMPS charges vary across different banks.

Timings play an essential role when selecting which method to utilize. NEFT operates during specific working hours on weekdays while being closed on weekends and public holidays. In contrast, both RTGS and IMPS offer round-the-clock services throughout the year including weekends and holidays.

While each mode has its own set of advantages and limitations, determining which one is better depends entirely on your requirements – whether you prioritize speed over cost or need flexibility around timings.

Understanding these differences will help you make an informed decision about which method suits your needs best. Whether you opt for NEFT, RTGS, or IMPS

Differences in Limits in IMPS NEFT RTGS:

Each of the three fund transfer mechanisms – NEFT, RTGS, and IMPS – imposes different limits on the amount that users can transfer. These limits aim to ensure security and prevent fraudulent activities.

For NEFT transactions, there is no minimum limit on the amount that can be transferred. However, there is a maximum limit of Rs. 10 lakh per transaction for retail customers. For corporate customers, the maximum limit is usually higher and may vary from bank to bank.

On the other hand, RTGS enables high-value transfers with no upper limit. This means you can transfer large sums of money using this mechanism. However, there is a minimum limit of Rs. 2 lakh for RTGS transactions.

IMPS allows both small and large value transfers as well. The minimum amount that can be transferred through IMPS varies from bank to bank but generally ranges between Rs. 1 and Rs. 10 depending on your banking institution’s policy.

It’s important to note that these limits are subject to change by individual banks or regulatory authorities in order to meet evolving customer needs or address any risks associated with fund transfers.

While NEFT has a maximum transaction limit of Rs. 10 lakhs for retail customers, RTGS allows high-value transfers without an upper cap and imposes a minimum transaction limit of Rs .2 lakh. Meanwhile, IMPS permits both small and large value transfers based on individual banks’ policies with minimum limits ranging from Rs. 1 to Rs. 10.

Differences in Charges in IMPS NEFT RTGS:

One of the key factors to consider when choosing between IMPS, NEFT, and RTGS is the charges associated with each mode of fund transfer. While all three options have their own fee structure, there are distinct differences you need to be aware of.

When it comes to NEFT transactions, most banks charge a nominal fee for outward remittances. The charges typically vary based on the transaction amount, and higher amounts may attract higher fees. It’s important to check with your bank for the exact charges applicable.

RTGS transactions usually come with a higher fee compared to NEFT transfers. This is because RTGS is primarily used for high-value transactions and real-time settlement. The charges levied by banks for RTGS can vary depending on the transaction amount as well.

On the other hand, IMPS often has different charging structures from NEFT and RTGS. Some banks offer free IMPS services up to a certain limit or charge minimal fees regardless of transaction value. However, certain types of IMPS transactions such as instant credit card payments may have separate charges imposed by the bank.

It’s crucial to review your bank’s specific pricing policies before making any fund transfers through these channels. Keep in mind that charges can vary across different financial institutions and may also depend on whether you’re conducting an online or offline transaction.

Understanding these variations will help you make an informed decision based on your individual requirements while ensuring that you don’t overlook any potential costs involved in transferring funds using these mechanisms.

Differences in Timings in IMPS NEFT RTGS:


When it comes to transferring funds, one crucial aspect to consider is the speed at which the transaction is processed. This is where NEFT, RTGS, and IMPS differ from each other.

NEFT operates on a deferred net settlement basis, which means that transactions are grouped together and settled periodically throughout the day. The timings for NEFT transfers are usually from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm on weekdays and from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. However, it’s important to note that these timings may vary depending on your bank.

RTGS offers real-time fund transfer with immediate settlement within a few minutes of initiating the transaction. The RTGS timings are generally from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays and from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays.

IMPS provides instant interbank electronic fund transfers round-the-clock throughout the year, including holidays. Yes, you read that right – IMPS works even during weekends or late at night when other options might not be available.

It’s worth mentioning that while NEFT and RTGS have specific operational hours during weekdays only, IMPS allows you to transfer funds anytime you need them.

NEFT has limited operating hours compared to both RTGS and IMPS. RTGS provides faster settlement than NEFT but still has restricted timings. In contrast, IMPS stands out as a convenient option with its availability round-the-clock.

IMPS NEFT RTGS: Which is better?

When it comes to determining which fund transfer mechanism is better – NEFT, RTGS, or IMPS – it ultimately depends on your specific needs and requirements. Each of these systems offers distinct features that cater to different scenarios.

NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer) is a popular option for transferring funds between bank accounts. It operates in batches and has specific settlement timings throughout the day. This makes it suitable for non-urgent transactions where time is not a critical factor.

On the other hand, RTGS (Real-Time Gross Settlement) offers real-time processing of high-value transactions. It guarantees immediate credit to the beneficiary’s account with no waiting time involved. This feature makes RTGS ideal for urgent payments that require instant transfer of funds.

IMPS (Immediate Payment Service), as the name suggests, provides instant interbank electronic fund transfers 24x7x365 days including weekends and holidays. IMPS excels in terms of convenience and accessibility, allowing users to send money instantly using just their mobile phones.

Therefore, selecting the best mechanism among these three depends on factors such as transaction urgency, value amount, timing preferences, and accessibility options required by individuals or businesses.

It’s important to assess your own needs before making a decision regarding which fund transfer system suits you better: NEFT if you’re looking for cost-effective transfers within regular banking hours; RTGS if you have high-value urgent payments requiring immediate clearance; or IMPS if you prefer anytime-anywhere access with quick turnaround times.


In this digital age, the mechanisms of IMPS, NEFT, and RTGS have revolutionized the way we transfer funds. Each method serves a specific purpose and caters to different needs.

NEFT is a widely used fund transfer system that allows individuals to transfer money from one bank account to another. It operates in batches throughout the day and is suitable for non-urgent transactions. With its availability across all banks in India, NEFT offers convenience and accessibility.

On the other hand, RTGS provides real-time settlement of high-value transactions. It ensures immediate credit to the beneficiary’s account and has no upper limit on transaction amounts. RTGS is perfect for time-sensitive payments or large transfers that require instant clearance.

IMPS stands out as an instant interbank electronic funds transfer system available 24/7 throughout the year. It enables users to send or receive money instantly using mobile phones or internet banking platforms. IMPS offers flexibility and ease of use for both individuals and businesses.

While each method has its merits, choosing between them depends on your specific requirements such as urgency, transaction size, accessibility, and convenience.

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To summarize their differences:

– NEFT operates in batches with no minimum amount but has a maximum limit per transaction.
– RTGS settles high-value transactions instantly without any limits on transaction amounts.
– IMPS allows instant fund transfers round-the-clock through mobile phones or internet banking platforms.

It’s important to consider factors like transaction charges when deciding which option suits, you best. Some banks may charge nominal fees for NEFT transactions, while others offer it free under specific conditions. Similarly, charges may vary for RTGS transactions based on individual bank policies.

Understanding these three mechanisms will empower you to make informed decisions when it comes to transferring funds securely and efficiently.

So next time you need to send money quickly or make a big payment urgently – whether it’s paying bills, sending money to a loved one, or making business transactions – choose the fund transfer system that best meets your needs and get your money moving in no time!

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