We have all used these words at one point or the other- or have heard these words whenever we visit banks or need to send money to someone. And we often tend to use them interchangeably. But these three terms are different and have different sets of usage and mechanisms altogether.
So let us take a moment to see how these three are different. But to do that we need to first find out what is common between these three that is confusing.
NEFT, RTGS, and IMPS are all banking terms referring to the transfer of money between two different accounts belonging to two different banks.
With so many nationalized and private banks in place, we often need to send or receive money to/from people who have bank accounts in different banks.
Hence, it was necessary to create payment systems to effect transfers between accounts of different banking entities.
First of all, let us take them one by one and understand their features. Later, we can compare all three and get a better understanding of the difference between NEFT vs. IMPS vs. RTGS and their transfer limit, charges, and timings.
Table Of Contents
- a) NEFT Timings
- b) NEFT Limits
- c) NEFT Charges
- d) NEFT- Frequently Asked Questions
- a) RTGS-Features
- b) RTGS- Frequently Asked Questions
- a) How does IMPS work?
- b) IMPS Charges
- c) IMPS – Frequently Asked Questions
1. NEFT – Meaning, Timings, Limits and Features
Sumaya is working in Delhi in a big MNC. She needs to send money back home to her mother. Her account is in the State Bank of India in Mumbai while her mother maintains an account in Punjab National Bank in Lucknow. She goes to the State Bank of India and requests an NEFT transfer of ₹. 50,000. The clerk on the counter issues her a receipt and tells her the money will reach her mother’s account in an hour or so.
NEFT stands for National Electronics Funds Transfer. It is a widely used system to transfer funds from one bank account to another bank account in a different bank.
a) NEFT Timings
Following are the characteristics of a NEFT
- NEFT transactions happen in batches and not in real-time
- The timings for NEFT are 8:00 am to 6:30 pm (excluding second and fourth Saturdays)
- There are 12 batches during the day, and the set of transactions is settled in batches thereof
- NEFT can be done online via Internet banking or offline by visiting the branch
b) NEFT Limits
The minimum amount for NEFT is ₹1, and the maximum has no limit.
c) NEFT Charges
Each NEFT transaction attracts a levy of charges based on the amount involved as below
|₹1- ₹10,000||₹2.50 (plus applicable GST)|
|₹10,000- ₹1,00,000||₹5.00 (plus applicable GST)|
|₹1,00,000- ₹2,00,000||₹15.00 (plus applicable GST)|
|₹2,00,000 and above||₹25.00 (plus applicable GST)|
d) NEFT- Frequently Asked Questions
i) Can we stop the NEFT payment?
No, although the amount reaches the beneficiary account when the next batch is processed, the amount is deducted from the payer’s account immediately. Hence we can not stop NEFT payment. However, if the beneficiary account number is wrong, or belongs to a closed account, the amount gets credited back to the sender’s account.
ii) Is a Cheque required for NEFT?
This is another point of confusion. A cheque is usually required for a NEFT, but it is not mandatory for transactions up to ₹50,000 in value. For transactions up to ₹50,000, cash remittance can be made. The bank branch will invariably obtain ID proof and other contact information to enclose along with the NEFT form.
However, you can always use net banking to do a NEFT transaction, where you will not require any cheque.
iii) How much time it will take to transfer money through NEFT?
While NEFT transactions are processed in half-hourly batches, the time limit recommended by RBI for the credit to show in the payee’s account is two hours.
iv) Can we do NEFT on Sunday?
No, we cannot. NEFT can be done only on working days and that too within the stipulated time limits- 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM.
2. RTGS – Meaning, Charges and Features
Advait is a businessman in Delhi, expecting a shipment from Lucknow. His supplier calls him saying that there has been an acute shortage of funds and he needs an advance of ₹3 lac on the payment to process his order. But he needs the funds immediately, within 15 minutes as they are to be sent to someone else.
Now, Advait knows that NEFT will take around two hours. So he goes to the bank and tells the manager to do an RTGS transaction from his account to the supplier’s account. The money is transferred immediately and Advait’s problem is solved.
RTGS stands for Real Time Gross Settlement. As the name suggests, funds are transferred in real-time to the other account. So there is no waiting time like in the case of NEFT. The credit to the payee’s account is immediate.
- RTGS fund transfer happens in real-time- meaning immediate transfer of funds
- The timings for RTGS are 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (excluding second and fourth Saturdays)
- The minimum amount for RTGS is ₹2,00,000 and for maximum, there is no specified limit
- You can do RTGS via Internet banking or offline by visiting the branch
- Each RTGS transaction attracts a levy of charges based on the amount involved as below
|Transfer Amount||Inward Transaction Service Fee||Outward Transaction Service Fee|
|2Lakh – 5 Lakh||Nil||Not more than 24.50 plus taxes|
|5Lakh and Above||Nil||Not more than 49.50 Plus Taxes|
b) RTGS- Frequently Asked Questions
i) Do we need a Cheque for RTGS?
Yes. A cheque is necessary for an RTGS transaction if you decide to visit the bank’s branch to do it.
You do not need a cheque if you do it through an online internet banking facility.
ii) Can RTGS be done online?
Yes, via internet banking provided by your bank or otherwise it can be done by visiting your branch premises.
iii) How much time does it take for an RTGS transfer?
No time, it is the immediate transfer (Real Time Gross Settlement). However, RBI specifies a maximum time limit of 30 minutes for the credit to show in the payee’s account.
3. IMPS – Meaning, Charges, and Features
It is 2:00 AM in the night. Ashok receives a call from his friend Salman. Salman tells him that he is in a nightclub and needs immediate money. His card was declined due to a low balance.
Ashok cannot go over to him as Salman lives in Mumbai and Ashok is in Delhi. So to help his friend, he uses internet banking and transfers funds to Salman via IMPS, which gets credit in his account immediately and he can pay his bill.
IMPS stands for Immediate Payment Service. It serves the purpose of real-time fund transfer, and that too beyond banking hours, irrespective of holidays.
a) How does IMPS work?
- IMPS enables real-time fund transfers between bank accounts
- So it is beyond banking fund transfer, meaning you can transfer your funds irrespective of bank holiday or working hours
- You can use IMPS on various channels like ATM, SMS, Internet, Branch and even USSD
b.) IMPS Charges
Each IMPS transaction attracts a fee as follows
|Up to ₹1 lakh||₹ 5 (+GST)|
|Above ₹1 lakh to ₹5 lakhs||₹15 (+GST)|
(*Please note that various banks charge different charges for IMPS. The above rate chart is the fees by ICICI bank for IMPS. Different banks may charge differently, SBI charges no fees for transfers up to ₹1000.)
Click Here to find the NEFT/RTGS/IMPS Charges, Timings, and Limits of ICICI Bank.
c) IMPS – Frequently Asked Questions
i) What do I need to know to send money via IMPS to someone?
You need to know the following three details if the transfer money from a person to person
- MMID of the person you’re sending the money to
- and His/Her name
- His/Her mobile number
In order to make a person-to-account transfer, you require the following details
- Name of beneficiary
- Account Number of beneficiary
- IFSC code of the beneficiary bank
ii) What is MMID?
MMID refers to Mobile Money Identification Number, which is a seven-digit unique number representing the beneficiary’s details. Also Out of the seven, the first four digits represent the unique identification code of the bank offering IMPS.
iii) What are the timings for IMPS?
Timings for IMPS are 24*7, irrespective of holidays.
What is the maximum amount that you can transfer via IMPS?
In transfer using account numbers, not more than 2 lakh in one instance.
In IMPS using MMID and net banking- ₹5000 per day per customer
iv) How much time it takes to transfer through IMPS?
Since IMPS is a real-time fund transfer, the transfer takes immediately.
4. Difference Between NEFT RTGS and IMPS
The following table illustrates the difference between NEFT, RTGS, and IMPS
|Type of settlement||Real-Time||Real-Time||Half Hourly Batches|
|Minimum Transfer Amount||₹1||₹2 Lakh||₹1|
|Maximum Transfer Amount||₹5 Lakh (varies According To Bank)||There is no Upper Limit.||For NEFT transactions, there is no minimum or maximum amount. However, each bank may have different limits for its NEFT services. For example, if the transaction is completed online, HDFC Bank has an NEFT Transfer Limit of ₹25 Lakhs per day per user ID.|
|Transaction Charges||Charges for remittances via IMPS are set by individual member banks and PPIs. Taxes are already included.||There are no fees for inbound transactions.There are no fees for online transactions.||There are no fees for inbound transactions (credit to beneficiary accounts at destination bank locations).|
|Service Timings||365 days a year 24×7||365 days a year 24×7||365 days a year 24×7|
|Payment Options||Online||Online and Offline||Online and Offline|
We hope that this article clears your doubts on the differences between NEFT, IMPS, and RTGS. If you have used all three of them, which according to you is the better option, and also what changes would enhance the customer experience of using these services? Feel free to share your thoughts.