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IMPS vs NEFT vs RTGS

Technological advancements have made banking significantly easy and hassle-free. Today, you can complete a host of banking tasks without actually having to visit the bank. These advancements have been especially useful for sending and receiving money. With digital payment systems such as NEFT, IMPS, and RTGS, you can transfer funds electronically from one bank account to another with the click of a few buttons. To understand this better, let us take a look at these different methods of electronic fund transfer and the difference between the three. These three modes of payment can be used for making your debit card and credit card payments.

What are IMPS, NEFT, and RTGS?

When it comes to transferring funds online, the three most common methods are:

  • NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer)

  • RTGS (Real-Time Gross Settlement)

  • IMPS (Immediate Payment Service)

1) NEFT

NEFT is a centralised payment system, operated by the Reserve Bank of India, that allows the electronic transfer of money from one account to another. It has pan-India coverage and is available round-the-clock.

2) RTGS

RTGS is a payment system that allows the immediate transfer of funds from one account to another. Such transactions are carried out in real-time and on a gross basis. However, it is important to note that as it is designed for high-value transactions, the transferable amount must be equal to or more than ₹2 lakh.

3) IMPS

IMPS is a service offered by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to transfer funds electronically from one bank to another. The transactions occur in real-time and the service is available round-the-clock.

IMPS, RTGS, and NEFT Difference

  • NEFT vs RTGS

The primary difference between NEFT and RTGS is in the way the transaction is processed. In the case of NEFT, the transactions requested are processed in batches at a particular cut-off time specified by the bank. As a result, an initiated transaction must wait until the next cut-off time to be processed. However, this is not the case with RTGS. With RTGS, the transactions requested are settled individually and not in batches. As a result, a transaction will be processed instantly as long as it is within the business hours of the bank.

  • IMPS vs NEFT

A key point in the IMPS vs NEFT debate is that the former is an instant transaction and the latter is processed within 2 hours. However, both IMPS and NEFT are 24x7 banking services and are available throughout the year. The difference in processing time is because of how both transactions get settled. While negligible, understanding IMPS vs NEFT comparison can help. 

 

IMPS transactions are settled on a one-to-one basis which makes them instant. However, NEFTs are settled in batches which may cause a delay in processing. For example, if NEFTs are done in batches of 30 minutes, and you initiate a transaction at 9:30 am, it may be processed by 10 am. 

 

Another difference is the management and charges. While NPCI manages IMPS, the RBI manages NEFT transactions. While NEFTs have no charges as long as it is an online transaction, IMPS is a chargeable service. 

 

Apart from the above, another factor to note about the IMPS vs NEFT comparison is the maximum amount and transaction mode. IMPS transactions have a maximum limit of ₹2 Lakhs and can only be done online. However, NEFTs have no upper limit and can be done online or offline. 

  • RTGS vs IMPS

While IMPS transactions have no minimum limit, RTGS requires you to only carry out high-value transactions upward of ₹2 lakh.

 

There is also a difference between NEFT and RTGS and IMPS when it comes to management. While RTGS and NEFT fall under the purview of the Reserve Bank of India, IMPS is managed by the National Payments Corporation of India.

Difference between IMPS, NEFT and RTGS

Categories

NEFT

RTGS

IMPS

Minimum Amount Transferable

₹1

₹2 lakh

₹1

Maximum Amount Transferable

No limit by RBI

May vary from bank to bank

For cash transactions, the maximum limit is ₹50,000

No limit by RBI

May vary from bank to bank

 

Usually ₹2 lakh

May vary from bank to bank

 

Timings

24x7

24×7

24×7

Mode of Payment

Online and Offline

Online and Offline

Online

 

What Should you Consider Before Initiating a Fund Transfer?

Now that you know the difference between RTGS, NEFT, and IMPS, let us take a look at the key points you need to consider before initiating a fund transfer via any of these channels.

  • IMPS, NEFT and RTGS are all available 24x7

  • As transferring money using these channels attracts certain fees and charges, compare RTGS vs NEFT vs IMPS charges to find the best match

  • As the charges are bank-specific, finding the bank that charges the least is key

  • When calculating the total fee to be paid, consider the GST charges levied on the transaction

  • To be eligible to avail the transfer facility, both banks should be covered under the scheme

  • Along with fees, also check the time taken to process the fund transfer requests

  • Often, there tends to be a limit on the amount you can transfer from one account to another; however, this varies from one payment method to another.

Frequently Asked Questions

✔️Which is better: NEFT or RTGS or IMPS?

Each of these payment types has its own advantages. When it comes to IMPS vs RTGS, the parameter that tends to differ is the minimum amount. While RTGS requires you to transfer a minimum amount of ₹2 lakh, the IMPS transfer facility does not have a minimum limit. Similarly, there is a difference between NEFT and RTGS. Unlike RTGS, payments are not cleared immediately in NEFT; instead, they occur in batches. Also, like IMPS, NEFT does not have a minimum transfer amount and is available mostly round-the-clock.

✔️What is the difference between NEFT and RTGS?

When it comes to RTGS and NEFT, the difference is primarily in the process in which the payments are cleared and the minimum amount. The RTGS payment system allows the clearing of funds individually and instantly. However, in the case of NEFT, the payments are cleared in batches. Also, while any amount can be transferred via NEFT, RTGS requires you to transfer a minimum of ₹2 lakh per transaction.

✔️What is the difference between IMPS and NEFT?

While both NEFT and IMPS services are available round-the-clock, IMPS allows the clearing of funds instantly and individually. This is not the same in the case of NEFT, where transfer requests are processed in batches. Also, IMPS services are only available online, whereas NEFT is available online as well as offline. 

✔️Is NEFT faster or IMPS?

When comparing IMPS vs NEFT, the latter takes a longer time to complete. Hence, IMPS is faster than NEFT

✔️Is NEFT cheaper than IMPS?

At the bank's discretion, all the charges including NEFT and IMPS are decided. Depending on the bank and the transaction, NEFT charges range from ₹1 to ₹25 and IMPS charges range from ₹5 to ₹15 per transaction. So, IMPS is cheaper than NEFT

✔️What is the maximum limit for NEFT?

There is no set limit for NEFT transactions. However, you can transfer only a certain amount in a day depending on the bank and the transaction.

✔️What is the IMPS limit per day?

Once you have added a beneficiary, you can do an IMPS transfer up to an amount of ₹25,000 in the first 24 hours. It is to be noted that the IMPS limit depends on the respective bank's policy and can range anywhere between ₹10,000 and ₹2 Lakhs.