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Technological advancements have made banking significantly easy and hassle-free. Today, you can complete many banking tasks without visiting the bank. In addition, these advancements have been beneficial for sending and receiving money.


Electronic funds transfer methods like NEFTIMPS, and RTGS can be beneficial if you transfer money from one bank account to another. These digital payment systems provide a simple and quick solution to send money to your desired budget. 


However, there are differences between NEFT, RTGS and IMPS. Be it transfer limits, operating hours or transfer speeds, they vary but serve a similar purpose. For instance, IMPS is ideal for low-value transactions and is often the fastest among the three electronic fund transfer methods. RTGS, on the other hand, is primarily designed for high-value fund transfers of above ₹2 lakhs. And as far as NEFT is concerned, although it is the slowest among the three methods, it is ideal for both low-value and high-value transactions. 


The subtle differences between these three electronic fund transfer methods are one of the main reasons why the NEFT vs RTGS vs IMPS topic is worth discussing. 

Difference between NEFT, RTGS and IMPS

What are IMPS, NEFT, and RTGS?

Currently, three different kinds of electronic bank transfer systems are operational in India - IMPS, NEFT and RTGS. Here’s an overview of each of these fund transfer methods. 

  • IMPS 

Immediate Payment Service, also known as IMPS, is an interbank payment system established by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The service is available 24x7 and the funds transferred are credited to the beneficiary’s account instantly. Banks generally levy a nominal fee known as the IMPS transaction fee, which is inclusive of GST. The amount of fees may vary from one bank to another. 

  • NEFT

National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) is an interbank payment system operated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). As with IMPS, NEFT is also available 24x7. However, it may take anywhere from 30 minutes to up to 2 hours for the transferred funds to get credited to the beneficiary’s account. This delay in transferring funds is primarily due to the fund transfer requests being processed in batches.  

  • RTGS

Real-Time Gross Settlement, also known as RTGS, is another interbank payment system operated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Like IMPS, RTGS fund transfers are also instant and are available 24x7. However, the facility is designed primarily for high-value transactions of ₹2 lakhs and above.  

IMPS, RTGS, and NEFT Difference

  • NEFT vs RTGS

The primary point to note when comparing NEFT vs RTGS is the processing protocols. 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, RTGS is different. 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 bank's business hours.

  • 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. Both IMPS and NEFT are services that are available 24/7 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 instance, if NEFTs are carried out in 30-minute batches, and you start a transaction at 9:30 am, it can be finished by 10 a.m. 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, other factors to note about the IMPS vs NEFT comparison are the maximum amount and transaction mode. IMPS transactions have a maximum limit of ₹5 Lakhs and can only be done online. 


However, NEFTs have no upper limit and can be done online or offline.


While IMPS transactions have no minimum limit, RTGS requires you to carry out only high-value transactions upward of ₹2 Lakhs. There is also a difference between NEFT, RTGS and IMPS regarding 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.






Offline and online

Offline and online

Only online 


Every half-an-hour



Time Taken To Transfer Funds

30 minutes to 72 hours

Up to 30 minutes


Minimum Transfer Limit


₹2 lakhs


Maximum Transfer Limit

No maximum limit

No maximum limit

₹5 lakhs

Transaction Charges

Depends on the bank 

  • For transactions ranging between ₹2 lakhs and ₹5 lakhs - up to ₹25 plus GST
  • For transactions above ₹5 lakhs - ₹50 plus GST

Depends on the bank

How to Choose Between IMPS, NEFT, and RTGS

Choosing the right mode of payment can make a significant difference in terms of time, convenience, and security. In India, there are several modes of payment available, such as IMPS, NEFT, and RTGS. Each of these payment modes has its unique features and benefits. 

  • IMPS (Immediate Payment Service): operates 24x7, even on weekends and bank holidays. IMPS is ideal for small-value transactions, and the maximum amount that can be transferred through IMPS is ₹5 Lakhs. To use IMPS, you need to have the recipient's account number and IFSC code.

  • NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer): works only during banking hours on weekdays and Saturdays. NEFT is suitable for transferring medium to large amounts of money, and there is no upper limit on the amount that can be transferred through NEFT. To use NEFT, you need to have the recipient's account number, bank name, and IFSC code

  • RTGS (Real-Time Gross Settlement): works only during banking hours on weekdays and Saturdays. RTGS is ideal for transferring large amounts of money, and the minimum amount that can be transferred through RTGS is ₹2 Lakhs. To use RTGS, you need to have the recipient's account number, bank name, and IFSC code.


When choosing between IMPS, NEFT, and RTGS, consider the amount you want to transfer, the urgency of the transaction, and the banking hours. 

  • If you need to transfer a small amount of money instantly, use IMPS. 

  • If you need to transfer a medium to a large amount of money during banking hours, use NEFT. 

  • If you need to transfer a large amount of money instantly during banking hours, use RTGS.

What Should You Consider Before Initiating a Fund Transfer?

Now that you know the difference between NEFT and RTGS and IMPS, let’s take a look at a few factors you need to consider before initiating a bank transfer. 

  • Fund Transfer Limits

Each of the three fund transfer systems has its own minimum and maximum fund transfer limits. IMPS is ideal for transactions of up to ₹5 Lakhs, whereas RTGS is ideal for transactions above ₹2 Lakhs. NEFT, meanwhile, is the most flexible with no maximum transfer limit. 

  • Time Taken to Transfer Funds 

Another major factor you need to consider is the time taken for fund transfers. If you wish to make instant fund transfers, you can use either IMPS or RTGS. On the other hand, if time is not a factor, you can consider using the NEFT payment network. 

  • Transaction Fees

All inward transactions via these three payment networks are free. For outward transactions, however, the transferor is required to bear a transaction fee. The fee for NEFT fund transfers is often the lowest, whereas it is nominal for IMPS fund transfers. RTGS transfers command the highest transaction fees ranging from ₹25 to ₹50 per transaction depending on the amount being transferred. 

  • GST 

In addition to transaction fees, you’re also liable to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the rate of 18% on the said transaction fees. 

  • Network 

Both the transferor bank and the transferee bank must be on the same payment network in order to use that particular network to transfer funds. For instance, if you wish to transfer funds via IMPS, you need to first ensure that both your bank and the beneficiary’s bank are on the IMPS payment network. 

Key NEFT, RTGS, and IMPS Terms

As digital payment methods continue to become more popular in India, understanding the key terms related to NEFT, RTGS, and IMPS is crucial. Here are some of the most important terms that you need to know:

  • IFSC Code: This is an 11-digit alphanumeric code that uniquely identifies every bank branch in India that participates in electronic fund transfers. You need to provide the recipient's bank's IFSC code to initiate an NEFT or RTGS transaction.

  • Beneficiary: The recipient of the funds is called the beneficiary. You need to provide their bank account number and IFSC code to transfer funds.

  • Remitter: The person who initiates the transaction is called the remitter. The remitter needs to have the beneficiary's bank account number and IFSC code to transfer funds.

  • Transaction Limit: NEFT has no minimum or maximum transaction limit. RTGS has a minimum transaction limit of ₹2 Lakhs and no maximum limit. IMPS has a maximum transaction limit of ₹5 Lakhs per transaction.

  • Settlement Time: NEFT transactions are settled in hourly batches while RTGS and IMPS transactions are settled in real-time.

  • Fund Transfer Charges: Banks may charge a fee for using NEFT, RTGS, or IMPS services. The charges may vary depending on the transaction amount and the bank's policies.

  • Transaction Reference Number: A unique reference number is generated for every transaction, which can be used to track the transaction's status. 

  • Service Availability: The availability of different payment methods also varies. IMPS and NEFT are available 24x7, while RTGS operates only during regular banking hours.

Precautions When Using IMPS, NEFT and RTGS Transfer Systems

Fund transfer systems like IMPS (Immediate Payment Service), NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer), and RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) are convenient and secure ways to transfer money online. 


However, as with any financial transaction, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure your money's and personal information's safety. Here are some precautions you should take when using these transfer systems:

  • Verify the Recipient's Details: Before initiating a transfer, make sure you have the correct bank account number, IFSC code, and other necessary details of the recipient. Double-check the information to avoid any mistakes, which can lead to the funds being transferred to the wrong account.

  • Use a Secure Network: When initiating a transfer, make sure you are connected to a secure network, such as a password-protected Wi-Fi network or a secure mobile data connection. Avoid using public Wi-Fi or unsecured networks as they may expose your personal and financial information to potential hackers.

  • Use Two-factor Authentication: Most banks require two-factor authentication for fund transfers. This includes a combination of a password, OTP (one-time password), or biometric authentication. Make sure you follow the bank's guidelines for two-factor authentication to ensure the security of your transaction.

  • Keep Your Device Updated: Make sure your mobile device or computer is updated with the latest security patches and antivirus software to avoid any potential security breaches.

  • Keep Transaction Records: After completing a transfer, make sure you keep a record of the transaction details, including the date, time, and amount transferred. This will help you track the transaction and resolve any issues if there are any discrepancies.

  • Be Aware of Phishing Scams: Be cautious of emails, text messages, or phone calls that ask for your personal or financial information. These may be phishing scams designed to steal your information and compromise your bank account.


By following these precautions, you can use IMPS, NEFT, and RTGS transfer systems securely and confidently, and avoid any potential risks associated with online financial transactions.


Each of these payment types has its own advantages. Regarding IMPS vs RTGS, the parameter that tends to differ is the minimum amount. While RTGS requires you to transfer a minimum amount of ₹2 Lakhs, 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 but occur in batches. Also, like IMPS, NEFT does not have a minimum transfer amount and is primarily available round-the-clock.


Regarding RTGS vs 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 lakhs per transaction.


While both NEFT and IMPS services are available round-the-clock, IMPS allows the clearing of funds instantly and individually. This is different in the case of NEFT, where transfer requests are processed in batches. Also, IMPS services are only available online, whereas NEFT is available online and offline. 

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

All the charges, including NEFT and IMPS, are decided at the bank’s discretion. Depending on the bank and the transaction, NEFT charges range from ₹2.50 to ₹25 and IMPS charges range from ₹5 to ₹15 per transaction. However, in order to encourage digital retail payments, RBI has advised banks not to charge their savings bank account holders for online transfers. So, we can still say that generally IMPS is cheaper than NEFT.

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

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 ₹5 Lakhs.

Yes, this service is available 24/7. NEFT operates round the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means you can initiate a transfer using NEFT at any time of the day or night, even on weekends and holidays.

NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer) operates round the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, the actual time taken to credit the beneficiary's account may vary depending on the time of initiation of the transfer and the recipient bank's clearance process.

Yes, RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) is a safe and secure mode of payment. RTGS transfers are processed in real-time and settled individually, which means that the funds are transferred instantly and directly from one bank account to another without any intermediary involvement.

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