Over the past few decades, the payments scenario has undergone quite a tremendous change. With our reliance on online modes of transaction consistently increasing, more and more digital modes of money transfer have emerged. These modes of digital transactions not only provide convenience but also ensure security.
In addition to card payments and net banking, there are a variety of other modes through which you can transfer money online. NEFT, IMPS and RTGS are some of the most popular modes of digital transfer that have been in constant use for years now. They allow you to send a substantial amount of money from one bank account to another in a swift and secure manner.
However, at times, the services provided by each of these modes of online transfer can be easily confused.
Given below is a detailed analysis of each of these modes to provide better clarity.
NEFT or National Electronic Fund Transfer is a digital mode of transferring funds that lets you send money from your account to the recipient’s. There is no maximum limit on the amount that you can transfer in a day. You can send money to any bank account, provided they are NEFT-enabled.
NEFT transfers are not real-time transactions. This implies that it takes a while for your transfers to be completed. Prior to December 2019, RBI had regulations as per which NEFT transactions could only be processed during fixed timings. This meant that you could only initiate transfers between 8 AM and 6:30 PM on weekdays. On Saturdays, you could make transfers between 8 AM to 12 PM. However, post-2020, the regulations were lifted and NEFT transactions can now be performed 24*7.
You would need to add the beneficiaries on your bank’s internet portal to carry out NEFT transfers. No fee will be charged on online NEFT transactions if you are a savings bank account user. According to the guidelines provided by RBI, NEFT payments are transferred in half-hourly batches throughout the day. You can make NEFT transfers through offline modes as well. Apart from transferring funds, you can also use NEFT to pay your credit card dues, foreign exchange remittances, loan EMIs, and so on.
You might now wonder how to make an NEFT transfer. Here’s how:
- Visit your bank’s Internet portal
- Select “Fund Transfer”
- Opt for “NEFT” from the list provided
- Tap on “Add Beneficiary”
- Type out details such as name, IFSC Code, bank account number, etc. of the beneficiary
- Select “Add” or “Confirm”
- Type out the OTP sent to your number for authentication
- It will take about 24 hours for your beneficiary to be added
- Once that’s done, select the beneficiary, type out the amount, and confirm the transaction
- Select “Confirm” and your NEFT transfer will be processed
RTGS or Real Time Gross Settlement is generally used for transfers that are large in value and need to be cleared immediately. The minimum amount that you can transfer through RTGS is ₹2 Lakhs. There is no maximum limit unless your bank imposes one. For an RTGS transfer, you will need to make sure that your account as well as your recipient’s account is RTGS-enabled.
Although managed by the RBI, the difference between NEFT and RTGS is that an RTGS transfer can be done instantly, unlike an NEFT transfer. The amount that you send, reaches your beneficiary immediately as it is a real-time transfer. RTGS transactions can be done 24*7 except between 11:30 PM and 12:30 AM. There are no added charges on transfers made using RTGS. These transfers can also be made using offline modes.
Here’s how you can make an RTGS transfer:
- Go to your bank’s Internet portal
- Tap on “Fund Transfer”
- Choose “RTGS” from the menu provided
- Select “Add Beneficiary”
- Fill in details such as bank account number, name, IFSC Code, etc. of the beneficiary
- Tap on “Add” or “Confirm”
- For authentication, fill in the OTP sent to your number
- Your beneficiary will be added in about 24 hours
- Post that, choose the beneficiary from the list, fill in the amount, and proceed with the transaction
- Tap on “Confirm” and your RTGS transfer will be completed
Here’s a table to help you understand the basic difference between NEFT and RTGS:
|Not a real-time transfer||Is a real-time transfer|
|Has a minimum transfer limit of ₹1||Has a minimum transfer limit of ₹2 Lakhs|
|Settled in half-hourly batches||Settled one-on-one|
|Takes times||Is an instantaneous transfer|
|Can be performed 24*7||Can be performed 24*7, except between 11:30 PM and 12:30 AM|
IMPS or Immediate Payment Service is an online money transfer service managed by NPCI or the National Payments Corporation of India. An IMPS transfer has features of both NEFT and RTGS. Like NEFT, through IMPS you can transfer amounts as low as ₹1. These transfers, like an RTGS transfer, will take place in real-time. However, the maximum amount that you can transfer using IMPS is ₹2 Lakhs.
You can initiate an IMPS transfer through Internet banking, ATMs, SMS, and mobile payment platforms. You can access this service 24*7 on all days. An IMPS transfer is ideal for transfers that are comparatively smaller in value. On completion of the transfer, both you and the recipient will be instantly notified by your bank. Other than bank account transfers, you can also use IMPS for merchant payments, mobile banking, and so on.
Here are steps on how to make an IMPS transfer through mobile banking:
- Go to your mobile banking app
- Select the Fund Transfer option
- Opt for “IMPS”
- Enter the mobile number, transfer amount and MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) of the beneficiary
- To authenticate your transfer, fill in your mobile PIN (MPIN)
- Your transfer will be completed and a confirmation message will be sent to you
Given below are steps on how to make an IMPS transfer through Internet banking:
- Visit your bank’s online portal
- Choose “Fund Transfer”
- Tap on “IMPS” from the list
- Choose “Add Beneficiary”
- Enter details like IFSC Code, name, bank account number, etc. of the beneficiary
- Choose “Add” or “Confirm”
- For verification, fill in the OTP sent to your number
- In about 24 hours your beneficiary will be added
- Once your beneficiary has been added, select the beneficiary from the list and enter the amount
- Select “Confirm” and your IMPS transfer will be done
Online modes of fund transfer are fast, secure and hassle-free. Additionally, they also offer flexibility and choice with regard to how much money you wish to transfer and how instantly you want it done. Having read about NEFT, IMPS, and RTGS, you should now be able to choose a mode of transfer that best suits your transactional requirements.