What is the Difference between IMPS, RTGS and NEFT

What is the Difference between IMPS, RTGS and NEFT

16 January, 2024

Electronic money transfer systems, such as IMPS, RTGS, and NEFT, are utilised to make payments. Through Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), you can transfer funds instantly between bank accounts via mobile phones or online banking. RTGS, or Real Time Gross Settlement, is a large-value transaction settlement system in which payments are paid individually and in real time. NEFT, or National Electronic payments Transfer, is a mechanism for electronically transferring payments between bank accounts that operates in batches and settles transactions daily. These mechanisms enhance the convenience and speed of electronic payments. In this article, we breakdown the differences between IMPS, NEFT and RTGS.

Difference between IMPS and NEFT

Both NEFT and IMPS are electronic funds transfer mechanisms offered by Indian banks. However, there are some distinct differences between the two.

  • Regulatory body

IMPS is backed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI). While NEFT is owned and operated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

  • Speed of settlement 

NEFT operates in batches and settles transactions in half-hourly intervals. The beneficiary receives the payment in their account within a few hours. IMPS allows for real-time or instant transfer of funds, allowing recipients to get the funds in their account immediately.

  • Transfer limits

There are no maximum or minimum transfer limits with NEFT. However, the maximum transfer limit for IMPS is ₹5 lakh per transaction.

  • Timing 

You can transfer funds via NEFT online round the clock. For transfers at the bank branch, the timings are limited to those of the bank’s working hours. IMPS also offers 24x7, 365 days availability for fund transfer.

  • Transfer methods 

NEFT can be done via online banking, mobile banking or by visiting a bank branch. IMPS is only available as an online transfer mode. It also allows you to send funds using a Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) and a mobile phone.

  • Fees 

Online NEFTs typically do not attract transaction charges. NEFTs at a bank branch usually come with transaction charges. The bank levies fees for IMPS transactions.

Difference between NEFT and RTGS

The following are the fundamental distinctions between NEFT and RTGS:

  • Regulatory body

Both NEFT and RTGS modes of transfer are owned and operated by RBI.

  • Transaction Schedule

NEFT operates in half-hourly batches, with settlement taking place at regular intervals throughout the day. Transactions initiated during batch timings will be completed in the next batch that becomes available. RTGS, on the other hand, operates in real-time, which implies that transactions are processed and cleared as soon as they are initiated.

  • Transaction limits 

There are no transaction restrictions for NEFT. It can be used to transfer both small and large amounts of money. On the other hand, RTGS is mainly utilised for high-value transactions. The minimum amount for an RTGS transaction is ₹2 lakh, with no upper limit.

  • Charges 

Typically, the bank does not levy charges on online NEFT and RTGS transfers. However, you may have to pay a transaction fee while initiating transfers at the bank branch.

  • Transaction timings

Online NEFT and RTGS transfers are available round the clock. For transfers at the bank branch, the branch’s working hours will apply.

Difference between IMPS, NEFT and RTGS

Here is an analysis of IMPS, NEFT and RTGS differences.

Managed by
National Payments Corporation of India
Reserve Bank of India
Reserve Bank of India
Speed of transfer
Batch Settlement
Maximum transfer limit
₹5 lakh
No limit
No limit
Minimum transfer limit
No limit
No limit
₹2 lakh
24/7, 365
24/7, 365
24/7, 365
Charges levied by the bank

No charges for online transfers,

Charges applicable for transfer at bank branch

No charges for online transfers,

Charges applicable for transfer at bank branch

Which is better, NEFT, RTGS or IMPS?

Note that all three fund transfer modes can work for based on your fund transfer requirements.

  • If you want your beneficiary to receive funds of up to ₹5 lakh in their account instantly, you may want to consider IMPS.

  • If you do not want to pay transfer charges and your amount is less than ₹2 lakh, you can opt for NEFT.

  • If you want to send an amount greater than ₹2 lakh, you can select RTGS as your fund transfer option.

Enjoy seamless fund transfer with HDFC Bank

At HDFC Bank, we offer several fund transfer options which you can access with our online banking channels like NetBanking and Mobile Banking. You can send money via NEFT, RTGS as well as IMPS. All you have to do is add your beneficiary and start making transfers instantly.

*Terms and conditions apply. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances.

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