While rendering the Monetary Policy Declaration of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on October 9, Governor Shaktikanta Das informed that from December 2020 onwards, the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) for fund transfer will be made accessible 24×7. It was agreed to enable fast and seamless payments for domestic companies and institutions in real-time. Currently, from 7 am to 6 pm on a working day, the RTGS operation schedule for customer transactions is accessible to banks. Likewise, the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) mechanism was made available by the RBI in 2019 on a 24x7x365 framework. Transferring money online has been better over the years. But what mechanism for transferring your money to others do you choose? There are many mechanisms offered by banks, such as NEFT, RTGS, and Immediate Payment Service (IMPS). Any of the methods of transfer has numerous characteristics. You should determine the mode of transfer based on the amount that you are willing to transfer, the pace of transfer and other considerations.
National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT)
Through NEFT, you can transfer funds from your bank account electronically to an individual having an account in the same or another bank. Transfers occur every half hour in batches, and they are not carried out on a real-time basis. The minimum transaction amount is one rupee, and each bank’s maximum transfer cap differs. For e.g. at IDFC First Bank, the maximum transfer limit is Rs 20 lakh a day and it is Rs 10 lakh a day at ICICI Bank. NEFT transactions made either via mobile app or net banking service of a bank do not incur any charges. But there are charges if you go to your branch to make an NEFT transfer. For example, depending on the transaction amount, ICICI Bank charges from Rs 2.25 and Rs 24.75 including GST.
Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)
In the RTGS method, the money is transferred in real-time to the beneficiary’s account, that is, instantly. The RTGS framework is mainly designed for transactions of high value that need immediate clearance. It is generally used on a real-time basis by companies and organisations for fund transfers. Rs 2 lakh is the minimum limit that can be transferred by RTGS and the maximum transfer cap differs from bank to bank, but the RBI does not set an upper limit cap for RTGS. For example, at IDFC First Bank and ICICI Bank, the maximum transfer cap is Rs 20 lakhs and 10 lakhs per day respectively. For RTGS initiated via online forms (i.e. internet banking, mobile apps), no transaction charges are imposed, but certain banks charge fees for processing transactions via bank branches. For example, based on the transaction amount, ICICI Bank charges Rs 20 to Rs 45 including GST.
Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)
On online bank platforms such as mobile banking, net banking, via SMS and through ATMs, IMPS offers real-time fund transfer service. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) regulates the transfer of funds between participant banks in the IMPS framework. Through the IMPS fund transfer facility, the transactions are settled out instantly without any pause or delay. To complete a transaction, you will need the bank account number of the beneficiary and the IFSC code of his or her bank branch. IMPS is a 24x7x365 facility which implies that you can use this service anytime, anywhere. Re 1 is the minimum transaction value and Rs 2 lakh is the maximum amount that can be transferred using IMPS. It is commonly used by retail customers for low-value transactions. The transaction fees can differ based on the bank. For e.g, there are no transfer charges imposed by IDFC First Bank for using IMPS, however, depending on the transaction amount, HDFC Bank charges from Rs 3.5 to Rs 15 including GST for using IMPS.
NEFT vs IMPS
With IMPS, the transfer of funds takes place immediately using net-banking and mobile banking on a real-time basis. It is ideal for online low-value transactions of up to Rs 2 lakh. NEFT transfers take place every half-an-hour in batches; they’re not in real-time. If the receiver doesn’t instantly need the amount, you can use this approach to transfer the money. Also, as the maximum transaction cap is fixed by the bank, which goes up to Rs 10 to 20 lakh, you can use this form to transfer high-value amounts.
Specifics required while using RTGS and NEFT fund transfer service
The few important details required are as follows: the amount to be transferred (remitted), the account number of the beneficiary customer, the name of the bank and branch of the beneficiary, the name of the beneficiary and the IFSC code of the branch of the beneficiary bank.