Today electronic or wire money transfers can be made in multiple ways. Electronic or e-transfer of funds refers to transfer of money from one bank account to another carried out online over a network of computers, that is, without dealing with bank staff. The money transfer can be between accounts of one bank or multiple banks. NEFT or National Electronic Funds Transfer, RTGS or Real Time Gross Settlement and IMPS or Immediate Payment Service are three such platforms of money transfer in use today. (Also read: SBI NEFT, RTGS, IMPS transaction charges)
NEFT is a payment system that enables electronic transfer of funds from one bank to another bank account. Money transfer can be made by an individual or company to an individual or company's bank account with any bank that is a member of the NEFT scheme, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Information on bank branches currently part of the NEFT system can be accessed on the RBI website. Currently, most banks in the country support NEFT payments. In NEFT, transactions are executed in half-hourly batches. At present, there are twenty three half-hourly settlement batches, which run from 8 am to 7 pm on all working days of week except the second and fourth Saturday of the month, according to the RBI's website.
There is no limit on the amount of funds that could be transferred using NEFT. "However, maximum amount per transaction is limited to Rs 50,000 for cash-based remittances within India and also for remittances to Nepal under the Indo-Nepal Remittance Facility Scheme," according to the RBI.
RTGS, primarily meant for large value money transfers, is a payment system that enables instant transfer of funds. Unlike NEFT, RTGS processes the instructions at the time they are received rather than at a later time. Currently, more than 1 lakh bank branches offer the RTGS facility, according to the RBI. Information on these branches can be accessed from the RBI website. RTGS transactions can be made from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm on weekdays and from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturdays for settlement at the RBI-end, according to the central bank. However, the timings that the banks follow may vary depending on the customer timings of the bank branches, it noted.
The RTGS service window for customer's transactions is available to banks from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays and from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturdays for settlement at the RBI-end. However, the timings that the banks follow may vary depending on the customer timings of the bank branches, the central bank noted.
The minimum amount to be remitted through RTGS is Rs 2 lakh. There is no upper ceiling for RTGS transactions.
RTGS vs NEFT
In NEFT, settlement of all transaction requests takes place at a particular "cut-off time", according to the RBI. On the other hand, in RTGS, the transactions are settled individually. In NEFT, for example, any transaction initiated after a designated settlement time would have to wait till the next designated settlement time. However, in RTGS, the transactions are processed continuously throughout the stipulated business hours.
Both NEFT and RTGS are maintained by the RBI.
IMPS is a payment service managed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). This service enables individuals to make money transfer instantly through banks and RBI-authorised Prepaid Payment Instrument Issuers (PPI) across the country. Unlike NEFT and RTGS, IMPS is available round the clock throughout the year, even on bank holidays. Currently, there are 53 commercial banks and 101 rural, district, urban and cooperative banks that support the IMPS service, according to the NPCI website. An IMPS transaction can be initiated from a mobile phone, through internet or an ATM, wherein confirmation of debit or credit is sent by an SMS.