Funds transfer: What are NEFT, RTGS and IMPS?Years ago when you had to transfer money to someone’s bank account, you had to write out a cheque in the person’s name. It may take many days for the person to receive the money from you. After the introduction of electronic funds transfer, the usage of cheques has come down drastically.

The best part of using electronic transfer is that it takes just a few hours or minutes to transfer funds from one bank account to another.

There are three ways in which you can transfer money to anyone who has a bank account. These are the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and Immediate Payment Service (IMPS).

While NEFT was launched in 2005, IMPS was introduced only in 2010. RTGS has been there since 1985 but became popular only after NEFT came into the picture. Want to know the differences between the three? Read on.


This is perhaps the most popular of all the three methods. You need your internet banking account details and the recipient’s account details. Both your bank and the recipient’s bank needs to be part of the NEFT scheme. Anyone can transfer funds using NEFT including corporates and individuals.

Even individuals without a bank account can transfer funds using NEFT. How is that possible? You just need to deposit cash at a NEFT-enabled branch of your bank, give the details of the recipient’s bank account and your funds will get transferred. NEFT is available through net banking and mobile banking.

Why is NEFT so popular? The main reason for its popularity is that there is no limit to the amount of money you can transfer using NEFT if you have a bank account. However, banks are allowed to set limits for individual transactions. For example, ICICI bank has fixed the maximum limit for a single transaction at Rs 10 lakh.

The only thing you might not like is that NEFT has set timings and the transfers happen in batches during that time. The timings for NEFT is between 8 AM and 6:30 PM. Also, this is available only from Monday to Friday and working Saturdays. The cost for NEFT ranges between Rs 2.50 to Rs 25 per transaction, depending on the amount transferred.


Want to transfer funds quickly to another bank account? Then, RTGS is better than NEFT. RTGS is usually used for large transactions values. RTGS is named so because RTGS transactions are processed as soon as they are received or in real time. The transfer also happens on an individual basis rather than in batches like NEFT. RBI maintains the clearance processes for RTGS and the payments are irrevocable. Recipients will receive the funds quickly when compared to NEFT transfers. The recipient bank usually transfers the funds within 30 minutes of receiving it from your bank.

If you want to use RTGS, the transaction value needs to be at least a minimum of Rs 2 lakh. However, there is no maximum limit for RTGS transactions. Just like NEFT, banks can set a limit for these transactions. The timings for RTGS is between 9:00 AM and 4:30 PM from Monday to Friday and on working Saturdays. The cost for NEFT ranges between Rs 2.50 to Rs 50 per transaction, depending on the amount transferred.


Want to transfer instantly to someone’s bank account? Then, IMPS is for you. This transfer mode is maintained by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). Unlike NEFT or RTGS, IMPS is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. This means that if you want to transfer funds on a holiday, you will have to use IMPS. Just like NEFT and RTGS, you will need to add the recipient’s bank details to your net banking account.

The minimum amount you can transfer via IMPS is as low as Rs 1. The maximum amount is usually capped at Rs 2 lakh. However, if you are using the Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) and mobile number instead of bank account details, the maximum limit is Rs 10,000. The cost for IMPS ranges between Rs 5 to Rs 15 per transaction, depending on the amount transferred.

So, the next time you want to transfer funds to a bank account, choose one of these transfer modes.

Staff Writer

This article is written by RupeeIQ editorial staff.