India has two main settlement systems National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) & Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) by RBI. Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) is a relatively new service in India.
So if you wish to transfer money electronically you will have three options – NEFT, RTGS & IMPS. All of them perform the same task of transferring fund but there is a differences between them.
NEFT and RTGS are settlement systems by RBI while IMPS is settlement mechanism introduced by National Payment Corporation in 2010.
NEFT transactions are transactions of small value.
This transaction doesn’t happen on the spot but happens during a specific time which is termed as a batch. On weekdays there are 12 such batches while on Saturday there are 6 batches when the money is transferred.
Transaction can take place between 8 am to 6.30 pm on weekday. On Saturday between 8 am to 12.30 pm.
So if someone sends you payment via. NEFT it would take about 1 to 2 hours to reflect in your bank account.
Charges for NEFT:
Inward transactions (on receiving money via. NEFT): No charges are levied.
Outward transactions: (while sending money)-
Money upto 10,000: Rs 2.5 (+ additional service charges)
10,000 to 100,000: Rs 5 (+ additional service charges)
100,000 to 200,000: Rs 15 (+ additional service charges)
200,000 & above: Rs 25 (+ additional service charges)
As the name suggests its a real time transfer service between banks. The minimum amount required to be transferred is 2 lakh and maximum is 5 lakh. (RBI has not fixed the maximum amount. It has given liberty to the bank to decide the maximum amount.)
The transaction happen real time. It can be accessed from 8 am to 4.30 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 12.30 pm on Saturday.
Charges for RTGS:
Inward transactions: no charge to be levied.
2 lakh to 5 lakh- Rs 25 [+ applicable Time Varying Charges (Rs 1/- to Rs 5/-); total not exceeding Rs 30 per transaction, (+ Service Tax)]
Above 5 lakh Rs 50 [+ applicable Time Varying Charges (Rs 1/- to Rs 5/-); total charges not exceeding Rs 55 per transaction, (+ Service Tax)]
No time varying charges are applicable for RTGS transactions settled up to 12:30 hrs. [source]
In this service users can transfer funds within the same bank and other banks on an immediate basis.
There is no maximum limit set for such transactions. You can transfer up to 5 lakh easily.
Charges for IMPS:
To use the IMPS service the charges are similar to NEFT. IMPS was earlier offered for free to promote the service but is now being charged.
Points to note:
The maximum allowed amount has not been fixed by RBI. RBI has given the rights to the bank to set this amount. The maximum allowed amount is set by the bank board.
The fees charged differs from bank to bank.
In NEFT and RTGS one cannot transfer funds on Sunday and public holidays. While in IMPS its possible to do a transaction on these days.