Your relative who stays in a different city has asked you to transfer some money urgently. What would you do? NEFT or RTGS? Each of them have their own benefits. NEFT costs slightly less than RTGS (some banks even offer it for free if amount is less than Rs.1 lakh) but it takes longer than RTGS. Depending on the time of the day when you initiated the NEFT transaction, the amount may get credited to your relative’s account either on the same day or on the next working day. Where as in RTGS, technically, the transfer should happen instantly. But, RTGS requires a minimum transfer of Rs.2 lakhs and both NEFT and RTGS will work only between certain hours on a working day. What if you have to transfer money at night or on a public holiday when banks are shut?
Say hello to:
Immediate Payment Service a k a IMPS
This is a product of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) that is independent of banks’ working hours and public holidays and is available 24×7. Usage fee is on par with NEFT charges.
IMPS initially started out as a pure mobile to mobile remittance service, which required both sender and receiver to be registered for mobile banking service (of their respective banks) and have what is called as an MMID (Mobile Money Identifier). But today, IMPS even works with the receivers A/C number and IFSC code; just like NEFT or RTGS transfer. And the receiver need not be registered for mobile banking too.
You can access IMPS from your banks’ mobile banking app. Almost all major banks also have this available via their Internet Banking sites (for example SBI, Axis, HDFC and ICICI Bank and other PSU and private/foreign banks) and some even from their ATM’s. As I said before, the transfer of funds will happen instantly and will work regardless of the time of the day or whether it’s a working day or not.
At present, IMPS is still considered as a mobile banking product and hence the daily limit of Rs.50000 applies. But one can safely hope that this will become a full fledged alternative to NEFT and RTGS one day and this daily limit will be removed.