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IMPS, NEFT both available 24x7. Here's what you should use

Instant money transfer has become extremely easy with services like NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer), IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) and RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement). Transferring money online has become hassle-free and quick nowadays
and with NEFT now available 24x7, one can send and receive money quickly anytime. Note that NEFT, IMPS and RTGS have their own unique features and advantages. 

Earlier, the major advantage that IMPS had over NEFT was that the former was available 24x7, whereas the latter was only available from 8 am to 7 pm on working days, except the second and fourth Saturdays of the month and other bank holidays. Also, while NEFT transactions were settled in half-hourly batches through 23 settlements, IMPS takes place in real-time, which meant that transfers happen immediately. 

However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently announced that NEFT will now be available 24x7 and that it will be available even on bank holidays. Now that NEFT and IMPS are both available round-the-clock, here's what you need to know in order to decide which one to use to transfer money:

1. Amount: IMPS is designed to be used for transferring small amounts. You can transfer up to Rs 2 lakh at a time. However, there is no lower limit on transactions amounts. On the other hand, NEFT has no upper limit to the transaction amount which means that you can now transfer large amounts round-the-clock through NEFT.

2. Charges: RBI announced after its July monetary policy review—that processing charges levied for NEFT and RTGS transactions will not apply starting January 2020. However, IMPS, on the other hand, is still chargeable. The charge levied on an IMPS transaction depends largely on the amount being transferred and the policy of the bank carrying out the transfer, the fees usually range from Rs 1 to Rs 25.

Before RBI announced NEFT, RTGS fee waiver, NEFT transactions also incurred similar charges. So, with these new developments, NEFT might be a better choice for money transfer compared to IMPS.

3. Details required: One major advantage that IMPS has over NEFT is that that you don’t need to go through the process of entering the payee’s bank details every time you want to transfer money. Since the service is designed for mobile users, one can simply use a payee’s MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) to make transfers. 

For those who are not aware, MMID is a unique 7-digit unique number issued by the bank upon registration and can be used to make transfers using the registered mobile number. NEFT, on the other hand, requires you to add the beneficiary through internet banking in order to make a transfer. This means you need to enter all their details including bank account number and IFS code of the branch etc.


Both NEFT and IMPS offer different advantages and you need to make a choice depending on the kind of transaction you wish to make. If you have to make a transfer quickly and don’t want to go through the hassle of registering a beneficiary, IMPS might be a better choice. However, if you wish to avoid all charges and want to transfer a large amount, NEFT might be the best option.

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