By Annapoorna


Updated on: Feb 3rd, 2022


4 min read

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Various online money transfer methods are used in India, such as UPI, digital wallets, etc. But, the most commonly used ones are NEFT, RTGS and IMPS. These payment methods offer flexibility to the account holders. For using any of these facilities, one must have the basic bank account details of the beneficiary.

Below is a comparison chart of all the three payment transfer methods used in India:

MeaningIt stands for National Electronic Funds Transfer.It stands for Real-Time Gross Settlement.It stands for Immediate Mobile Payment Services.
FacilitatesIt facilitates one to one fund transfer but usually requires 24 hours for settlement.It is usually used for high-value transactions which do not require immediate clearing.This facility can be used 24/7, including bank holidays.
Minimum transfer valueThe minimum transfer value is one rupee.The minimum transfer value is Rs.2 lakhs.The minimum transfer value is one rupee.
Maximum transfer valueThere is no maximum transfer limit. But, in cash transactions, the maximum limit is Rs. 50,000 in India and Nepal as per the Indo Nepal Remittance Facility Scheme.There is no maximum transfer limit.The maximum limit set is Rs.2 lakh.
Payment option availableBoth online and offline options are available.Both online and offline options are available.Only the online transfer option is available.
Settlement timeIt takes 24 hours to settle.As the name suggests, the settlement is done on a real-time basis.Settlement is done on an immediate basis.
Charges for inward transactionThere are no charges for inward transactions.There are no charges for inward transactions.Member banks decide charges.
Charges for outward transactionBanks charge different fees for online and offline transactions.
For example, SBI charges Rs.5 + GST for online transactions and Rs.25 for offline transactions.
Banks charge different fees for online and offline transactions.
For example, SBI charges Rs.10 + GST for online transactions and upto Rs.56 for offline transactions.
Banks charge upto Rs.20 + GST on IMPS transactions. These charges vary for different banks.

Which of the three modes is better for small businesses?

After going through the differences mentioned above, it is very clear that NEFT and RTGS are two majorly different modes of money transfer. RTGS can opt only if the transfer amount is Rs. 2 lakhs or more. On the other hand, NEFT transactions can opt for any amount. Also, the IMPS method can opt only if the maximum transferable amount is Rs. 2 lakhs or less. So, for a small business, a preferable payment method depends upon the nature of the transaction:

  • One can opt for NEFT mode if the transfer amount is less and there is no urgency for settlement transactions.
  • On the other hand, if a huge sum is involved and the settlement has to be done immediately, the RTGS option should be opted for.
  • If a small sum is involved and the transaction needs immediate settlement, IMPS should be opted for. But, one must keep in mind that this option is available only online.

No matter which option one chooses, it is important to note that all three modes of payment are safe and secure.

About the Author

I preach the words, “Learning never exhausts the mind.” An aspiring CA and a passionate content writer having 4+ years of hands-on experience in deciphering jargon in Indian GST, Income Tax, off late also into the much larger Indian finance ecosystem, I love curating content in various forms to the interest of tax professionals, and enterprises, both big and small. While not writing, you can catch me singing Shāstriya Sangeetha and tuning my violin ;). Read more


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