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Over the last decade, online transactions have grown significantly due to the rise and spread of the internet and subsequently internet-based shopping and banking.
As we advance further with innovative technology, we will continue to grow online payment systems and processing devices.
An online payment mode refers to making transactions for paying goods or services via an electronic medium, without using cash or cheque. It’s also referred to as an e-payment system or electronic payment system.
Online payment methods come with a host of benefits, such as:
· Global Reach – Your business can reach more customers not just domestically but from around the world, which could consequently increase your sales.
· Efficient and Effective Transactions — As the transactions are completed within seconds with just a click of a button, without wasting any time, this mode offers speed along with simplicity.
· Convenient – A customer can pay for his purchase on any e-commerce portal from anywhere and at any time. All he needs is an internet-connected device.
· Cost-effective – Online payments are cost-effective as there are very basic charges involved, like a data charge and a phone.
· Tracking and Controls -A customer can always track his payment and check their balances and any transaction through their virtual account, which holds the customer’s transaction history.
· Scalability – With e-payment mode, you can easily add them to your websites and start processing and collecting payments online.
· Security – Payment providers and payment gateways provide best-in-class security and anti-fraud tools for ensuring your transactions are reliable.
Online payments do sound great, but there are a few drawbacks:
· e-Commerce Frauds – e-Commerce fraud is one of the key concerns while using online modes of payment. However, adhering to security rules and regulations shouldn’t be a problem. If merchants select payments systems that aren’t highly secure, there’s a risk of a data breach that could lead to identity theft.
· Reliability – Dependency on telecommunication infrastructure such as the internet and servers at the time could disable online payments when there’s a severe or network outage.
There are several ways for doing online transactions, but below are a few popular ones that are commonly used:
NEFT – NEFT or National Electronic Funds Transfer is a popular payment method that facilitates the one-to-one transfer of funds. With the help of NEFT, individuals can transfer funds electronically from any bank to the account of a person within the same bank or any other bank. The fund transfers using NEFT mode mustn’t be real-time, and the transaction is settled in different half-hourly batches. There’s no minimum and maximum amount assigned for NEFT Transactions. However, banks can have their maximum limits. For example, HDFC Bank has an NEFT transfer limit of Rs.25 lakh/day for each customer ID.
RTGS – Real-Time Gross Settlement or RTGS is another mode of online payment where the fund is credited to the receiver’s bank account in real-time. This mode of electronic payment is mainly for high-value transactions requiring immediate clearing. The minimum amount which can be remitted via this mode is Rs.2 lakh, and there’s no upper ceiling.
IMPS – IMPS or Immediate Mobile Payment Services is an instant inter-bank transfer system managed by NCPI (National Payment Corporation of India). With IMPS, you can instantly transfer lower amounts, up to Rs.2 lakh, even if you just have the receiver’s phone number, which is linked to a bank account. IMPS is a fund transfer mode that offers the best features of both NEFT and RTGS.
NACH – NACH or National Automatic Clearing House is again an NPCI initiative that facilitates high interbank volume and low-value transactions electronically that are repetitive using the NPCI service. NACH is an improvement over the existing ECS (Electronic Clearing System) and helps in consolidating multiple ECS systems across the country. NACH is implemented to be a centralised system for government, corporate and financial institutions offering a web-based solution and facilitating interbank, high volume electronic transactions.