Differences between UPI, NEFT, IMPS, and RTGS

Annual reports from the Ministry of Electronics and IT mark 7,422 online transactions in the year 2022. And the maximum transactions done were from UPI, and others were done with NEFT, IMPS, and RTGS. Do you know the difference between all four modes of online transactions and their benefits?
Differences between UPI, RTGS, IMPS and RTGS
Differences between UPI, RTGS, IMPS and RTGS

The advancement of digitization has emphasized online transactions over the period. Online transactions basically occur during the process of buying and selling through the internet. The most popular modes of online transactions are UPI, NEFT, IMPS, and RTGS. 

Perhaps, the majority must have used these modes of transactions once or consecutively. But do you know the differences between UPI, NEFT, IMPS, and RTGS? No then, skim through the article to all know about these four ways of online transactions:


UPI is the most popular mode of online transaction, which stands for Unified Payment Interface. Almost around 10 lakhs of transitions are initiated through UPI in a month. The immediate payment method is a concept that allows users to hold multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application.


The idea of UPI was developed by the National Payments Corporation of India and is controlled by the RBI and Indian Bank Association. Know about the key advantages of UPI from the below pointers: 

  • Based on 2-factor authentication, UPI provides absolutely secured transactions with a seamless single click.
  • UPI works as an immediate payment service. 
  • With UPI, users can just not make payments but can also do a collection.
  • UPI allows users to initiate transactions from any bank’s UPI app.
  • The daily transaction limit for a single user of UPI is 1 Lakh.
  • All the transactions can be easily carried out with the UPI id.


Introduced in the year 2005 by the Reserve Bank of India, an electronic funds transfer system. The full form of NEFT is National Electronic Funds Transfer. It allows all the users to transfer capital online from one NEFT-enabled bank account to another.


NEFT is among the most secured, economical, reliable, and efficient modes of fund transfer between banks. To initiate a transaction, a customer is asked to fill up an application form providing details of the beneficiary and the desired amount. 

The top benefits of NEFT are: 

  • NEFT is considered a one-to-one payment facility.
  • No third party is involved in the transaction process, making it completely safe and secure.
  • No minimum charges are levied by RBI on banks.
  • It is the fastest and most efficient way to make online transactions, as the payments made via NEFT are processed and settled in half hour.
  • The receiver and sender of the funds get notified instantly upon completion of the transaction.
  • With no requirement for cheques or demand drafts, NEFT turns economical.
  • NEFT can also be used to pay loans, installments, credit card dues, EMIs, etc.


The electronic fund transfer service IMPS stands for Immediate Payment Service. IMPS helps customers to transfer money instantly from one account to another, which includes both inter and intra-bank transfers.


Transactions initiated through IMPS are done in real time, which means that the credited amount will reflect in the beneficiary account within seconds. Enabled through multiple channels, IMPS has not levied any charges on minimum or maximum amount transfers. The reason to pick IMPS for money transfers are:

  • IMPS fund transfer can be carried through MMID, Aadhaar number, or mobile number.
  • It is fast, safe, secure, and cost-effective.
  • IMPS does not have any minimum amount limit for the transactions of funds.
  • Users can avail benefits of IMPS 24 hours even on holidays.
  • Transactions on IMPS can get carried through mobile phones, internet banking, and even ATMs.
  • The transaction does not require the beneficiary’s Account number, IFSC code, or other bank details.


This fund transfer system stands for Real Time Gross Settlement. It allows the instantaneous transfer of large-value interbank funds transfers. However, transactions once made through RTGS are final and irrevocable. 


RTGS was introduced in the year 1985 and was enabled only in 3 Central Banks. RBI adopted RTGS in 2004, and at present, over 72 banks are part of the RTGS system. This system does not come with any maximum transaction limit, though the minimum transaction value needs to be equal to or higher than INR 2 Lakh. The advantages of the RTGS system are:

  • RTGS transactions can be done both online and offline.
  • It carries both intra-bank transfers and customer transactions.
  • RTGS also facilitates users with an option to schedule transactions.
  • The 24X7 transactions option saves time and does immediate clearing of the funds.
  • The one-to-one crediting system is exceptionally reliable.

With the expansion of the government’s flagship initiative 'Digital India', India’s bid for cashless translation had taken a leap. Supported by endless modes, online transactions have become the most secure, flexible, and affordable option online transactions.


What is the RTGS limit?

The minimum transaction amount for RTGS in a day is 2 lakh, whereas maximum limit for a day is 10 Lakh.

What is free NEFT or IMPS?

No charges are levied on transactions made by NEFT, however, IMPS transactions are chargeable.

What is the main difference between NEFT and RTGS?

NEFT enables the settlement of funds within half-hour batches, whereas RTGS is a real-time settlement of fund transfer service.

What is UPI?

UPI stands for Unified Payment Interface, a smartphone application that allows users to transfer money between bank accounts.
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