Difference between NEFT, RTGS & IMPS

NEFT vs IMPS vs RTGS: Which mechanism is the best for NRIs?

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Key Takeaways: IMPS, RTGS and NEFT are three ways to transfer money within India. But can NRIs use any of these? Find out what sets these three methods apart.


When you have to transfer money from your NRE account / NRO account to a local savings bank account in India, you have three options. These are NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer)[1], IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) and RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement). The type of transaction depends on the amount and urgency of the transaction. Given below are the differences between the transactions:

Difference Between NEFT, RTGS & IMPS

Type of TransferNEFTIMPSRTGS
Speed of settlementHalf hourlyReal-TimeReal-Time
Maximum Transfer ValueNo LimitINR 200,000No Limit
Minimum Transfer ValueNo LimitNo LimitINR 200,000
ChargesNo Charges*Charges decided as per the bank for each transactionNo Charges
Timing24x7, 365 Days24x7, 365 Days7 am IST - 5 pm IST (On all working days for banks in India)

*Charges may apply if the transfer is initiated at the bank’s branch.

Which method will work best for you?

Your primary reason to transfer money to a local savings account in India may include investments or your family’s financial needs. If you need to send smaller amounts urgently, use IMPS because the transaction is instantaneous. Please make sure that the recipient bank is enabled for IMPS transactions from NRI accounts, else please use NEFT. RTGS is extremely useful if you wish to make a high-value transaction, for example, to send money for buying a new house or a car for your parents[2].


Final Note: Whether to choose IMPS, RTGS or NEFT will depend on three factors; speed, amount and purpose. You should, however, be aware of FEMA guidelines before initiating the transfer. Before you use any of these options, you’ll have to fund your NRE or NRO account. If you have to send money from abroad to these accounts, you can follow these tips to ensure smooth transactions.

References: 1 2

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