What Is Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)?

By Lehar Maan | August 10, 2017

IMPS

When was the last time you visited your bank to transfer money from one account to another? A very long time ago, right? From knowing your tellers and bank officers personally to not knowing them at all today is primarily due to the widespread adoption of mobile and Internet banking. One of the star products of Internet/mobile banking is the online fund transfer service, IMPS, which stands for Immediate Payment Service.

IMPS was rolled out almost seven years ago in November 2010. It is the successor to fund-transfer services like National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS). While NEFT was launched in November 2005, RTGS was adopted in 1985 by three central banks and gained itself a place of prominence by 2005. This does not mean that NEFT and RTGS are ancient methods of money transfer with little use today. These two payment systems have their own set of benefits, which we will discuss later in the article.

For now, let’s get a bird’s eye view of how IMPS is different from NEFT and RTGS.

Time Travel

The advantage of IMPS is that you can rely on this service to transfer funds even outside bank working hours, on weekends, and public holidays. It’s really efficient and reliable with regards to the timing of use.

NEFT and RTGS are bound by time:

NEFT

Currently, NEFT operates in hourly batches. There are 12 settlements from 08:00 hrs to 19:00 hrs on weekdays and six settlements from 08:00 hrs to 13:00 hrs on Saturdays. So, any transaction initiated after the settlement time will have to wait till the next designated settlement period.

RTGS

The RTGS service window for customer transactions is available to banks from 09:00 hrs to 16:00 hrs on week days and from 09:00 hrs to 14:00 hrs on Saturdays for settlement at the RBI’s end. However, do note that the timings followed by your bank may vary depending upon the customer timings at the relevant branch.

Benefits Of Using IMPS

IMPS fund transfer service has transformed the way people undertake online transactions. It offers an array of benefits to users with mobiles and online/mobile banking services activated for their respective bank accounts.

The widespread adoption of smartphones and the Digital India vision of the government are all in sync with the features and benefits of IMPS.

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Instant Fund Transfer: You can transfer funds in real time with IMPS. All you need is the account number and mobile number of the participants. It really works in the blink of an eye.

Easy Process: Not only is the process instant, but also user-friendly. You need to add beneficiary details just like you do for NEFT/RTGS and wait for it to get active. Some banks allow you to transfer funds to a new beneficiary in as little as 30 mins. Keep the name, account number, IFSC or MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) Code, bank account type, details of the beneficiary, etc. handy for quick addition.

Round The Clock: Time is never of concern with IMPS money transfer system. Whether you are chilling in the Bahamas, scaling the Himalayas, or pulling a graveyard shift, you can transfer funds using IMPS from anywhere and at any time. The service is available 24×7. Yes, Sundays, public holidays, and dry days too.

Money Transfer Channels: You can choose the IMPS method to transfer money using net banking, mobile banking, ATMs or SMSs.

In spite of the technological boom, you might at times find yourself without internet connectivity. There are many pockets bang in the middle of metro cities that are devoid of an internet connection. In this case, you can transfer funds using the old-fashioned SMS.

Open To All: Resident, as well as non-resident Indians, can use this service to transfer money.

Security First: IMPS money transfer is a safe and secure way of transferring funds to your friends, family or bootlegger. The banks undertake various authentication checks before giving the transaction a ‘GO’. But if you punch in the wrong beneficiary details then the fault is solely yours.

A mistake is highly unlikely because banks match the account number with the IFSC code. Even if one is wrong, your transaction will get declined and funds will get transferred back to your account in case of a debit. If you do manage to send money to the wrong beneficiary account, you must get in touch with the beneficiary bank for a refund.

Click here to find out what to do in case you transfer money to the wrong bank account.

IMPS Through Bank Account And IFSC code

IMPS using bank account and IFSC details is the most common way to transfer funds. You can use this method to transfer fund to anyone holding a bank account with any bank. You need an internet connection, net banking or mobile-banking data. Here’s the process:

  • Log in to your net banking account.
  • Add a new beneficiary. If you already have the receiver as a beneficiary, then you can select the correct details from the beneficiary account. Earlier in the article, we’ve mentioned how to add a beneficiary. Make sure you have the correct bank account and IFSC code details. You might receive an OTP on your mobile number to complete the beneficiary addition process.
  • Once the beneficiary is added, you can select the details and mention the amount you want to transfer. You can even leave comments.
  • Verify the details. Go over the details carefully one last time.
  • The last step is to confirm.
  • The money will be debited from your account and credited to the receiver’s account immediately in a matter of seconds.
  • You will receive an SMS from your bank with transaction details. Keep the reference number handy in case of confusion or error in money transfer.

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IMPS Through Mobile Number And MMID

Before you learn about this process, you need to understand how MMID works.

Understanding MMID and IMPS

To use IMPS, you should have a bank account that is enrolled for mobile-banking services with your concerned bank. If you have not registered your mobile number with your bank, you can visit your bank branch and submit the application form to avail of this service. The forms are also available for download at the bank’s official websites or on the net banking website of your bank.

Once you register your mobile number with the concerned bank, they will issue a unique seven-digit MMID code that you can use for instant transfers using IMPS. The first four digits of the MMID code act as the unique identification number of the bank offering you IMPS.

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If you have multiple bank accounts, your bank will allocate a unique MMID number for each bank account. Since your MMID number is a combination of your account number and mobile phone number, you can easily decipher which MMID code corresponds to which bank account.

There are various ways to generate your MMID code depending on the bank concerned. Some banks auto-generate your MMID code when you register your mobile number for mobile banking. Other banks allow you to generate your seven-digit MMID code over an SMS request or through an online request using your net banking account.

Transfer Funds With MMID

  • Log in to your mobile banking app.
  • Go to the fund transfer section and select IMPS.
  • Enter the account and mobile number and MMID code of the beneficiary and initiate the transfer.
  • You might have to verify the transaction with an OTP or mPIN.
  • The money will be debited from your account and credited to the receiver’s account immediately in a matter of seconds.
  • You will receive an SMS from your bank with transaction details. Keep the reference number handy in case of confusion or error in money transfer.

Additional Reading: Digital Cash – A Cashless Transaction

IMPS Through ATMs

You will need the beneficiary’s Debit Card number to transfer funds using IMPS at ATMs. Note that there is a limit on the amount of money you can transfer per day and per month using this method. Check with your bank to know the details. Here are the steps:

  • Swipe your Debit Card and enter your ATM PIN.
  • Select the funds transfer option and go to IMPS.
  • Your registered mobile number will appear on the screen.
  • Enter the beneficiary’s mobile and MMID number.
  • Enter the amount you want to transfer, confirm the details, and send.
  • The money will be debited from your account and credited to the receiver’s account immediately in a matter of seconds.
  • You will receive an SMS from your bank with transaction details. Keep the reference number handy in case of confusion or error in money transfer.

IMPS Using SMS

No internet connection? You can still use the IMPS service using the good old SMS. You can add a beneficiary too using the SMS format. The format in which you must send the SMS will be mentioned on the website of your bank. You can keep a screenshot of the same for use in dire circumstances. The format of the SMS may differ marginally from bank to bank, but these are the details you need to provide:

IMPS <Beneficiary Mobile No><Beneficiary MMID><Amount><MPIN>

Once this is done, you are good to go!

Additional Reading: Banking in India

IMPS Fund Transfer Limit and Charges Compared With NEFT and RTGS

IMPS NEFT RTGS
Minimum Transaction Rs. 1 Rs. 1 Rs. 2 lakhs
Maximum Transaction This may differ with banks. Most banks set a transaction limit per transaction. For HDFC Bank, it’s Rs. 2 lakhs. This may differ with banks. Most banks set a transaction limit per transaction. It’s Rs. 10 lakhs in case of ICICI Bank. Banks may or may not have an upper limit on RTGS.
Outward transaction fee Starts with Rs. 5 and can go up to Rs. 25, plus applicable taxes. Starts with Rs. 2.50 and can go up to Rs. 25, plus applicable taxes. Starts with Rs. 25 and a maximum of Rs. 50 for big transactions, plus applicable taxes.
Working days Monday-Saturday

Not available on public holidays & Sunday.

Monday-Saturday

Not available on public holidays & Sunday.

 

All days – 24×7. Even on public holidays.

Don’t you love IMPS for the convenience it offers? Another financial tool that offers convenience is a Credit Card. It offers an instant boost to your purchasing power, wins you discounts, benefits and cashbacks, and helps boost your Credit Score.

If you already have a Credit Card, you can diversify your collection with another one. For example, if you already have a Lifestyle Credit Card, you can pair it with a Travel Credit Card for discounts on hotel and flight bookings. Sounds interesting? Come on then, let’s find a Credit Card for you.

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