BANKING has taken a hit with swathes of people wanting to convert their currency for basic transactions. Though it would take time for things to return to normalcy, there are ways to avoid standing in queues by using online channels of transfers and payments.
In fact, NEFT, IMPS and RTGS modes of payment have been in existence for long now, but they command only a small share of transactions as compared to cash. The government earlier this year also launched Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to make transfers easier and faster. If you have not used any of these services in the past, now may be a good time to start.
National Electronic Funds Transfer is one the most used online transfer modes in the banking sector. It can be done via a mobile app or a bank account and requires you to have the account name, number and the IFSC code. Though there is no minimum amount for transfer, the maximum amount that can be transferred is R10 lakh. Payments are made in hourly batches, leading to some delay in money transfer. There are 12 settlement times between 8am and 7 pm on weekdays. Though money transfer usually takes place on the same day, if you have made a transfer after 6pm or 7 pm then the payment is usually credited on the next day. Banks charge R2.50 plus service tax for transfers up to Rs 10,000, R5 plus service tax for transfers of above R10,000 up to R1 lakh, R15 plus tax for transfers of above R1 lakh up to R2 lakh, etc.
If you are in a bit of a hurry and need to transfer large funds immediately, then Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) may be the best option. The process of transfer is similar to that of NEFT, but the settlement is made immediately. RTGS is primarily for large fund transfers of R2-10 lakh. Though one can schedule an RTGS payment in advance for three working days, the charges are a bit more than NEFT. RTGS transactions incur a charge of R25 plus service tax for payments up to R5 lakh and R50 plus service tax for amounts more than R5 lakh for retail customers.
Immediate payment service (IMPS) is a 24X7 service launched by the National Payments Council of India. While it allows for real time transfer of funds like RTGS, there is a limit of R2 lakh for transfers. The IMPS, besides a payment mechanism like the other two services, also offers the facility of MMID—a seven digit Mobile Money Identifier code which can be generated by SMS or internet banking—and mobile number transfer. One has to register mobile number along with MMID code for the account to which money is to be transferred. Though charges are left to the discretion of banks, banks charge R5 plus service tax for transfer up to R1 lakh and R15 plus service tax for above Rs 1 lakh.
This newly launched
service by NPCI is modelled on IMPS platform to provide 24×7 transfer facilities. The transaction limit is just R1 lakh. One can download an app of any bank and initiate a transfer by using a virtual payment address which is similar to an e-mail address for the account. The transaction just requires an M-Pin for verification and the fee is similar to that of IMPS.