What is RTGS?
RTGS stands for real time gross settlement, which means that it enables money to move from one bank to another on a real time and gross basis. Simply put, real time means the beneficiary bank receives the instructions for fund transfer immediately and gross means that it is not bunched with any other transaction and settlements of funds transfer instructions happen individually. Since the funds settlement takes place in the books of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), keep in mind that the payments are final and irrevocable.
What is Neft?
Neft stands for National Electronic Funds Transfer and is a payment system which facilitates one-to-one funds transfer. Like RTGS, Neft also transfers funds from one bank, but unlike RTGS the settlement takes place in batches (that may include transfers from various individuals) rather than individually. The batches are settled in hourly time slots.
How is RTGS different from Neft?
Timing: As mentioned above, Neft operates in hourly batches. Currently, it has 11 settlements from 9am to 7pm on weekdays and five settlements from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. So, in case you initiate a transaction after a settlement time you have no option but to wait till the next settlement time. But that’s not the case with RTGS transactions, since they are processed constantly throughout the RTGS business hours.
The service window for RTGS at banks is available from 9am to 4.30pm on week days and from 9am to 1.30pm on Saturdays for settlement at the RBI end. Keep in mind that the timings that each bank follows may vary.
Amount: As far as Neft goes, it does not have a minimum or maximum limit of amount you can transfer. But the maximum amount per transaction is limited to Rs 50,000 for cash-based remittance and remittance to Nepal.
As far as RTGS goes, it is mostly meant for large transactions. The minimum amount that can be remitted through it is Rs 2 lakh. RTGS does not have an upper ceiling for transactions.
Charges: For Neft, inward transactions (when you receive funds via Neft) are free, as no charges are to be levied from the person to whom fund are being transferred to. When you use Neft to make an outward transaction (when you send funds via Neft) at a bank branch for amounts up to Rs 1 lakh, the charge is up to Rs 5 plus service tax. For transactions above Rs 1 lakh and up to Rs 2 lakh, the charge is up to Rs 15 plus service tax. for transactions above Rs 2 lakh, the charges can’t exceed Rs 25 plus service tax.
For RTGS, inward transactions (when you receive funds through RTGS) are free. For outward transactions (when you send funds via RTGS), if the amount is between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, the charges will be up to Rs 30 per transaction. If the amount transferred is above Rs 5 lakh, the charges can’t exceed Rs 55 per transaction.