Know your limits: NEFT, RTGS, IMPS, and UPI maximum daily limits.

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You’ve probably heard the words NEFT, RTGS, IMPS, UPI, and so on. But before we work out what their transfer limits are, let’s picture a situation. Let’s say you’re out for dinner with friends. The bill arrives, and suddenly you realise you’ve forgotten to bring your wallet (wink wink). Sounds familiar? Life was easier when you could slide out of such situations, blaming your poor memory and getting away with it. But, with the rise of digital payment modes such as UPI, NEFT and IMPS, you can’t do that anymore. With internet banking, money can now be transferred instantly using web-enabled devices like your smartphone, tablet or PC. 

Jokes apart, the process of online money transfer is a modern marvel. And all of us learnt its advantages during the recent nationwide lockdown.

Speaking of which, what are the different modes of money transfer in India?

Whether you wish to send money to someone locally or abroad, various online platforms put in place by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have made it possible. You can now send money in the blink of an eye, and like me, you must be using a few of them, but here’s a brief description nonetheless. 

1. NEFT or National Electronic Fund Transfer:

A money transfer system that runs transaction settlements in batches (every 30 mins). While predominantly used through online modes, the facility is also available offline via the bank branch and in the form of cash/cheque/DD. 

2. RTGS or Real-Time Gross Settlement:

Another mode of money transfer, albeit used specifically for high-value online transactions. Both NEFT and RTGS systems require your banking account and the beneficiary’s bank account to have the system enabled for the transaction to be successful. 

3. IMPS or Immediate Payment Service:

Possibly the most popular online transfer mode for users with small to medium value transactions. IMPS can also be done without a bank account using just the mobile number and bank allotted MMID (Mobile Money Identification Number), although with a lower transfer limit. 

While the RBI directly regulates the previous two methods, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) manages IMPS transfers. 

4. UPI or Unified Payments Interface:

Under the purview of NPCI, this mode garnered massive popularity in a very short while of its existence. It is predominantly carried out via the mobile banking platform but doesn't require any bank account details. All you need is an Aadhaar number and a mobile number or a virtual payment address (VPA).

How can I compare each of them?

Personally, the simplest way to compare options is in a tabular form with different aspects neatly arranged adjacent to each other. So, here is a table highlighting the important features, limits and advantages of each of the options discussed above. 





Transfer Limit (min)

Re. 1

Rs. 2 Lakh

Rs. 5

Re. 1

Transfer Limit (max)

No Limit - online

Rs. 50K - cash

No Limit

Rs. 5 Lakh daily

Rs. 10K - MMID

Rs. 1 Lakh daily


24x7, batches run every 30 mins

Bank working days: 0900 to 1630





Differs as per the bank policies

Differs as per the bank policies



Internet Banking / Mobile Banking / 

Branch Banking

Internet Banking / Mobile Banking

Internet Banking / Mobile Banking

Mobile Banking


  • Free
  • Available during non-banking hours
  • Preferred for large transactions
  • Allows international money transfer
  • Ideal for large amounts
  • Allows international money transfer
  • Instant transfer
  • Always available
  • Only needs a mobile number & MMID 
  • Free
  • Instant
  • Always available
  • Beneficiary bank details not required

So, which one is the best for me?

Different modes can be used based on the amount to be transferred, type of account, associated charges, and overall convenience. I can give you a glimpse of how and when I use the different money transfer and payments platforms.

  • I use my UPI app for small-ticket items, like groceries, utility bill payments, and other shopping. It’s available 24x7 and is free. Another benefit is that it’s contactless, something of paramount importance in these times of social distancing. 
  • IMPS is what I prefer to use to pay my monthly house rent. Since it requires my landlord's IFSC code and account number, it is safer and acts as transaction proof for HRA declaration per the Income Tax guidelines.   
  • For larger transactions like loan down payments or helping out my family members living abroad, either I use NEFT or RTGS. IMPS and UPI cannot be used to carry out international money transfers. Yet!

Are there any requirements for each of these? 

For the RBI managed money transfer modes like NEFT and RTGS, the beneficiary bank account must be enabled likewise; else, the transfer will not go through. 

Typically, you first need to add the beneficiary using the bank account number and IFSC code. While using these modes to transfer money abroad, it is mandatory to have your PAN linked to your account.

For IMPS, too, the same principles apply while making an account-to-account transfer. However, IMPS also gives you the option of sending/receiving money using a mobile number and MMID (Mobile Money Identification Number). This ID is allotted by the bank directly.

In the case of UPI transfers, all that is required is the recipient’s UPI (phone number), or the VPA (Virtual Payment Address) needs to be entered on the sender’s UPI app. 

How does money transfer work on Fi?

Fi is a money management app that utilises data and design for an intuitive banking experience. All you have to do is feed in the recipients UPI ID or FI Account linked number and make a transfer in less than a few seconds. Additionally, you can do a quick UPI QR code scan and make a payment. Transferring money has never been this convenient.  

Forgot your wallet again? There’s no escaping now! :P

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