NEFT and RTGS – A detailed Guide

Lets try to understand what is NEFT and RTGS and what is the difference between them. NEFT and RTGS are two main mechanisms to transfer money from one bank to another bank in India. Transferring money between two accounts in same bank is pretty straight forword and its a internal matter of the bank, it does not have to deal with other banks and their protocols, however when one bank wants to send the money to another bank in India, there is a defined mechanism it has to be done and hence NEFT and RTGS comes into picture. Both these systems are maintained by Reserve Bank of India. Lets understand both of these

NEFT – National Electronic Fund Transfer

NEFT full form is National Electronic Fund Transfer, and its a system of transfer between two banks on net settlement basis. Which means that each individual transfer from one account to another account is not settled or processed at that same moment, its done in batches . A lot of transactions are settled in one go in each batches. Presently, NEFT services are available from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm on weekdays (Mon – Fri) and from 8:00 am – 12:30 pm on Saturday.

Any NEFT Transfer done between 8 am – 5 pm generally gets settled on the same day, but if you deposit the money after 5 pm, then that will be settled the next working day. In case of Saturday, any money deposited between 8 am – 12 noon can be expected to reach the beneficiary account the same day.

NEFT Transfer Example

For example lets say Ajay has ICICI Bank account and Robert has a bank account in HDFC bank , Now Ajay deposits Rs 10,000 in Vijay account through NEFT transfer at 10:30 am . The money will be then taken out from Ajay’s ICICI Account and will be sent to Vijay’s HDFC bank the same day, then HDFC bank will credit Vijay’s bank account. In case money can not be transferred to the target account (beneficiary account) , the money will be credited back to the source branch within 2 hours of the batch in which it was processed.

RTGS – Real Time Gross Settlement

RTGS full form is Real Time Gross Settlement and its a system of money transfer between two banks in real time basis, which means the moment one bank account transfer the money to another bank account, its settled at that time itself on real time basis between the banks, but the beneficiary bank has to make the final settlement to the bank account within two hours of getting the money. RTGS is the fastest possible money transfer between two banks in India through a secure channel.

Let me give an example, lets say Ajay has a SBI Bank account and Vijay has an Axis Bank account, Ajay transfers Rs 5 lacs to Vijay’s account  through RTGS transfer, SBI bank instantly transfers Rs 5 lac to Axis Bank, now Axis bank has 2 more hours to deposit it in Vijay’s account . Hence in worst case even with RTGS transfer there can be delay of 2 hours.

NEFT and RTGS Timings

NEFT and RTGS Charges

NEFT and RTGS transfer charges depends on the Bank. RBI has guidelines for the maximum fees which can be charged, but it finally depends on the bank in question. Note that NEFT and RTGS charges, varies depending on the amount transferred and the timings when its done. While NEFT charges depends purely on the amount transfered, RTGS charges depends on the amount transferred as well as the timings of the day when its done . A RTGS transfer early will cost a little less charges. Note that, Service tax is also applicable to the charges. Below are the charges shows for NEFT and RTGS for retail banking (not for institutional banking)
NEFT and RTGS Charges

Information required to make an RTGS & NEFT payment?

For making a payment through NEFT/RTGS, following information has to be furnished.

  • Amount to be remitted
  • Remitting customer’s account number which is to be debited.
  • Name of the beneficiary bank.
  • Name of the beneficiary.
  • Account number of the beneficiary.
  • IFSC code of the destination bank branch
Note : MICR code is generally not required for NEFT or RTGS transfer

Points to Note

  • Each Bank has their own NEFT and RTGS application form, which you can download from their website
  • RBI declared holidays each year when you cant do NEFT and RTGS fund transfer transactions, see 2012 list
  • To find out different bank branches which are enabled for NEFT and RTGS transactions, you can see this RBI list

Difference Between NEFT and RTGS

Finally let me list down all the differences between NEFT and RTGS in a table, so its easy for you to understand the conclude finally.

Criteria NEFT RTGS (Retail)
Settlement Done in batches (Slower) Real time (Faster)
Full Form National Electronic Fund Transfer Real Time Gross Settlement
Timings on Mon – Fri 8:00 am – 6:30 pm 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Timings on Saturday 8:00 am – 12:30 pm 9:00 am – 1:30 pm
Minimum amount of money transfer limit No Minimum 2 lacs
Maximum amount of money transfer limit No Limit No Limit
When does the Credit Happen in beneficiary account Happens in the hourly batch Between Banks Real time between Banks
Maximum Charges as per RBI Upto 10,000 – Rs 2.5
from 10,001 – 1 lac – Rs 5
from 1 – 2 lacs – Rs 15
Above 2 lacs – Rs 25
Rs 25-30 (Upto 2 – 5 lacs)
Rs 50-55 (Above 5 lacs)
(Lower charges for first half of day)
Suitable for Small Money Transfer Large Money Transfer

Are you now clear about the difference between NEFT and RTGS and their transfer charges?

269 CommentsAdd Comment

  1. sivakumar

    This is very useful to know about the difference of money transfer system in banking..easy to understand everyone with example…thank you for this link and site….

  2. If i do neft transcation early morning (1st batch) then by what time it will be credited in the beneficiary account ? RTGS max takes 2 hrs…. what about neft ?

  3. Pratik Agrawal

    In NEFT, how much service tax will be applied. Say if I transfer Rs. 10000 using NEFT. Then service tax will be on Rs. 10000 or on Rs. 2.5 or on Rs. 10002.5?

  4. Mohd Abid

    The information regarding NEFT and RTGS are very useful. Every points are described in beautiful manner. Thanks for help us.



  6. dipak


    When added Beneficiary account I add wrong IFSC code but account number is right

    at a time I don’t know beneficiary IFSC code so I search IFSC code on net and unfortunately city have to offices and I select wrong one

    now I transfer money via NEFT form HDFC bank to indusind bank

    money is debited from HDFC bank account and definitely it is not deposit in beneficiary’s Indusind account now what I have to do to get money back and were can be money

    it is deposited in other persons account or situated as uncleared amount at wrong bank

    also guide what I have to do and where to contact

  7. T N Kumaraguru

    Thank you for providing much information about RTGS/NEFT. I would like to know in whose favour the cheque is to be drawn in either case.
    Thank you

  8. Alpesh parmar

    My friend from Moscow did sent 1,00, 000 via internet banking before 7 days from standard chartered bank to my ICICI account but nothing seems credited to my account. When my friend haja samat went to bank he got an response back that I need to contact ICICI bank for other details

    Please help me to get the transaction cleared. I am attaching transaction details hereby. Please get back to me within 24 hours

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