What is RTGS?

RTGS stands for Real Time Gross Settlement.  

‘Real Time’ means the processing of instructions at the time they are received; ‘Gross Settlement’ means that the fund transfer occurs individually.

This is a type of fund settlement process that is used for bank transfers that are high-value. This is because the minimum transaction amount is INR 2 lakh.

The system was first adopted by three central banks in 1985. Today, there are more than 110,000 RTGS enabled bank branches, making it one of the most popular money transfer methods, owing to its capability of transferring funds on the same day.

What are the benefits of using Real Time Gross Settlement?

Before using any transaction mode, it is essential to understand its perks.

This can help you know exactly what to expect from the transaction, and what steps you must take to ensure its safety (if required).

Here are a few advantages of using RTGS:

  • The fund transfer occurs in real time
  • The transfer can occur online
  • RTGS is predominantly used for high-value transactions
  • The system is highly reliable and is powered by the RBI
  • It offers immediate clearing
  • The process follows a one-to-one basis for crediting the funds
  • One can execute these transactions on an individual basis
  • Organisations can execute these transactions on a gross basis

Understand the basic features of RTGS here.

How does Real-time Gross Settlement work?

RTGS payments are generally cleared immediately and are primarily organized with the central bank of the country.

These settlements take place quickly, in real time. The fund transfer method is maintained by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and is applicable for transfers within the country only.

Once these settlements are made, the amount transferred is irrevocable.  

How is RTGS different from National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT)?

The transactions done via NEFT are processed in batches.

In RTGS it’s the contrary, transactions are processed continuously on a transaction by transaction basis throughout the RTGS business hours.


Read more about RTGS vs NEFT here.

Why is Real-time Gross Settlement unique?

One of the features of RTGS that make it particularly relevant for modern consumers is that the transactions can be initiated through net-banking.

In order to do so, consumers require the beneficiary’s information so that the transfer can be made to the correct individual.

Some of this information includes:

  • The name of the individual or beneficiary
  • The beneficiary’s bank IFSC code
  • The beneficiary’s account number
  • The beneficiary’s bank branch and bank name

Interestingly, consumers can also schedule their RTGS payments a few days in advance. This makes it extremely convenient for employers and organizations to transfer large funds to their high-value employees.

How to transfer funds through Real-time Groos Settlement?

Real Time Gross Settlement systems are essentially maintained by the Reserve Bank of India.

This means that the transactions are highly secure and one does not have to worry about settlement risks.

There are two options available for a consumer to choose from when using the RTGS fund transfer system “online fund transfer using RTGS (internet banking) and offline fund transfer using RTGS” (by visiting a bank branch).

Although the two options follow a different route, the operation is more or less the same, with more than a few commonalities between the two.

Whether the consumer opts for offline transfer or online transfer, the following set of information is required for RTGS transfer in both cases:

  • Beneficiary account number
  • Beneficiary account name
  • Beneficiary IFSC code
  • Purpose of transaction
  • Cheque in original (If you opt for offline method)

Real Time Gross Settlement Transaction fees

There are no charges for RTGS transactions. To promote digital payments, RBI scrapped all transaction charges for RTGS, irrespective of the bank.

Are there any timings associated with Real Time Gross Settlement?

Update: From December 2020 onwards, RTGS transactions will be allowed 24×7 on all days.

Unlike UPI transactions, RTGS ones can only take place within banking hours.  

In that sense, RTGS payments can be slightly restrictive as individuals who miss this time slot must wait until the next day to make their payments.

  • Weekdays: Transactions can occur anytime between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm
  • Weekends: Transactions can occur anytime between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm

However, considering that RTGS is not intended for daily payments the way UPI is, this is not a very big problem.

Another essential factor to consider is that not everyone can make RTGS payments.

One must have an account with a bank that is RTGS-enabled in order to make such payments.

Conclusion

As a means to promote digital transactions, RBI has scrapped transaction fees for all RTGS transactions, irrespective of your bank.

RTGS fund transfer is an easy, quick, and efficient method of transferring funds from one account to another.

This method is the most reliable method and the most popular choice when the fund transfer is for a large amount of money.

Having said that, if one wants the ease of making payments at any given time, then perhaps RTGS is not the way to go unless you can be absolutely sure that all your payment needs can be taken care of within the banking hours.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the RTGS payment method?

Real-time gross settlement (RTGS) refers to a payment method that allows the instantaneous transfer of money or securities. RTGS is the steady process of settling payments on an individual orderly basis, without netting debits with credits across the transactional books of a central bank.

What is the minimum amount for RTGS?

Since the RTGS system is primarily meant for large value transactions, the minimum amount to be remitted through RTGS is INR 2,00,000/- with no maximum limit.

Can RTGS be done without Cheque?

Customers having savings or current accounts are eligible to avail of RTGS services. Individuals who do not have a bank account can also deposit cash at the NEFT-enabled branches. In cases when you are not carrying a checkbook with you for making the request for fund transfer through an RTGS facility, banks can provide a temporary checkbook in your name to conduct transactions.

Can I do RTGS from a non-home branch?

No. RTGS services are enabled only in specific home bank branches across the country.

Which is better NEFT or RTGS or IMPS?

If you have a transaction above INR 2 lakh, RTGS is an effective mode of payment. However, for any payments which are of lower value, NEFT is a more efficient mode of payment.

How can I check my RTGS status?

When you place an RTGS transaction, it generates a UTR number to uniquely identify the transaction. The UTR stands for Unique Transaction Reference number. The format of the UTR number is BANKRNYYYYMMDDNNNNNNNN.

How can I use RTGS offline?

Visit the nearest NEFT/ RTGS enabled branch of your bank < Fill up the NEFT/ RTGS fund transfer request form < Make sure that you enter details such as the name & account number of the beneficiary, the amount to be transferred, name of the beneficiary bank, and the IFSC Code of the beneficiary’s bank branch < Attach a cheque along with the request form for an RTGS transaction < Submit the request form to the bank officials < The bank official will debit the amount from your account and transfer it to the beneficiary’s branch.

 

 

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