Real-time Gross Settlement, more commonly known as RTGS, is a common fund transfer method that allows customers to transfer money from one bank account to another electronically. The fund transfer method is maintained by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and is applicable for transfers within the country only. RTGS allows transaction settlements as soon as they are processed. As a result, customers do not have to sit through waiting periods.
Furthermore, transactions can be settled on a one-to-one basis without any bundling or netting with any other transactions. Once these payments are processed, they are final and irrevocable. The system was first adopted by 3 central banks in 1985. However, a total of 90 central banks had adopted this transfer method by 2005, making it one of the most popular money transfer methods, owing to its capability of transferring funds on the same day.
How to transfer funds using RTGS
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)
The process to transfer funds through RTGS system online:
- Login – the consumer must first open the net banking site for the bank that operates his/her funding account and then log in to the net banking account by providing all the credentials
- Go to transfer option select RTGS – the second step is to go to the fund transfer section. To transfer funds through this method, the consumer must select the RTGS option at this stage
- Add beneficiary – the third and the most critical step is to select the beneficiary who will be receiving the transferred funds when the transaction is complete
- Provide the information (Number, Name, and Purpose & IFSC Code) – After selecting the beneficiary, the consumer must provide all the required information mentioned on the page they are at. The consumer must pay extra attention to ensure that all the details filled in are accurate, as any discrepancy in even one field would result in the failure of the transaction
- Fill the amount – after filling in the details of the beneficiary, the consumer must fill in the amount of money that needs to be transferred. Usually, during RTGS fund transfers, the amount is higher than Rs 2 lakh. The consumer must make sure that the amount filled is accurate, because RTGS transfers are settled once completed, and are irrevocable
- Go through the transaction with transaction password – finally, the consumer will be required to enter his/her password in order to authorise the transaction, after which the request will be submitted and the transfer will be processed.
The process to transfer funds through RTGS system offline:
- Visit bank – The consumer first needs to visit the branch of the bank that operates his funding account
- Fill the RTGS form with relevant information (Number, Name & IFSC Code) – at the bank branch, the consumer needs to ask for an RTGS form, as it is compulsory to fill one to submit a request for an RTGS fund transfer. In this form, the consumer is required to fill all the details of the beneficiary. The consumer must check these details carefully to ensure they are correct
- Handover a cheque to the bank employee – as stated earlier, if choosing an offline method for RTGS fund transfer, the consumer must carry a cheque to the bank. The cheque will be for the amount that the consumer wishes to transfer to the beneficiary. After filling the form at the bank, the consumer will have to hand over this cheque to the bank employee. This completes the consumer’s part in the process
- Ask for UTR Number for reference. – After giving the cheque, the bank employee will submit and process the request on the online system. This generates a Unique Transaction Reference number, which is given to the consumer to help him/her track the transaction
There are no charges for RTGS transactions. To promote digital payments, RBI scrapped all transaction charges for RTGS, irrespective of the 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.
It is a great option for situations when the money needs to be transferred on the same day, as the transaction usually reflects in the beneficiary’s account within 2 hours of initiating the same. RTGS fund transfer is only applicable during banking hours and on the days when the banks are operating.