IMPS vs. NEFT: Understanding the Difference and Choosing the Right Payment Method for Indian MSMEs


As the Indian MSME sector continues to evolve, efficient payment methods play a crucial role in ensuring smooth financial transactions. Two popular electronic fund transfer options, IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) and NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer), have gained prominence in recent years. In this blog, we will explore the key differences with respect to IMPS vs. NEFT, their advantages, and which payment method best suits the needs of Indian MSMEs.

IMPS vs NEFT: An Overview

  1. IMPS (Immediate Payment Service):

IMPS is an instant interbank electronic fund transfer service available 24/7, including weekends and holidays. Launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), IMPS enables MSMEs to transfer funds immediately, making it ideal for time-sensitive transactions.

Advantages of IMPS for Indian MSMEs:

  • Real-Time Transactions: IMPS allows instant money transfers between banks in real-time, ensuring immediate availability of funds to the recipient.
  • 24/7 Availability: With IMPS, MSMEs can make transactions round the clock, enhancing business flexibility and agility.
  • Convenient Mobile Banking: IMPS can be accessed through mobile banking applications, enabling business owners to initiate transactions on the go.
  • Security and Transparency: IMPS transactions are secure and traceable, reducing the risk of fraud and ensuring transparency.
  1. NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer):

NEFT is a nationwide electronic fund transfer system that operates in hourly batches. It was also introduced by the NPCI and is widely used for non-time-critical transactions.

Advantages of NEFT for Indian MSMEs:

  • Widespread Acceptance: NEFT is widely accepted across banks, making it convenient for MSMEs to transact with various entities.
  • Lower Transaction Charges: NEFT typically incurs lower transaction charges compared to other fund transfer methods, making it cost-effective for small businesses.
  • Batch Processing: NEFT operates in hourly batches, which may suit non-urgent payments and bulk transactions.
  • Suitable for High-Value Transfers: NEFT is ideal for high-value transactions as it allows for larger fund transfers in a single transaction.

Choosing the Right Payment Method for Indian MSMEs:

The choice between IMPS and NEFT depends on the specific needs of the MSME and the nature of the transaction. Here are some factors to consider when deciding between the two payment methods:

  1. Urgency of Transaction: For time-sensitive transactions that require immediate fund transfer, IMPS is the preferred option due to its real-time processing.
  2. Transaction Amount: For high-value transactions, NEFT might be more suitable as it allows for larger fund transfers in a single batch.
  3. Operating Hours: If your business frequently requires fund transfers outside regular banking hours, IMPS would be the better choice as it operates 24/7.
  4. Transaction Charges: If cost-effectiveness is a priority, NEFT’s lower transaction charges may be more appealing for non-urgent or bulk transactions.
  5. Convenience and Accessibility: Consider the ease of access and usage for both IMPS and NEFT, including mobile banking facilities and online banking platforms.


In conclusion, both IMPS and NEFT offer distinct advantages for Indian MSMEs when it comes to electronic fund transfers. IMPS excels in providing instant, real-time transactions and is ideal for time-sensitive payments. On the other hand, NEFT offers a cost-effective solution for non-urgent or bulk transactions and is widely accepted across banks.

Indian MSMEs should assess their transaction requirements and prioritize factors such as urgency, transaction amount, operating hours, and transaction charges before selecting the appropriate payment method. By understanding the differences between IMPS and NEFT and aligning their choice with specific business needs, MSMEs can optimize their fund transfer processes and ensure seamless financial transactions in the rapidly growing digital economy.

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