UPI Vs. NEFT/RTGS/IMPS & Wallets: 28 Differences

Digital revolution in India has begun as more & more service providers are adopting advanced technologies to provide good customer experience. Banking industry is at the forefront of this adoption and unified payments interface (UPI) is one such highly advanced technology backed by government of India and Reserve bank of India to promote cashless economy.

UPI is a funds transfer technology which can be done via bank’s app on smartphone. Although such type of transfer already exists; the biggest differentiating factor is that the sender does not need receiver’s bank account details for sending the money. Only thing required is the virtual payment address. Read more on how to transfer money through UPI app.


There are many differences between UPI and NEFT/RTGS/IMPS as listed in the below table.

Sr. No.FeatureUPINEFT/IMPS/RTGSWallets
1Through which device transfer can be doneOnly smartphoneWebsite and appWebsite and app
2Transfer speedInstantTime consuming. But is instant & real time in case of RTGS.Instant
3Can you send money abroadNoYesYes
4Can you transfer money 24*7YesOnly RTGSYes
5How complex are the transfer detailsVery easy, requiring just virtual payment addressIFSC code is bank & branch specific and difficult to rememberVery easy
6Can recurring billing be setup?NoYesYes
7Time taken for new payee registrationNo need to add payeeTakes minimum 30 minutesLess time consuming
8Are bank account details must for the transferNoYesYes
9Can you reject money received incorrectlyYesNo such option available unless someone reported to the bankNo such option available
10From where is the money credited/debitedFrom bank accountFrom bank accountFrom wallet
11Is there any transfer chargeYes. Rs. 0.50 per transactionAt least Rs. 2.50 & Rs. 5 for NEFT & IMPS respectivelyNo
12Is smartphone must for transferYesNoNo
13Any money collection alert sentYesNoNo
14Any payment approval alert receivedYesNoNo
15Any interest received on the money keptYesYesNo
16Payee registration timeInstantTakes timeInstant
17Can you use app of non-bank account for transactionYesNANA
18Any transfer limitYes. Rs. 1, 00,000Rs. 10, 00,000No
19How many authentication details requiredUPI app login & 4-6 digit M-PIN neededInternet/mobile banking logins and OTP/transaction password/debit card gridInternet/mobile banking logins and OTP/transaction password/debit card grid
20Is OTP required for transferNoYesYes
21How easy is the beneficiary additionVery easy, requiring just virtual payment addressAddition of bank account details and bank approval is needed before transferVery easy
22Are beneficiary details neededOnly virtual ID is requiredPre-addition of details is neededNo
23Does beneficiary addition require bank's approvalNoYesNo
24Is beneficiary addition mandatoryNoYesNo
25Any payment gateway involved during transferNoYesYes
26How many banks offer this payment method21Almost every bank in India offers this payment methodNA
27Can you pay anyone with this payment methodNo. As of now only an individual or merchant.Anyone i.e. individual, merchants, various service providersAnyone i.e. individual, merchants, various service providers
28Can you do eCommerce transactionsNoYesYes

As you can see above it is a very customer centric technology. UPI is certainly a game changer in India’s banking history similar to what ATM was during its beginning. As of now, only banks are allowed to integrate UPI in their apps. However as more and more people start using this technology, UPIs would be scaled up and mobile wallets will also be allowed to integrate it in their apps. As of now, 160 merchants have implemented UPI in their systems.

It is estimated that over 1 million transactions will be done by UPI by the year end i.e. by March 2017. And IMPS and UPI combined the figures is expected to cross 1.2 million transactions.

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