Consumer Issues
IMPS can transfer money within minutes. Why isn’t it more popular?

For a mobile obsessed country like India, immediate payment service or IMPS could be a boon, provided the policymakers are interested in promoting this solution


The interbank mobile or immediate payment service (IMPS) from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) finally appears to be taking wings. Anyone anywhere can use IMPS to make a payment. For example, one can pay the grocery bill to the shop owner through a mobile phone, provided both are registered IMPS users with their respective banks. Similarly, one can pay a taxi fare to the taxi driver, directly through IMPS. Therefore, IMPS paves the way for all kinds of payments through banks, from a mobile handset.


With so many benefits, it is inexplicable that this system is not being pursued and implemented with more focus and dedication. “IMPS is a real time interoperable payment mechanism and warrants a network effect with a higher number of participating members in the ecosystem. The number of members in the ecosystem has only now reached a critical mass to provide for incremental volumes on IMPS. It is noteworthy that IMPS achieved one million a month approved transactions in the month of September 2013, over a span of about three years. However, the growth, thereafter, has been eight fold in the short span of 15 months,” said Ram Rastogi, Head Product Development-IMPS, NUUP & NACH, at NPCI.


With IMPS, you can transfer money to anyone with a mobile and seven-digit Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) number and that too within minutes. IMPS allow customers to make 24x7 instant interbank payments to individuals, or merchants via mobile phone, Internet or ATM. According to RBI guidelines, a customer can transact up to Rs50,000 a day through IMPS, provided he/she is using end-to-end encryption (provided by the bank). Transactions up to Rs1,000 a day can be facilitated by banks without end-to-end encryption.


Although IMPS offers instant payment transfer, due to the high transaction fee (about Rs5) several bank customers are reluctant to use it. In addition, not many bank customers are aware about obtaining a seven digit Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) number required for IMPS. The user also must have her mobile number linked with her bank account to use this facility. This is because, instead of using bank account number, the money is transferred using mobile number (registered and linked with a bank account) and MMID combination. In addition, the user (sender) is also required to use mobile personal identification number (MPIN) to authenticate the transaction.


After keeping low for almost four years since its launch, IMPS volumes in terms of transactions and value have more than doubled since April this year.


According to data from NPCI, as on November, IMPS witnessed 78.11 lakh transactions worth Rs5,415.60 crore compared with 31.67 lakh transactions valued at Rs2,154.23 crore as on March 2014. In pure term of growth, this increase appears quite good, however, IMPS as a medium for payment transaction has a lot to catch up with traditional instruments like cheque payments or new age real time gross settlement system (RTGS) and national electronic funds transfer (NEFT).


“In order to promote Mobile banking in India, NPCI has developed a USSD based mobile banking platform called National Unified USSD platform (NUUP). NUUP is available across all GSM service providers and in multi-lingual format over and above English language, with 10 regional languages including Hindi,” Mr Rastogi told Moneylife.


For 2013-14, RTGS witnessed a volume of 8.11 crore transactions valued at Rs734.25 lakh crore. Similarly total paper clearing, including cheque truncation system, MICR and non-MICR clearing, saw 125 crore transactions worth Rs93.02 lakh crore. Total retail electronic clearing, including ECS, NEFT, IMPS and National Automated Clearing House (NACH) witnessed a volume of 110.83 crore transactions with the value of Rs47.86 lakh crore, says data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).


Compared with the huge volumes and transaction amounts, the contribution from IMPS looks miniscule. But with the deep penetration of mobiles, coupled with increased bank accounts, IMPS is bound to grow at exponential volumes, provided it gets due attention from the government and policy makers. At present, the awareness about IMPS is also low amongst several bank customers as well as bank officials.


Mr Rastogi added, “71 member banks currently with NPCI cover all the public sector banks and almost all the private sector banks. These members together cover more than 90 to 95% of the banking customers. However, there is a lot to be desired from member banks in terms of popularizing IMPS to their respective customers.” This will happen in someone can suggest to the Prime Minister to include IMPS in his Digital India initiative.


How to use IMPS?


Registration for Remitter (sender):


•Register yourself with the mobile banking service of the bank.

•Get Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) and MPIN from the bank

•Download software (Application) for mobile banking (ensure the compatibility of mobile with the application) or use the SMS facility in your mobile if your bank provides IMPS on SMS


Registration for Beneficiary (receiver):


• Link your mobile number to the account in the respective bank.

• Get Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) from the bank


For Remitter (To send money):


•Login to the application and select the IMPS menu from the mobile app or use the SMS facility in your mobile if your bank provides IMPS on SMS

•Get Beneficiary Mobile number and MMID

•Enter Beneficiary Mobile number, beneficiary MMID, Amount and your MPIN to send

•Await confirmation SMS for the debit in your account and credit in beneficiary account

•Note the transaction reference number for any future query


To receive money:


•Share your mobile number and MMID with the remitter

•Ask the remitter to send money using your mobile number and MMID

•Check the confirmation SMS for credit to your account from the remitter

•Note the transaction reference number for any future query



Ramachandran Povara

6 months ago

In IMPS and UPI mode of transactions both the parties have to register for the same and IFSC and Account numbers are not enough. I believe it is a handicap. It should have IFSC and Account number based transfer also. In case of NEFT one has to register the party and wait till the party is authorised by the bank. This results in delay. Moreover NEFT and quick transfer can be done during office hours of the bank and on working days only. When commercial transactions can be done with online vendors on a holiday or after banking hours why money transfer cannot be done during holidays and after banking hours ? These different methods of money transfers are confusing for the ordinary people. There is no uniformity in these transactions between different banks also.

Pawan Gupta

2 years ago

I would appreciate if you make it avail with banks, I am customer of ICICI bank where this facility IMPS is not available in Mobile., It takes around 10 business hours to credited in beneficiary bank account.I hope you will understand & try to revert back to me asap.

Chandrashekar Rao Kuthyar

2 years ago

To know your MMID send an SMS "MMID" to these numbers
ALLA - 9248085700
ANDB - 9223173924
UTIB - 9717000002 (Axis Bank)
BARB - 9223173928
MAHB - 9975494909
BKID - 9810558585
CBIN - 9967533228
CORP - 9243717778
BKDN - 9223175152 (Dena Bank)
ICIC - 9222208888
IBKL - 5676777 (IDBI Bank)
IOBA - 9551099007
VYSA - 5607099
KKBK - 9971056767
ORBC - 9223173923
PUNB - 5607040
SBHY - 9223440000 (MMID SBH)
SBIN - 9223440000 (MMID SBI)
SBMY - 9223440000 (MMID SBM)
STBP - 9223440000 (MMID SBP)
SBTR - 9223440000 (MMID SBT)
SYNB - 9223175501
UCBA - 56161
UBIN - 9223173921
UTBI - 9223173933
VIJB - 9223173922
Any errors or feedback may be sent to [email protected]


2 years ago

Obtaining MMID is not mandatory for receiving funds. Through IMPS, the sender can input the account no and IFSC code of the beneficiary and send the money. Thus sending money to aged parents can be done this way since they will not understand MMID. As per the new cheque books (CTS-2010), both account no and IFSC codes are printed on the face of the cheques and can easily be intimated to the sender

A Home for Women & Children
Swadhar works for the development of women and children and has outlived its founder, Meenakshi Apte
Swadhar is the brain child of two of Maharashtra’s best-known activists -- Meenakshi Apte and Mrinal Gore. On the advice of super cop Julio Ribeiro, the two formidable women began a series of women-oriented activities at Goregaon (a Mumbai suburb) in 1980. In 1983, they set up a counselling centre that continues to operate even today.
After her retirement from the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Meenakshi Apte moved to Pune. In 1995, she started Swadhar as a branch of the Mumbai NGO, with the help of Sulabha Joshi and Suchitra Date. Swadhar (Pune) decided to broaden its work to include children. The NGO was renamed Swadhar IDWC (Institute for Development of Women and Children) to reflect this new role. 
Swadhar’s vision is to help and empower women in distress and achieve healthy development of underprivileged children through education, guidance, training and counselling, to ensure a reasonable quality of life. It started by counselling women going through a bad marriage or divorce; this was later expanded to cover all family disputes involving women. It conducts awareness programmes on domestic violence, women’s rights, the need to maintain important documents, health and hygiene, etc, once every month. It has other activities as well. 
Girls’ Education Support Programme: Many girls from low-income families are forced to leave school and are married off at the age of 15.  Swadhar supports the education of young girls so that they are not forced to drop out of school. If they are from outside Pune, Swadhar helps them with boarding and lodging in a hostel. Around 250 students are being supported under this programme, with a large contribution from an IT company. 
Phulora: This project is being run in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Corporation areas for underprivileged school dropouts and adolescent girls. They are taught vocational courses and given personality development training, through interactive activity, role-playing and essay writing. Swadhar’s effort has reduced school dropout rates and early marriages among girls. Phulora’s success has led to Swadhar getting requests from women to conduct the programme in other towns and villages. So far, Phulora has benefited 107 girls in Pune and over 1,219 in the Pimpri-Chinchwad belt.
Mohor is a 24-hour shelter home and educational centre for children of sex workers until they are four years old, after which they are shifted to hostels during the academic year and to Swadhar shelter during their holidays. Around 50 children are provided nutritious food and have their physical needs taken care of, but Swadhar is finding it difficult to raise resources for this effort. 
Ray of Hope is a programme designed for children with HIV/AIDs. Around 130 children under the age of 18 years have benefited from this endeavour. These children are provided a protein-rich diet and supplements, while discouraging them from starting ART (anti-retroviral treatment) due to its adverse side-effects. Most children under this programme are either orphans or have a single surviving parent. Children are monitored closely and are provided nutritious food in the hope that their immune system could be strengthened in order to avoid the dreadful disease. 
In March 2014, Meenakshi Apte passed away. However, the hard work since 1995 and the support of several corporate houses, foundations as well as grants have created an institution capable of surviving its founders. This excellent work needs all the support it can get in the form of volunteers for programmes and financial help to grow and sustain operations. Donations to Swadhar are eligible for tax exemption under Section 80G of Income-Tax Act.



Public Interest Exclusive
How Listed Companies Launder Money

Watch the video at the end of the article to know how unaccounted money is converted into tax-free long term capital gains


The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has set anti-money laundering guidelines to put in place stronger checks against possible laundering of funds through capital markets. Despite the regulations in place, SEBI recently sought help from various investigative agencies under the finance ministry on alleged money laundering in listed companies. According to reports, the markets regulator had written to the finance ministry, highlighting the method used by certain low-value companies to evade taxes.


The quantum of the alleged tax evasion is said to be pegged at Rs20,000 crore.

Moneylife has published several articles in the past on how money launders operate and the need for proper regulations. Read: Low-risk bank customer accounts can be a conduit for money laundering (, Football and cricket most susceptible to money laundering ( ),Why financial institutions should comply with anti-money laundering laws ( and more here (

How exactly does the laundering take place, using the exchange platform to convert black money into white. Here’s how.

Ambareesh Baliga, managing partner, Global Wealth Management, Edelweiss Financial Services, explained this  at a Moneylife Foundation event. He described the modus operandi of money laundering through listed companies. Mr Baliga, who has about 25 years of experience in the stock market, explains how a person reroutes his money through foreign investments in illiquid stocks which are manipulated by operators.

Such manipulative trades involves an entity seeking long-term capital gains exemption by approaching an operator, who finds out an illiquid stock on the exchange platform and gets an allotment of shares done to the entity. Over a one year at least period the operator rigs the stock price up to a pre-determined level. This is when the foreign entity gets in, and gullible investors get in taking the stock higher as the earlier entity gets out. This enables conversion of unaccounted money into tax-free long term capital gains. Watch the video:


From Moneylife Foundation programme on 28 February 2014.




Sharad Jain

2 years ago

please repost the article/writeup unable to read the last few words of each line, thanks

V Rajendran

2 years ago

Wonderful story. A very revealing one. Quite disturbing too. Perhaps the law makers are aware of the happenings.

Gopalakrishnan T V

2 years ago

This round tripping and laundering of money are known to many. How to fix the problem is what Money Life should ponder and act.NPAS are other ways of looting. No one wants to fix it as depositors bear the brunt by taking 4% rate of interest on their savings. In stead of Capital gains tax which is not there if one holds for more than an year the securities, STT should emerge as a tool to fix the problem to a great extent. There should be separate STT for purchases and sales and the rates also should vary on the quantum of Purchases and sales. If frequency increases the rates should be altogether different. There are umpteen ways to take care of the round tripping but as it is rightly observed politicains have a stake and they are the law makers. Chartered Accountants are the brain behind to enable the transacxtions cmfortably.


2 years ago

All successful crime is simplicity itself. But the source of successful crime is usually bad laws. And in making bad laws, there are few who can match India's legislative competence over the decades.



In Reply to SuchindranathAiyerS 2 years ago

I think you are correct in your observations.


In Reply to rajivahuja 2 years ago

second your opinion and strongly repeat what suchindranthji is bad laws or bad implementation of the good laws ...either one means economic disorder with legal excuse & escape routes for the haves ..


In Reply to rajivahuja 2 years ago

second your opinion and strongly repeat what suchindranthji is bad laws or bad implementation of the good laws ...either one means economic disorder with legal excuse & escape routes for the haves ..

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