IMPS can transfer money within minutes. Why isn’t it more popular?
Moneylife Digital Team 03 January 2015

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 Venkataraman
5 years ago
OK . MMID is required if you tranfer though mobile. I do tranfer through pc computer. Normally I send by NEFT. I first time tried IMPS to an account. but it failed. the money was debited first and got a message and credited to the account. but later refunded to me. I do not know why it failed. the beneficiary has been accepted by my bank. then why the tranfer failed. ? I am not able to get reason in the webpage.
Ramachandran Venkataraman
5 years ago
I transferred fund through PC (not phone) to registered beneficiary by IPMS to registered benificary. It failed and debit reversed only after 3 days. Obviously I did not have MMID as I thought as transfer is not through phone banking. does it mean that IMPS transfer can be done ONLY THROUGH PHONE and not through PC. kindly clarify
Ramachandran Povara
7 years 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
9 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
9 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]
9 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
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