IMPS- The Pioneer Of Instant Money Transfer In India

Digital payment systems can do more for equality in poor countries than they can do anywhere else, and we would like them to emerge there even if it takes longer in richer countries.  -- Bill Gates

In a testimonial to NPCI, a consumer wrote the following:

I was fretting over having to miss out on a rare classical concert when I first tumbled upon IMPS a few years ago. It was 9.30 pm and I was mad at my wife for not registering my account number and IFSC with her account during banking hours.

Then, it used to take 24 hours to register a payee to your online account. She had lost her ATM card, and we needed cash for the tickets the next day.

Therefore this timely registration was so important.

Just as I was trying to accept the loss, a banker friend helped me out. Since he is a banker, I was tempted to express my displeasure over the “inconvenient” online banking hours. I was in a bad mood and went on to say, ‘What’s the use of online banking if one has to follow the banking hours?’

It was then that I learnt from him about the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS).

He told me to select the IMPS option in my wife’s online account, from where I could transfer money without registration. To my surprise, the payment also reflected in my account immediately. It matched up to its name – the immediate payment service.

IMPS is amazing. Now I can transfer money according to my convenience without having to worry about banking hours.

Impressed, he further researched about NPCI and learned about its features, so he could tell others too.

He found that the instant, 24X7, person to person funds transfer service gives the payer three easy options. Funds can be transferred to a recipient by using his:

  • Mobile number along with the MMID - Mobile Money Identifier - which is a 7-digit number provided by the bank after a customer registers his mobile number with the bank. This can be done by either visiting his bank branch or logging in to his online account.
  • Account number along with the IFS Code – this is found on the bank passbook, or cheque, or can simply be Googled.
  • Aadhaar number

In the past six years after its launch, the number of banks adopting IMPS grew to 153. During the 12 months between October 2015 and October 2016, IMPS transactions risen by 116%. That makes the utility and reliability of the service evident.

Here are some features of IMPS:

1. Instant, secure, accessible, and available all the time, literally
2. Sender and receiver both get credit and debit confirmations
3. Can be used to transfer funds from Person to Person (P2P) and from Person to Merchant (P2M)
4. Can be used for all kinds of payments:

  • Insurance premium
  • Over-the-counter payments
  • Online shopping
  • Utility Bills
  • Schools / college fees
  • Travel bookings

IMPS kicked off instant online money transfer in India. It has put India in the prestigious line up of very few countries that initiated efforts to pursue a less cash society. Recently new apps and services, such as BHIM and UPI have been launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). These services brilliantly blend the features of IMPS, making funds transfer seamless like never before. More services may come in future, with even better interfaces and smoother operations. IMPS will still remain the pioneer.