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Old 9th October 2012, 15:34   #1
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Default Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS)

There seems to be a general lack of clarity on the advancements in mobile based payment gateways. Recently whenever I have tried discussing IMPS services to friends and colleagues, all I get is blank faces (and most of these are working in the financial sector! lol). Hence this thread, hopefully some of you people will benefit from this knowledge sharing.

P.s. All the information has been taken from wikipedia. The information provided on that single page is more than enough.


Interbank Mobile Payment Service or IMPS offers an instant, 24X7, interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones. IMPS facilitate customers to use mobile instruments as a channel for accessing their bank accounts and put high interbank fund transfers in a secured manner with immediate confirmation features. It belongs to National Payments Corporation of India, an umbrella organization for all retail payment systems in India.

The objectives are quite simple
  1. To enable bank customers to use mobile instruments as a channel for accessing their banks accounts and remit funds
  2. Making payment simpler just with the mobile number of the beneficiary
  3. To sub-serve the goal of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in electronification of retail payments
  4. To facilitate mobile payment systems already introduced in India with the Reserve Bank of India Mobile Payment Guidelines 2008 to be inter-operable across banks and mobile operators in a safe and secured manner
  5. To build the foundation for a full range of mobile based Banking services.
  6. Available round the clock
Almost all banks are member banks - the list is available on wikipedia.

The modus operandi is quite simple.

Registration for Remitter:

* Register yourself for mobile banking service with 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:

* Link your mobile number to the account in the respective bank. No need to register for mobile banking service.
* Get Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) from the bank

For Remitter (To send money):

* Login to the application and select the IMPS menu from the IMPS 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 PIN 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

For Beneficiary (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

For those of you owning a smartphone, search for the bank apps; most top banks have a working (atleast in Android) application that provide the IMPS gateway as an additional service. I have used both CITI & ICICI apps to make IMPS based payments and they work perfectly fine. Do note, the transfer happens instantly, across multiple banks.

Generic steps for smartphone owners:
  1. Download the app
  2. Login and navigate to the service request page (or the corresponding link in your bank's app)
  3. Initiate a request for an MMID for your mobile number
  4. Receive the MMID within minutes (if not instantly)
  5. Share the MMID to the person making the payment (or get the beneficiary's MMID if you are making the payment)
  6. Navigate to the IMPS payment link on the app
  7. Enter the recipient's mobile number, MMID number, amount and payment remarks and submit!
  8. Payment gets done instantly. The recipient account receives the money immediately
P.s. If anyone wants to do trial/testing of the IMPS payments to see if it works, I can share my MMID & mobile number gladly

Last edited by Technocrat : 9th October 2012 at 23:31. Reason: Corrected Post width, thanks
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Old 9th October 2012, 16:03   #2
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Default Re: Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS)

Very good explanation and information. I am certain lots of people can make use of it.
I am also using SBI and ICICI bank mobile app for fund transfers and other bill payments on my iphone. it's super easy and fast. makes life really uncomplicated once understood.
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Old 11th October 2012, 01:10   #3
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Default Re: Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS)

Well done NinjaTalli, You have made a clear and easy to understand post.

Even being a Online Banking Types, I never checked the full details displayed on ICICI Bank login page, as Whenever I visit that page, I was on some quick payment and refrained myself from reading it, my bad, but you have explained it very well urging me to try this on my Android very very soon.

oopps I forgot to type, BIG THANKS
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Old 5th February 2013, 17:39   #4
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Default Re: Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS)

Here is my experience with IMPS. Pardon me for the long post.

IMPS - Interbank Mobile Payment Service / Immediate Payment Service

More than 2 years ago , National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched the Immediate Payment Service or IMPS. Also called as Interbank Mobile Payment Service.
The service as it says allows you to transfer funds to any bank account within participating banks instantly. That means you don't have to wait for hours for money to get credited if you would have done the transfer using RBI's NEFT service. Moreover NEFT has limited timings and holidays while IMPS works round the clock, round the year. (NEFT - National Electronic Funds Transfer)

Your bank account is assigned an MMID. Your mobile must be linked to your bank account.
The mobile number and MMID form the base for IMPS. To transfer funds you need to enter the MMID and mobile number of the beneficiary and the amount. As simple as that and the funds are transferred in seconds. You can transfer the funds using your mobile phone or Net Banking.

NPCI is managing the service and the funds transfer can be done only within the participating banks.
Here is the list of participating banks

Isn't it a great service ! Say your friend or family member is somewhere faraway in India and is in an urgent need of money at a time when banks are closed and NEFT won't work. Within seconds the money would reach his bank account and he can withdraw the money from any ATM.

Great till you have luck ! The biggest problem with IMPS is that its not reliable.
Suppose you need to transfer funds to someone urgently, you use imps to transfer all the money you have in your account. Be it 5,000 or 50,000. Now your luck ran out and what will happen is that your money is debited instantly but not credited to the intended person's bank account.

What will you do now ? You don't have any money left to try another transfer. The person on the receiving end is in terrible need. You may think the money would be credited back in a few hours or maybe the next day (as in NEFT) and you can manage till then.
But NO

In case of a transaction failure in IMPS the time to get your money back is 9 working days. Let me tell you again not 9 days but 9 working days that translates to almost 2 weeks.I regularly used this service and out of 10 times 3 times the money was stuck.

No doubt its a great service but is a risky proposition.
I would advise to stay away from this service till it matures. Still if the need arises to use the service,transfer in small chunks so that in case of a problem your whole amount won't be lost. Also if you have funds in backup you can use it.

IMPS & ICICI Bank - On 5th February 2013

I have used this service a number of times using my ICICI bank account. But I fail to learn from my mistakes and made another transfer just today. What next - the money isn't credited to the beneficiary account (HDFC Bank) but debited from my ICICI bank account.

I called up the customer care immediately. The executive said we can't do anything and asked me to wait for 9 working days. I asked her to transfer me to a senior. The senior was also not pretty much aware of why the transfer failed, asks me to wait for a few minutes while he coordinated with backend. After a long wait he told me "Sir, HDFC bank is not part of this service , so you have to wait for 9 days"
Basically he implied that its my mistake that I transferred the money to a non participating bank, so we can't do anything. I had to set his facts straight and told him to confirm on the NCPI website, I also told him that I had made a successful IMPS transfer to HDFC bank just a few hours ago but he was not ready to believe. Again I asked him to transfer to a senior. After around 10 minutes of waiting the next senior came online and apologized for the wrong information. Also promised me a quick resolution, lets see!

Let me assure you , they don't have any kind customer support to handle these issues promptly. They don't have their facts right. They have no other answer but to tell you to wait for 9 workings and give you wrongful information.

I don't mean to say that only ICICI Bank or HDFC Bank are to be blamed but the entire NCPI system for this service. You can't challenge them as their terms and conditions have the 9 working days refund clause. It has been 2 years and this is the state.
Why give a product which is full of problems,even takes so much time to resolve.

I have learnt my lesson, my money is gone for 9 working days, I won't use this service again till they change the turnaround time to 1 working day. I plan to use RBI's NEFT service till then. Very reliable and even in case of a problem very fast turnaround time. Slow and steady wins the race.
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Old 6th February 2013, 05:53   #5
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Default Re: Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS)

I've been using this quite some time, its really useful service! As k2max6 menioned, we need to wait more than a week to get money credited back if there is a failure :( Another point i didnt understand here, why some of the banks restricted IMPS to use only with mobile application or through USSD service. May be this is the reason why it was not popular as it should be. At least ICICI is good in this, as we can use IMPS through their netbanking site
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Old 20th January 2016, 17:36   #6
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Default Re: Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS)

The IMPS refund is instant, in case of a failure. I used Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, IOB extensively for IMPS.
1) Axis , Indus credit card payments can be made by IMPS. There are 2 advantages. We can pay at last moment even if we forget and even if the last day is Sunday or Holiday. We can use the interest free credit period to the fullest.
2) IMPS can be used with IFSC code, just like NEFT. No hassle of MMID, mobile registration, download on mobile etc. Just login to laptop on netbanking site, make IMPS transfers . Just like NEFT. I feel NEFT will be out soon
3) I used IMPS (with a/c no - just like NEFT) for merchant transactions where they charge 2% extra on card nuisance. You can avoid cash transactions, running to ATM, per day withdrawl limit headache etc is avaoided. Just register them online, send a confirmation amount of 1 rupee, and then transfer the rest. Very useful.
Of course, some merchants want to deal everything in cash. The tax evaders. They dont reveal bank details and insist on cash. Luckily I never encountered those. Either credit card or IMPS for big purchases.
4) I feel NEFT transactions will come down as awareness of IMPS (by IFSC code) increases.
5) Best of all, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank, IOB offer IMPS FREE as on today.
Even most of the Sarkari banks charge for NEFT.

Even the merchants were surprised about this IMPS feature through IFSC code.

Last edited by manduvindupondu : 20th January 2016 at 17:38. Reason: completeness
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Old 13th April 2016, 17:02   #7
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Default UPI the improved IMPS

UPI is the icing over IMPS. Just what you will like. Should be revolutionary. Government's version of 'paytm karo'.
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Old 18th November 2016, 14:43   #8
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Default Re: Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS)

I just recently heard about UPI, and downloaded 2 apps to try it out.
- Trupay (powered by Yes Bank)
- PhonePe (a collaboration between Flipkart and Yes Bank)

I haven't been able to link my account to either app because of some issues, but I am still curious about UPI if anyone could share any more information.

I have some questions like:

Q. Can this become a standard payment system for digital transactions?
There are some cabbies and grocery stores that accept payment via PayTM, but the issue with that is both parties need to have and use the PayTM app, and adding cash to the wallet is a hassle. Can this system become so simple that regular taxi-guys and sabji-wallahs would accept payment via UPI? It certainly seems better since everyone can use whichever app they prefer, simply have a UPI ID such as rajuthecabbie@sbi, and have payments go through the RBI on the back-end. Gives me more peace of mind as well, knowing this is backed by RBI.

Q. Can this eliminate the use of cards?
I don't like adding extra bulk to my wallet. Eliminating all that plastic would go a long way to slimming down the heft stored in my pockets. Ideally I would love to see a future where I don't even need to carry a wallet. My mobile should be enough for any form of transaction.

Q. How secure and reliable can we expect this system to be?
I'm not too worried about security, since I am assuming any payment system keeps that as one of the top priorities. However, what happens if the system goes down? Let's say I am trying to purchase a train/bus ticket via UPI, and due to some system error the transaction does not go through. Does that mean I can't travel until the system goes back online? What if the entire system goes down and everybody who wants to use UPI for the bus ticket is left stranded. Can occurrences like this happen? What if I am paying the bill at a restaurant and the system goes down? Will I be stuck waiting at the restaurant until the system starts working again?

Q. Could this replace cash, and is such a system even ideal?
What if UPI and mobile payments become the de-facto standard of payment in India. Would this badly affect the poor or uneducated who may not understand how to use a smartphone, or may not be able to afford one. There are regions where mobile data network is not strong. It seems awkward for someone to not be able to make payments or purchase goods due to poor signal, or a dead smartphone battery. Is a fully digital economy something we should aim towards?

Just my thoughts on mobile banking and UPI. I like the idea in theory, but I want to know what would be the real life effect of it. In a best case scenario, complete mobile banking would go a long way to putting a halt on corruption / black money since all the transactions can be tracked, but it could also lead to large swathes of our population being highly inconvenienced. Is it even possible for UPI to become a standard of payment on par with cash (or even able to replace cash), and how may years would it take.

I think it's an interesting topic to discuss
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