Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)

Understand RTGS for fast, secure, and continuous high-value fund transfers.
Real Time Gross Settlement
4 min

Payment settlement systems have evolved rapidly, enabling instant fund transfers even for large transactions. Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) stands as a leading example, providing continuous, real-time settlement. Unlike systems that wait to batch payments, RTGS processes each transfer individually, ensuring money reaches the beneficiary's account immediately. Managed by the RBI, RTGS offers a safe and secure platform for high-value transactions.

What is Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)

Real Time Gross Settlements or RTGS is a funds transfer system used for instantaneous inter-bank transactions. The RTGS system is reserved for high-value transactions across banks. RTGS meaning, in banking terms, denotes the nature of this settlement system. ‘Real time’ refers to the instantaneous processing of funds the moment they are received. ‘Gross Settlement’ indicates that settlements are made on an individual order basis rather than as the net of debits and credits at the end of the day.

RTGS payments are managed by the central bank of every country. Thus, once initiated, you cannot revoke or cancel an RTGS payment.

Why is real time gross settlement important

RTGS offers a safe and secure way of making high-value transactions from one bank to another. This electronic transfer mode reduces the chances of theft or loss of traditional physical transfer options like cheques and DDs. In India, you can make RTGS transfers for funds over Rs. 2 lakh. Since there is no maximum cap, you can transfer large sums of money safely.

Additionally, RTGS transactions are individually processed in real-time without any delay. This ensures instant receipts, making them ideal for those who require immediate deposits. The system is operational on all days of the week, including Sundays and holidays, allowing users to make instant transfers via their internet banking portals whenever needed.

How to make RTGS transactions in India

Real Time Gross Settlements in India can be made both online and offline. Depending on your preference, you can opt to make RTGS transfers via any one of the following channels:

Through net banking: You make RTGS transfers online by logging into your bank’s net banking portal or mobile app. You have to first add the payee as a beneficiary to initiate the transfer.  

Through bank branch: If you have not registered for internet banking, you can visit the nearest bank branch and transfer funds using RTGS. You simply need to fill out the RTGS form with beneficiary details to initiate the fund transfer.

Understanding real time gross settlement limits in India

As per the RBI’s mandate, the minimum amount that can be transferred via RTGS is Rs. 2 lakh. There are no upper limits set by the RBI. However, banks have the freedom to set their own maximum limits. Most banks cap RTGS transactions at Rs. 25 lakh for the internet banking mode. This maximum limit can vary from one bank to the other.

Things to remember when initiating Real-Time Gross Settlement transfers

Here are a few things you should keep in mind before initiating a fund transfer via RTGS:

  • To make and receive RTGS fund transfers, both the sender’s and beneficiary’s bank should be a part of the RTGS network. You can check the list of RTGS-enabled bank branches on the RBI website prior to initiating the transfer.
  • The beneficiary’s bank account needs to be added as a payee to your net banking account before initiating a transfer. Ensure you have accurate details about the beneficiary, including their name, bank account number, and IFSC.
  • You can make RTGS transfers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This includes national holidays and weekends.
  • Save the 22-character alphanumeric unique reference number or UTR code generated after every RTGS transaction. This code can come in handy as proof of transaction if there are disputes or discrepancies.
  • Once an RTGS transfer is initiated, the beneficiary’s account should receive funds within 30 minutes.
  • Be mindful of your bank’s RTGS fees. While the RBI has waived Real-Time Gross Settlement charges from 1st July 2019, some banks do levy a service fee for RTGS transactions made at bank branches. As per the RBI’s mandate, banks cannot charge more than Rs. 25 for transactions in the range of Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh. The cap is set at Rs. 50 for transactions above Rs. 5 lakh.


RTGS has transformed the way large-value payments are processed, offering speed, finality, and reduced risk compared to traditional methods. It serves as a vital backbone for the global financial system, supporting the seamless flow of funds that drive economic activity. As businesses and individuals increasingly rely on digital payments, RTGS will continue to play an ever more important role in the financial landscape.

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