India’s first instant, real-time mobile remittance service (IMPS) launched by NPCI

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has launched India’s first instant, real-time, 24*7 fund transfer facility in the retail payment sector. Instant Interbank Mobile Payment Service(IMPS) is co-created by NPCI along with its partners, participating banks, their service providers, MPFI and IDRBT. NPCI will act as the settlement agency between banks and deliver the back-end support for the system to be operational.

The service provides an inter operable infrastructure for the banks to offer real time money transfer facility to their customers through the mobile channel. There are 600+ million mobile subscriptions in India and is considered more than the number of bank accounts. Banks are free to use any mobile banking application of their choice. Since IMPS can be made available in all forms (SMS, USSD, thin Client, Thick client), it can support the transactions from low end mobiles to high end mobiles to serve everyone’s needs.

For providing this offer, the bank needs to have authorization from Reserve Bank of India and has to be admitted as a member of IMPS. Till 31st March 2011, NPCI will be providing the service to the member banks free of charges. Thereafter switching fee of Rs. 0.25 per transaction will be levied by NPCI to member banks. Member banks may levy a fee on the customers as per the policy formulated by them. However for the present, they have also been providing this service free of charges.

The sending/remitting customer just needs to know the mobile number and the Mobile Money ID (MMID) of the receiver/beneficiary for IMPS transfers and the money can be transferred instantly. Mobile Money Transfer Identifier (MMID) is a concept formulated by MPFI and adopted by NPCI and participating banks. It takes care of linking multiple accounts to a mobile, ensuring only people who are registered for receiving will receive money and avoids erroneous transfers to a large extent.

IMPS rides on the existing NFS Interbank ATM transaction switching infrastructure and the message format which was co-developed with MPFI. NFS currently has 51 member banks and the number is increasing every month. IMPS thus has the potential for the wide reach across the country, is easy for banking industry to adopt and if the bank has the mobile banking solution already, only minimal changes are required at the bank’s end to implement this service.

Presently Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS) is provided by seven banks viz, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank. Seven more are linking up through this network. Gradually, all 50 banks licensed by the RBI are expected to offer the service.

Banknet's 7th Annual Conference on Payment Systems will be organized on 19th January 2011 at Mumbai Top Management Executives from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will discuss the latest initiatives like Instant Interbank Mobile Payment Service(IMPS), Centralized Mandate Management Repository System (CMMRS), IndiaPay, New Domestic POS etc Banknet's Annual Conference on Payments is the largest payments event in India and has on average attracted around 300 senior executives. .... Read More

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