IMPS – Revolutionising Payment options for you.
How would you feel if you receive a call at midnight from one of your friends staying in a different city asking you to transfer some money to his account to meet a medical emergency? Don’t panic or worry. If you have a will to help him , IMPS will provide you the way. This is in stark contrast to the olden days when you had to wait for days for receiving funds transferred through banks.
I still remember my younger days , when my brother was studying in Mumbai and someone from my family would have to go the bank during the first week of every month for transferring the amount to his bank account in Mumbai for meeting his various expenses like tuition fees, hostel fees and of course his out of pocket expenses. Sometimes it was my duty to go to the bank for transferring funds and in such cases most part of my day was lost waiting in long queue for first remitting the money to the account and then waiting for the demand draft to be written , signed by two officers and then handed over to me. I then had to go to the post office for sending the demand draft by registered post , where again I had to stand in queue. My brother would be receiving the draft on the fourth day or so and then will have to either skip the class or wait till next Saturday for depositing the draft to his account. Thus normally it would take more than a week for him to receive the amount, even after the amount has been paid by me.
Payment and fund transfer options available to the bank’s customers have undergone a sea change during the recent years, thanks to the technology adoption by banks and the proactive role played by Reserve Bank of India. The introduction of RTGS and NEFT facility has made the fund transfer facility much faster and cheaper. But these fund transfer facilities can be used only if you walk into a bank branch. Moreover NEFT transactions are processed and settled in batches, hence are not real time. Also, the transactions can be done only during the working hours of the RTGS system.
The internet banking facility has redefined payment facilities to the extend that the limitation of geography and time has been done away with to a great extent. But for effecting payments through interment banking you should have a computer with internet connection and you should be a little bit tech savvy also. With the introduction of IMPS this constraint of computer and connectivity requirement is being done away with and now customers are empowered to make payments 24X7 with the help of their mobile handset.
Interbank Mobile Payment Service or IMPS offer 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 effecting payments in a secured manner with immediate confirmation features. This facility is provided by National Payment Corporation of India ( NPCI) through its existing National Financial Switch ( NFS ). The Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS) was launched in November 2010 with the objective of enabling bank customers to use mobile instruments as a channel for accessing their bank accounts and remit funds, making payment simpler just with the mobile number of the beneficiary and to build the foundation for a full range of mobile based Banking services. Currently with 50 member banks and more than 408 lakh registered MMID’s the total number of IMPS transactions during the month of August 2012 has crossed 2.80 lakh with total transactions amounting to Rs 1825 lakh. This is against a total transactions of 0.12 lakh during September,2011 aggregating to Rs 317 lakh.
For effecting payments using IMPS facility the customer should first register for mobile banking service with his bank and get Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) and MPIN from the bank. MMID is a 7 digit number issued by the bank. M-PIN or Mobile Banking PIN is a secret password to be used by the customer during the transaction for authentication and security
Once registered the bank will be sending a link to the mobile number of the customer for downloading the mobile banking software . If the mobile handset is not compatible with the application the customer has an option of using the SMS facility in the mobile for IMPS transactions up to Rs 5,000 or lower limits prescribed by the banks. For transferring funds the customer needs to enter a beneficiary mobile number, beneficiary MMID and the amount to be transferred . The transaction has to be authorized by giving the M-PIN. On successful completion of the transaction the customer shall receive a confirmation SMS for the transaction initiated .
For receiving money through IMPS you will have to register the mobile number with the bank account and generate an MMID. This MMID has to be shared with the sender and once the person sends the amount you will be receive an SMS confirmation for the money received through IMPS .
In addition to mere fund transfer facility IMPS also facilitates merchant payment, through various access channels such as Internet, mobile Internet, IVR, SMS, ATMs etc. The merchant establishments to whom payments are commonly made are Mobile top-up / DTH top-up , Insurance premium payment , Online shopping , Fees payments to schools / colleges / universities , Utility Bill payments , Travel & Ticketing etc. For making payment to a customer through IMPS it is essential that the Merchant needs to get on-board IMPS network with one Bank.
The customer can initiate a merchant transaction through the bank’s mobile application or the SMS facility provided by the bank. For effecting the payment the customer will have to enter the Merchant mobile number, Merchant MMID, Amount, M-PIN and payment reference . Payment Reference is an optional character field provided. This field will be used to enter the unique reference for the payment that helps the merchant to identify the transaction. The amount of payment by way of SMS is restricted to Rs 5000 and by mobile banking application varies from banks to bank.
Merchant initiated transaction (P2M PULL) can be initiated through a merchant application such as merchant website. The customer will have to select the service for which the payment has to be made and choose IMPS in the payment option. Then the mobile number , MMID and one time password generated by the mobile banking application of the bank will have to be provided.
IMPS Funds Transfer can be done through ATM and Internet Banking channels as well, in addition to Mobile phones. The authentication will be done for the remitting customers as (Card + ATM Pin) or (User Id + Internet Banking Password / Transaction password) with appropriate existing two-factor authentication method. Since the transaction would be initiated on ATM / Internet platform, the transaction limits of individual Banks for ATM / Internet channel shall apply.
The features of IMPS like instant Interbank fund transfer , anytime anywhere service, safety, security, convenience , instant confirmation to sender and receiver and 24*7 availability is definitely set to revolutionise the payment options available to customers.
Jiz P Kottukappally