In a new service that is set to revolutionise the retail money payment sector in India, consumers will now be able to transfer money from their accounts to any other account in the country using their cellphones via the National Payment Corporation of India’s (NPCI) Inter-bank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS).

The NPCI is the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in the country owned and operated by banks.

The system is as secure as the net-banking facility. The major advantage of IMPS is that a customer does not have to use a computer or an internet-enabled phone to transfer funds. Till now, the transfer of money through mobile phones was only allowed if both the sender and the receiver held accounts with the same bank. NPCI managing director and chief executive officer A P Hota said, “It is India’s first instant, real-time, 24×7 fund transfer facility in the retail payment sector”. As of now, seven banks, including HDFC, ICICI, AXIS and SBI, have gone live with the system. Seven more banks are in the process of activating the service and 22 others are expected to join the network soon.

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