IMPS: What’s it all about. How is it shaping up in the Indian Banking Sector?

Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS) is gaining popularity in India. Most of the major banks are extending this service to account holders to access accounts and transfer funds using mobile phones.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has also announced extension of IMPS service to merchant payments as a form of support to IMPS. Banks such as State Bank of India, ICICI, Kotak Mahindra, Axis Bank, etc. have enabled IMPS based merchant payment system and the rest of the banks are either in the testing or developmental phase.

IMPS can be used for both customer to customer transfer and merchant transfer through a seven digit number called mobile money identifier (MMID) and Mobile Banking Personal Identification Number (MPIN). A mobile payment transfer is facilitated when the transferor has fed in receiver’s mobile number, MMID and the value to be to be transferred along with the MPIN details. Post transfer, a SMS confirms the transaction. The daily limit for such a transaction is set at INR 50,000.

When a transfer is initiated between a merchant and a customer, the transactions is run on a merchant website, WAP site, IVR or a custom built mobile application. Details such as payment details, nature of payment, customer’s mobile number, customer MMID and one-time Password (OTP) should be entered by the merchant at the time of payment initiation. At the receiver’s end details such as customer mobile number, MMID and OTP (One-Time Password) needs to be generated and all the details should be validated by the merchant.

Since November 2010, approximately 50 banks in india have introduced IMPS to their customers. According to NPCI data, over 40 million users have generated MMID for enabling transactions over mobile phones. Amongst all the banks, ICICI has over 16 million MMID’s issued, ICICI is followed by Axis Bank which has issued 7.8 Million MMID’s, Axis Bank is closely followed by SBI and Indian Bank issuing over 4.5 Million and 4.4 Million MMID’s respectively. Through IMPS up till February 2012, over 13,558 inter banking transactions and 22,997 intra bank transactions have been recorded. Around 202,541 inter bank transactions and 282,676 intra bank transactions were recorded in August 2012 i.e. a jump of 140% in IMPS led transactions in over 6 months . In monetary term, as per February 2012 transactions worth stood at INR 13.14 Crores which saw a significant rise of 151 % in August 2012 i.e. INR 32.76 Crores.