Six months after The National Payment Corporation of India, launched Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS) in India, the organization reports that more than 10 million bank customers have registered for the service, as on 3rd May 2011. Note that the number is only indicative of user registrations and does not represent number of transactions.
The number of banks that have joined the service have also increased to 20, from the initial count of seven. The list includes Government banks like State Bank of India, Bank of India, Union Bank of india, and private banks such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Yes Bank, among others. NPCI says that 15 more banks will be added to the list and, testing and certification for the same is under process.
Also, the Reserve bank of india (RBI) has permitted merchant payments through the IMPS channel, following which, utility bill payments, shopping transactions and other payments including fees to various agencies, will be possible through the network, shortly. Earlier, only person to person payments were allowed. The IMPS transfer facility will also be extended to Internet banking and ATM networks, according to NPCI. However, it did not specify a definite time frame for the same.
The service operates as a back-end for the banks allowing them to offer a real-time money transfer facility to customers, through their mobile phones. Customers of participating banks can register their mobile phone number to receive a Mobile Money ID, through which they can send and receive money. The NPCI hopes that IMPS will gain traction amongst customers, and become a popular money transfer route, comparable to RTGS and NEFT.