The acronym 'RTGS' stands for Real Time Gross Settlement, which can be defined as the continuous (real-time) settlement of funds transfers individually on an order by order basis (without netting). 'Real Time' means the processing of instructions at the time they are received rather than at some later time; 'Gross Settlement' means the settlement of funds transfer instructions occurs individually (on an instruction by instruction basis). Considering that the funds settlement takes place in the books of the Reserve Bank of India, the payments are final and irrevocable.
The RTGS system is primarily meant for large value transactions. The minimum amount to be remitted through RTGS is 2 lakh. There is no upper ceiling for RTGS transactions.
Under normal circumstances the beneficiary branches are expected to receive the funds in real time as soon as funds are transferred by the remitting bank. The beneficiary bank has to credit the beneficiary's account within two hours of receiving the funds transfer message.
If the beneficiary's bank is unable to credit the beneficiary's account for any reason, the former will return the money to the remitting bank within 2 hours. Once the amount is received by the remitting bank, it is credited to the remitter's account by the branch concerned.