The fundamental difference between RTGS and NEFT, is that while RTGS is based on gross settlement, NEFT is based on net-settlement. Gross settlement is where a transaction is completed on a one-to-one basis without bunching with other transactions. As for a Deferred Net Basis (DNS), or net-settlement, this is where transactions are completed in batches at specific times. Here, all transfers will be held up until a specific time. RTGS transactions are processed throughout the working hours of the system.
RTGS transactions involve large amounts of cash, basically only funds above Rs 100,000 may be transferred using this system. For NEFT, any amount below Rs 100,000 may be transferred, and this system is generally for smaller value transactions involving smaller amounts of money.
RTGS processes in real-time (‘push’ transfer), while NEFT processes in cycles during the given working day. This causes a NEFT transaction that is initiated later than the last cycle to be completed the next day.