Real-time gross settlement
Real-time gross settlement systems (RTGS) are specialist funds transfer systems where the transfer of money or securities takes place from one bank to another on a "real time" and on a "gross" basis. Settlement in "real time" means a payment transaction is not subjected to any waiting period, with transactions being settled as soon as they are processed. "Gross settlement" means the transaction is settled on one to one basis without bundling or netting with any other transaction. "Settlement" means that once processed, payments are final and irrevocable.
RTGS systems are typically used for high-value transactions that require and receive immediate clearing. In some countries the RTGS systems may be the only way to get same day cleared funds and so may be used when payments need to be settled urgently. However, most regular payments would not use a RTGS system, but instead would use a national payment system or network that allows participants to batch and net payments.
RTGS systems are usually operated by a country's central bank as it is seen as a critical infrastructure for a country's economy. Economists believe that an efficient national payment system reduces the cost of exchanging goods and services, and is indispensable to the functioning of the interbank, money, and capital markets. A weak payment system may severely drag on the stability and developmental capacity of a national economy; its failures can result in inefficient use of financial resources, inequitable risk-sharing among agents, actual losses for participants, and loss of confidence in the financial system and in the very use of money.
Central banks and RTGS
The RTGS system is normally maintained or controlled by the central bank of a country. There is no physical exchange of money; the central bank makes adjustments in the electronic accounts of Bank A and Bank B, reducing the balance in Bank A's account by the amount in question and increasing the balance of Bank B's account by the same amount. The RTGS system is suited for low-volume, high-value transactions. It lowers settlement risk, besides giving an accurate picture of an institution's account at any point of time. The objective of RTGS systems by central banks throughout the world is to minimize risk in high-value electronic payment settlement systems. In an RTGS system, transactions are settled across accounts held at a central bank on a continuous gross basis. Settlement is immediate, final and irrevocable. Credit risks due to settlement lags are eliminated. The best RTGS national payment system cover up to 95% of high-value transactions within the national monetary market.
RTGS systems are an alternative to systems of settling transactions at the end of the day, also known as the net settlement system, such as the BACS system in the United Kingdom. In a net settlement system, all the inter-institution transactions during the day are accumulated, and at the end of the day, the central bank adjusts the accounts of the institutions by the net amounts of these transactions.
The World Bank has been paying increasing attention to payment system development as a key component of the financial infrastructure of a country, and has provided various forms of assistance to over 100 countries. Most of the RTGS systems in place are secure and have been designed around international standards and best practices.
There are several reasons for central banks to adopt RTGS. First, a decision to adopt is influenced by competitive pressure from the global financial markets. Second, it is more beneficial to adopt an RTGS system for central bank when this allows access to a broad system of other countries' RTGS systems. Third, it is very likely that the knowledge acquired through experiences with RTGS systems spills over to other central banks and helps them make their adoption decision. Fourth, central banks do not necessarily have to install and develop RTGS themselves. The possibility of sharing development with providers that have built RTGS systems in more than one country (CGI of UK, CMA Small System of Sweden, JV Perago of South Africa and SIA SpA of Italy, Montran of USA) has presumably lowered the cost and hence made it feasible for many countries to adopt.
As at 1985, three central banks had implemented RTGS systems, while by the end of 2005, RTGS systems had been implemented by 90 central banks.
Systems in Europe covering multiple countries
Below is a listing of countries and their RTGS systems:
- Albania - AECH, RTGS
- Angola - SPTR, (Sistema de pagamentos em tempo real)
- Azerbaijan - AZIPS (Azerbaijan Interbank Payment System)
- Australia - RITS (Reserve Bank Information and Transfer System)
- Barbados - Central Bank Real Time Gross Settlement System (CBRTGS)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina - RTGS
- Bulgaria - RINGS (Real-time INterbank Gross-settlement System)
- Brazil - STR (Sistema de Transferência de Reservas)
- Canada - LVTS (Large Value Transfer System) (This is actually an RTGS Equivalent system. Final settlement happens in the evening.)
- China - China National Advanced Payment System ("CNAPS") (also called "Super Online Banking System)
- Chile - LBTR/CAS (Spanish: Liquidación Bruta en Tiempo Real)
- Croatia - HSVP (Croatian: Hrvatski sustav velikih plaćanja)
- Czech Republic - CERTIS (Czech Express Real Time Interbank Gross Settlement System)
- Egypt - RTGS
- Eurozone - TARGET2
- Fiji - FIJICLEAR
- Hong Kong - Clearing House Automated Transfer System (CHATS)
- Hungary - VIBER (Hungarian: Valós Idejű Bruttó Elszámolási Rendszer)
- Georgia - GPSS (Georgian Payment and Securities System)
- India - RTGS, NEFT, IMPS
- Indonesia - Sistem Bank Indonesia Real Time Gross Settlement (BI-RTGS)
- Iran - SATNA (سامانه تسویه ناخالص آنی, Real-Time Gross Settlement System)
- Iraq - RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement System)
- Japan - BOJ-NET (Bank of Japan Financial Network System)
- Jordan - RTGS-JO
- Kenya - Kenya Electronic Payment and Settlement System (KEPSS)
- Korea - BOK-WIRE+ (The Bank of Korea Financial Wire Network,한은금융망)
- Kuwait - KASSIP (Kuwait's Automated Settlement System for Inter-Participant Payments)
- Lebanon - BDL-RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement System)
- Macedonia - MIPS (Macedonian Interbank Payment System)
- Malawi - MITASS (Malawi Interbank Settlement System)
- Malaysia - RENTAS (Real Time Electronic Transfer of Funds and Securities)
- Mexico - SPEI (Spanish: Sistema de Pagos Electrónicos Interbancarios)
- Morocco - SRBM (Système de règlement brut du Maroc) 
- Namibia - NISS (Namibia Inter-bank Settlement System) 
- New Zealand - ESAS (Exchange Settlement Account System)
- Nigeria - CIFTS (CBN Inter-Bank Funds Transfer System)
- Peru - LBTR (Spanish: Liquidación Bruta en Tiempo Real)
- Philippines - PhilPaSS 
- Poland - SORBNET  and SORBNET2 
- Russia - BESP system (Banking Electronic Speed Payment System)
- Romania - ReGIS system 
- Saudi Arabia - (Saudi Arabian Riyal Interbank Express) SARIE 
- Singapore - MEPS+ (MAS Electronic Payment System Plus) 
- South Africa - SAMOS (The South African Multiple Option Settlement) 
- Spain - SLBE (Spanish: Servicio de Liquidación del Banco de España) 
- Sri Lanka - LankaSettle (RTGS/SSSS)
- Sweden - RIX (Swedish: Riksbankens system för överföring av kontoförda pengar) 
- Switzerland - SIC (Swiss Interbank Clearing) 
- Taiwan - CIFS (CBC Interbank Funds Transfer System) 
- Tanzania - TIS (Tanzania interbank settlement system)
- Thailand - BAHTNET (Bank of Thailand Automated High value Transfer Network)
- Turkey - EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer)
- Ukraine - SEP (System of Electronic Payments of the National Bank of Ukraine) 
- United Kingdom - CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System)
- United States - Fedwire
- Zambia - ZIPSS-Zambian Inter-bank Payment and Settlement System
- Zimbabwe - ZETSS-Zimbabwe Electronic Transfer and Settlement System
- Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems of the central banks of the Group of Ten countries (March 1997). "Real-Time Gross Settlement Systems" (PDF). Bank for International Settlements: 14.
- Biago Bossone and Massimo Cirasino, "The Oversight of the Payment Systems: A Framework for the Development and Governanace of Payment Systems in Emerging Economies"The World Bank, July 2001, p.7
- Massimo Cirasino and Jose Antonio Garcia, "Measuring Payment System Development", The World Bank, 2008
- Morten Bech, Bart Hobijn, " Technology Diffusion within Central Banking: The Case of Real-Time Gross Settlement", Staff Report nj. 260, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Working Paper, September 2006, p. 16–17
- Morten Bech, Bart Hobijn, "Technology Diffusion within Central Banking: The Case of Real-Time Gross Settlement", Staff Report nj. 260, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Working Paper, September 2006, p. 2
- "China's 'Super Online Banking System' Launches on Monday". Business China. August 30, 2010. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
- The RTGS System Reserve Bank of India website
- "Central Bank of Iraq website".
- Bank of Japan (2003). "Payment systems in Japan" (PDF). Bank of Japan. Retrieved Jun 17, 2010.
- "Central Bank of Lebanon website".
- "National Bank of Macedonia website".
- "Banxico's SPEI". Banco de Mexico.