What is a CIF Number?

CIF number is a unique number that the banks assign to each customer. This number is a part of the digital file – CIF, which is an acronym for Customer Information File. It is an electronic file on a bank’s computer system that stores all pertinent information about a customer. It contains personal and accounts related details of its customer. The CIF contains a CIF number which is like a unique id for every customer.

How do CIF and CIF Numbers Work?

CIF contains all account data and relevant personal details in a digital format. The digital file of CIF is represented by an 11-digit number which is the CIF number. This is one of a kind number for every single account holder, which assists in monitoring the account holder’s data. It is the CIF that holds the loans, DEMAT account, KYC proof, identity proofs, and all other information of all the accounts that a customer holds in a bank. Banks can enter the Customer Information File number and view all data at once. It contains transaction details and other personal information like birthdays, signatures, gender, etc. It is a non-transferable number.

Banks often print this number on the passbook’s account information page. One can check it through an ATM as well. Often, people ask what is the CIF number in an ATM card or if there is no such number on an ATM card. The fact is that there is no CIF number on the ATM. But, the passbook or sometimes, the checkbook may have it. ATM cards have a CVV (Credit Verification Value) number, which is similar to the CIF number of the account as CVV also stores all relevant and important unique information about the user.

Importance of CIF Number

Banks have this number so that they can easily access all the banking information of a customer. A unique number also helps to avoid confusion between two account holders especially if they have similar names or email ids or so. Some of its advantages are:

  • Banks can provide efficient and accurate services to customers using their CIF numbers. For example, if you seek to reactivate a dormant account, you can share this number. Also, it is useful if you want other bank services like Demat account, loan account, etc.
  • It ensures that there is no mistake or fraudulent activity as this number is specific to each customer
  • Banks have a database of all customers through CIF. CIF number helps to access valuable information about the customer. This becomes very useful when they sanction loans or verify transactions. It has all vital statistics like types of accounts held, balances, and transactions
  • CIF number belongs to the all-important file – CIF, which has very sensitive details. For example, it holds trails of One-Time Passwords
  • Banks offer certain products and services using this number. They determine the customer tier and fees for different products based on the Total Relationship Value (TRV) and Customer Relationship Value (CRV)

CIF Number As a Marketing Tool

CIF number is often used as a marketing tool for new products and offers by commercial banks. They offer various credit products such as business loans and credit cards. It helps the banks to access and analyze the banking profile of a customer. Based on this, banks can offer credit cards, pre-approved loans and decide its limits. They can create customized offers for existing clients and target certain account holders. This number helps in cross-selling and offering complementary products.

How to Find a CIF Number?

Customer Information File Number is usually available on the passbook or in the chequebook of some banks. It is usually on the first page of the passbook or the chequebook. In case you wish to know your CIF number by other means due to the unavailability of the passbook, then you can try the following ways:

  • You can use the internet banking service of your bank and follow their instructions. The profile or the account information generally has the Customer Information File number and you can view it by logging in. For instance, you can check it in your account summary
  • Most banks provide toll-free numbers where you can call and follow their guidelines to know your Customer Information File number. Therefore, they may ask for personal details like name, number, mail id, and account number to help you out
  • Likewise, you may send SMS to the bank’s number dedicated to this service. So, send SMS in the format as described by the bank and get your CIF number
  • You can always reach out to the bank branch and know your CIF number
  • Also, you can see this number in your online bank statements. You can generate a statement yourself through net banking and find it in the same

Wrapping it up:

CIF/Customer Information File is a virtual file linking details of all savings accounts, fixed or recurring deposits, DEMAT, or loans. Customer Information File number provides the summary of the customer activity associated with account transactions, account information, and also personal details. It is important and sensitive and thus should not be shared with anyone. It should be known to the customer and the bank, and at the most to the nominee.

FAQs
Is the Customer ID the same as the CIF number?
In most cases, yes, the customer ID is the same as the CIF number.
What is the IFSC number and how is it different from the Customer Information File number?
IFSC means Indian Financial System Code whereas CIF is for Customer Information File. IFSC numbers are for banks and are alpha-numeric codes. On the other hand, CIF numbers are for customers and contain only numbers. Each customer has a unique CIF number and every bank branch has a unique IFSC number.
Can I use the CIF number for online transfer?
No, you cannot use the CIF number for the online transfer of money. You can do so through net banking or UPI ID. You can make quick payments directly to the bank through UPI using the Paytm Pay option.
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