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IFSC Code - What is it and Why is it important?

Upon opening a bank account, banks provide a banking welcome kit to the account holders. The banking kit includes a bank passbook, chequebook, debit card, and other banking credentials. All of these items are required to complete transactions and record them.

The cheque book is one of the most important documents in the bank welcome kit. A closer look at the cheque reveals that everything printed on it is significant and contains information about the bank. In this blog, we will look at the meaning of the IFSC, MICR code, and CIF number, as well as where to find them.

What is an IFSC Code?

FSC stands for Indian Financial System Code. It is an 11-digit character that appears on a cheque leaf and other banking documents such as a passbook. The 11-digit character code aids in identifying various bank branches. To complete NEFT, IMPS, or RTGS transactions, an IFSC code must be entered. Some additional IFSC points are as follows:

  • The Reserve Bank of India assigns IFSC codes to each bank branch
  • There is no chance of a bank changing its IFSC unless and until a merger occurs
  • An IFSC code can be found on the first page of the bank passbook, the mobile banking app, or the bank's net banking site
  • The IFSC code reduces the possibility of error when completing the transaction

Features of IFSC Code

Following are the features of an IFSC code:

Simple online fund transfer The IFSC code allows for the quick and easy transfer money between bank accounts. The use of an IFSC code is required in order to facilitate all electronic or online fund transfers via NEFTRTGS, or IMPS.

Tracking transactions: The RBI uses the IFSC code to keep a regular record of all banking transactions, reducing the possibility of a discrepancy in the fund transfer process.

Identity verification: The IFSC code aids in identifying all banks and their corresponding branches, enabling clients to steer clear of potential errors.

Error elimination: The IFSC code allows users to securely transfer funds while reducing the possibility of fraudulent activity during the online fund transfer process.

What is the Importance of an IFSC Code?

Every detail on a passbook, chequebook or debit/credit card provides details about the bank and the account holder. The relevance of an IFSC code is highlighted by the following factors:

Bank branch identification: The code uniquely identifies a specific bank branch, assisting customers in avoiding potential errors during online fund transfers via NEFT, RTGS, or IMPS.

Fund transfer: In order to make a financial transfer, the customer does not need to go to the bank; instead, they can use the IFSC Code to make a money transfer online.

Processing transactions: The IFSC code can be used to process all online transactions, including bill payments.

Tracking activities: The RBI uses the code to track all online activities carried out by an individual, hence minimising the possibility of any discrepancy in the fund transfer procedure.

What is the Format of a Bank IFSC Code?

The IFSC code is an alphanumeric code composed of alphabets and numbers. The first four alphabets represent the bank's name, the fifth character is zero and the last four characters represent the branch code.

  • First four characters- Bank's name
  • Fifth character- Zero
  • Last four characters- Branch code

Here is what an IFSC code looks like-

PYTM is the Paytm Payments Bank bank code and its digital branch code is 123456.

What are the Ways to find IFSC Code?

There are two methods for obtaining the IFSC code: online and offline. The following are some simple methods for finding an IFSC code:

Online

  1. Netbanking and mobile banking
    Account holders can obtain the IFSC code by logging into their respective bank's netbanking portal or by logging into the mobile banking application.
  2. Reserve Bank of India
    The IFSC code of a bank can be obtained by visiting the Reserve Bank of India's official website.

Offline

  1. Chequebook
    The IFSC code can be found on the top of the bank's cheque leaf.

  2. Passbook
    The IFSC code can be found on the very first page of the bank's passbook.

Paytm Payments bank provides a Paytm savings bank account, which functions similarly to a bank's savings account. With a PPBL savings account, a user can perform a variety of transactions such as sending money to another bank account, creating fixed deposits at a very competitive interest rate, making payments online and offline, and much more. Logging into the Paytm app and then navigating to the account holder detail page will provide you with the PPBL IFSC code and other banking details.

How does an IFSC Code work?

To better understand how an IFSC code works, consider Samridhi Bank. Samridhi Bank's IFSC code in Lucknow is SAMR012345.

  • The first four alphabets of the IFSC code 'SAMR' represent the bank's name here: Samridhi Bank
  • The fifth character of the code '0' is for future reference.
  • The last six numerals assist the Reserve Bank of India in identifying the bank branch.

To complete a fund transfer to a payee, the payer must provide the account number as well as the bank's IFSC code. Once the remitter has submitted all of the required information, the money will be sent to the payee, eliminating any possibility of error.

What is the need for an IFSC Code?

The Reserve Bank of India tracks and monitors all banking transactions. The IFSC code, which is based on the location of the bank branch, assists the RBI in maintaining transactions made via RTGS, NEFT, and IMPS. As a result, an IFSC code is required for any bank account holder to initiate transactions unless the beneficiary/IFSC payee's code is provided along with the bank account number. Providing an IFSC code eliminates any possibility of an error during a money transfer from one bank to another.

Money Transfer Method using IFSC Code

IFSC code is a key when it comes to electronic forms of payment or payments that are being done through RTGS, NEFT, and IMPS.

Payment serviceRTGSNEFTIMPS
MeaningContinuous and real-time fund transfer settlement on a transaction-by-transaction basisA safe, dependable, and efficient system for transferring funds between banksTransferring funds between banks in India in a secure and cost-effective manner
Transfer limitMinimum- Rs. 2 Lakh
Maximum- No limit
Minimum- Rs. 1
Maximum - No limit
Minimum- Rs.1
Maximum - Rs. 2 Lakh
Transaction timingsAnytimeMonday to Friday- 8:00 am to 6:30 pm
Saturday- 8:00 am to 12:30 pm
Anytime

What is MICR Code?

MICR stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. It is a 9-digit code which is used for the faster processing of the cheque. It is unique for every bank branch and helps in identifying the bank and the bank that participates in Electronic Clearing System (ECS). Similar to the IFSC code, the MICR code is also a combination of different characters and numbers. Here is what it looks like:

  • The first 3 digits represent the city code
  • The next 3 characters represent the bank code
  • Last 3 digits represent the branch code

What is the Use of MICR Code?

Following are the uses of a MICR code:

  • MICR is a character recognition technology that is used to process and clear cheques and other banking documents
  • The primary purpose of the MICR code is to verify the authenticity and legality of paper-based documents, and it is most commonly used for cheques
  • The code is critical for banking officials to scan cheques and read the information directly into the system
  • The RBI provides MICR codes that are unique to each bank in order to identify the bank branch and speed up the overall clearing process

How to find MICR Code?

Account holders can find the MICR code on the bottom of the cheque leaf and on the bank passbook.

What is a CIF Number?

A CIF number is a Customer Information File number, it is an 11-digit unique number allotted to each bank account holder. It digitally stores all the banking information of the account holder. In addition, as it is unique, it remains the same even if the account holder has more than one account.

The bank can decode the CIF number to know information about an account holder regarding loans, Demat account and other identifying details like address, photo ID, etc.

How to find CIF Number?

Following are the ways to find a CIF number online and offline:

Online

Account holders can find the CIF number through the bank's net banking website and banking mobile application

Offline

A CIF number can be obtained from a cheque leaf, passbook and can also be obtained through SMS.

Conclusion

The IFSC code can be found in an account holder's passbook, chequebook, or on the bank's website, among other places. It is an alphanumeric number that is required for all NEFT, RTGS, and IMPS transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Is the IFSC code available on a cheque?
Yes, the IFSC code is printed on top of a cheque below the bank's address.
Where can I find Paytm Payments Bank IFSC code?
Get the Paytm Payments Bank IFSC code by first logging into the Paytm bank and clicking on the account holder's information.
Is the IFSC code printed on a passbook?
Yes, an account holder can get the IFSC code from the passbook.
What is an IFSC Code?
IFSC stands for Indian Financial System Code and is an 11-character alphanumeric code used to enable electronic or online fund transfers from one bank account to another via NEFT, RTGS, or IMPS.
Is there a difference between the CIF number and the IFSC code?
Both the IFSC code and the CIF number have 11-digit characters, but they serve different functions. CIF numbers digitally store all of the account holder's necessary and important banking details; however, an IFSC code is used to facilitate the electronic or online fund transfers via RTGS, IMPS, and or NEFT.