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What Is An IFSC Code and where to find one?

An IFSC or the Indian Financial System Code is an 11 digit code in alpha-numeric format used by the Reserve Bank of India to identify all the Bank branches within the NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer) network uniquely. The code facilitates inter-bank electronic funds transfer by way of identifying the source and destination banks.

 

Decoding the Code

The 11 digit code varies from branch to branch of all the participating banks. An IFS Code has certain characteristics about how it is generated.

  • The first four characters are alphabets suggesting the name of a particular bank.

For example, the IFSC for a particular branch of Axis Bank is UTIB0000242. In this case the first four characters denote the bank name i.e. UTIB. Similarly, the IFSC code of a branch of Citibank is CITI0000029.

*The reason behind the code being UTIB is that Axis Bank used to be UTI Bank before its rechristening as Axis Bank in 2007.

 

  • The last seven characters are usually digits and represent a particular bank branch. These 7 digits are unique to every branch. As in the case above, the last 7 digits identify a particular branch i.e. 0000242. Another branch of the same bank in the same city would have a different code, say UTIB0000002.
  • The 5th character is standard and marked a ‘0’, as a control character.

 

Why is IFSC code important?

The IFSC code is an essential feature to validate banking transactions. The knowledge of IFS Code enables you to receive payments or make transactions virtually. Banks and organizations use the IFSC to conduct National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions to identify and help in streamlining the transactions between different accounts, bank branches and banks.

  • NEFT is an eco-friendly payment mode used by individuals or an organization to transfer funds electronically from one account to another. It takes the form of an e-cheque as it takes a specific period time for the amount to be cleared and the beneficiary to be verified.
  • RTGS is another electronic gateway to make payments, receive and transfer funds between accounts and banks in real time.

The Reserve Bank of India, the central banking authority controls all the associated banks and banking affairs throughout India. The RBI issues the IFS Codes to the member banks. The RBI also lists and records the IFSC codes of all the participating banks.

RBI has advised all the banking firms affiliated with it, to publish the IFS Code of the particular bank branch on the cheque leaves issued to customers. This is to help identify, route, monitor and authenticate the banking instruments for accuracy in fund exchanges.

 

Where one can find IFSC code?

Finding out the IFSC code of different banks is a simple task these days. You can easily find out the IFSC codes if you know the name of the bank and the branch:

  •   To identify your own bank’s IFS code, you just have to look at your cheque leaves.
  •   By visiting the RBI official website and check the comprehensive list.
  •   By visiting a website offering such information if you the name of the bank, city and branch of bank.
  •   By simply calling your bank or visiting the branch to enquire.

 

Once you identify your IFS code for your bank account, you can just quote it along with your account number and correct name to enable receiving funds from other people.

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