IFSC and MICR Code

What is Indian Financial System Code (IFSC)?

IFSC, short for Indian Financial System Code, is simplifying modern banking from what was once a purely paper based system. From challans to net banking, from long queues at the teller’s to fund transfers in mere minutes, banking today is an amalgamation of various helpful technologies and accountable yet simplified procedures that is far removed from the traditional systems of old. In this regard, the concept of IFSC Codes, at least in the context of Indian banking, is absolutely the simplest, yet most path breaking update in recent times. Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) is fundamentally important when it comes to online money transfers, ergo, it plays a key role in almost every India based financial transaction happening over the limitless expanse of the World Wide Web today.

What Does IFSC Stand For?

IFSC is short for Indian Financial System Code and represents the 11 digit character that you can usually see on your bank’s cheque leaves, or other bank sponsored material. This 11 character code helps identify the individual bank branches that participate in the various online money transfer options like NEFT and RTGS.

Why do we need the Indian Financial System Code?

In simple terms, IFSC, short for Indian Financial System Code, is an alphanumeric code that is used to identify the particular branch of a participating bank in either of the popular electronic funds settlement options in India, namely RTGS and NEFT. The standard IFSC Code is a 11 character entity, with the first four characters representing the bank’s name, the fifth character is ‘0’ (Zero) and is reserved for future use, with the final six numeric/alphabetic characters represent the specific branch of the bank. This code is crucial when monies are transferred online from one bank to another across the length of India, as it helps the proper identification of the bank branches involved and avoids costly and time consuming mistakes.

IFSC Codes play an important role when money is transferred from one account to another through methods such as IMPS, NEFT and RTGS. All these options are fundamentally concerned with inter-bank money transfer but perform this task in different ways. The common thread amongst these varied options is the bank IFSC codes system- the hypothetical plaque that identifies a bank branch as a confirmation to the incoming monies that the same has been routed to the correct destination. Compare this to a cattle rancher and his/her massive flock of cattle. Without a branding system, identifying individual members of the herd and accounting for all of them will be next to impossible.

What is MICR?

The full form of MICR is Magnetic Ink Character Recognition technology. The primary need for this innovation is to authenticate the originality and legality of paper based documents in the banking system and is majorly used on cheques. In terms of their real-world importance, MICR stands on par with IFSC where transfer of funds using NEFT or IMPS is concerned.

MICR code imbibes the cutting-edge character recognition technology that is used by banks to authenticate the clearance of cheques and other such documents. MICR code itself can be seen placed on the bottom strip of the cheque and includes such details as the bank code, account details, cheque number and amount, alongside a control indicator. The principal advantage of this system is that unlike similar concepts like barcodes, MICR can be easily distinguished and read by humans.

How to Search for the IFSC Code of a Particular Bank’s Branch?

IFSC codes are the basic unit of any online inter-bank money transfers in India and the surefire way to validate all such transactions. With the correct knowledge of IFSC codes, sending and receiving money online becomes simple and fast, as intended. Many resources are available online that help you find IFSC code for the particular requested bank. And let’s face it- you are only likely to check upon the same when affecting an online transaction. In the similar vein, BankBazaar offers a comprehensive tool to help you indulge in a speedy and accurate IFSC Code search. How to access and utilize this tool? Read on…

  1. You are already on this page as you read these instructions, scroll to the top of this page.
  2. Spread before you is a simple ‘IFSC and MICR Codes Directory’, a versatile tool to help you locate IFSC Code as required. The tool comprises of the following fields- 1) Select Bank, 2) Select State, 3) Select District, and 4) Select Branch.
  3. Kindly make the appropriate selections with regards to the name of the bank, Indian state where the bank’s branch exists, the specific district of the state and finally, the concerned branch.
  4. In response to your query, the resultant page lists out the bank’s IFSC Code, MICR Code, official address and phone number. All this happens in less than 30 seconds from your initial query.

List of Popular Online Money Transfer Systems that Require IFSC Codes:

As has been noted before, wherever there is transfer of monies through the online media in India, the principle of bank IFSC codes is definitely part of the play. Some of the popular online money transfer systems that utilize IFSC codes at the operational level include NEFT, RTGS and IMPS.

What is NEFT?

The full form of NEFT is National Electronic Fund Transfer and quite as the name specifies, it concerns with the transfer of funds from one bank account onto another. This is a popular money transfer system in India that is equally popular amongst individuals as well as the corporate houses. Herein, IFSC codes must be suitably provided to ensure that money is accountably transferred from one bank account to another.

What is RTGS?

RTGS is acronym for Real Time Gross Settlement and as the name suggests, is a popular option for the speedy transfer of funds (also securities) from one bank to another, without subjecting the same to any waiting period. The operative words here are ‘Real Time’ (transactions happen instantaneously) and ‘Gross’ (refers to the fact that the monies aren’t subject to any deductions and/or expenditures). Herein again, IFSC codes act in a similar way as in the case of NEFT- helping to correctly identify the participating bank branches.

What is IMPS?

The Superman of the online money transfers world, IMPS, short for Immediate Payment Service is a relatively new option in India (founded, November 2010). The USP of this service is that money can be transferred instantly, 24×7 and across all popular Indian banks, through the service available on the subscriber’s mobile phone, ATM or through the internet. This system is reputed for being very safe, fast, economical and not restricted in terms of the maximum amount that can be transferred.

Anatomy of a Cheque:

A lot of the above discussions have centered on the common bank cheque. This mainstay of the banking world is an amalgamation of a number of components that help to authenticate its genuinity and allow us to attach our complete faith in its applicability. The primary components of a typical bank cheque are illustrated as follows,

Find IFSC Code in a Bank Cheque: On a typical bank cheque, the IFSC code is compulsorily listed though the location of the same on the cheque leaf will differ from bank to bank. In our example image: we are displaying the location of the IFSC code on a HDFC Cheque.

Locating Cheque Number: Displayed in a typewritten font at the bottom of the cheque in special font style. This is primarily used for tracking the cheque and for other administrative purposes.

Find MICR Code in a Bank Cheque: This is displayed next to the cheque number on cheques offered by all banks in India.

Both Cheque number and MICR Code are displayed in a unique font and ink, and the latter can only be picked up by a Magnetic Character Ink Reader.

FAQs:

  1. Is it possible to determine the IFSC code of a bank’s branch from the savings bank account number hosted in the same bank?No. The usually 15 digits long savings bank account number doesn’t include the bank’s IFSC code. This code can easily be obtained from a cheque leaf (refer the image in an earlier section), or checking out the BankBazaar IFSC Code Finder from top of this page.
  2. I think I have supplied the wrong IFSC code when affecting a NEFT funds transfer. What will happen to my money?Don’t worry. In order for a NEFT transaction to go through and benefit the intended recipient, you need the latter’s account number and the corresponding bank’s IFSC code. However, if you err and supply the wrong IFSC code, the system with tally against the recipient’s name and account number to identify the mistake and refund back your money. The refund should safely arrive in your account in a couple of hours at the maximum.
  3. Can I access the IFSC code from my bank pass book? Yes. And this is a directive from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) actually. It is a must that banks print the associated MICR and IFSC codes prominently on the pass books, account statements and cheques as issued by them. You can easily find these details, printed prominently, in the aforementioned documents.