Indian Financial System Code, which is more popularly known as IFSC code, is an identification code used by the banks and is unique to a particular bank branch. The IFSC code is always 11 characters long and is alphanumeric. This code is provided to different branches of the banks and is governed by the highest banking authority of India called Reserve Bank of India or RBI. Since the IFSC code is unique to a particular branch, therefore, the exact location of the branch and the name of the bank can be identified with it.
As already mentioned, the IFSC code consists of 11 alphanumeric characters. The first four characters of the IFSC code are always alphabetic. These four characters uniquely represent the bank and just by the looks of it one can know which particular Indian bank it belongs to. The remaining 7 characters are typically numeric. However, in certain cases it has been observed that they are the combination of letters and numbers. The last seven characters of the IFSC code are used to identify a particular branch of the bank. No matter the bank, the fifth character of any IFSC code will always be zero (0). Here is an example of an IFSC Code CITI0000003:
The first four characters of this code are CITI. This means this code is for the Citibank India. You can see that the 5th character is 0 as already mentioned. This code contains six zeroes and ends with the number 3. There are many websites from where you can get IFSC code. If you will enter this code in one of these websites, you will find that it belongs to Citibank’s Club House Road branch of Chennai. The last 6 digits are the bank branch identifiers.
The IFSC code is required to carry out the electronic funds settlements in India. However, it is not used for the international transfers from the foreign countries to the Indian accounts. Here are some of the electronic fund transfer systems the IFSC code is required for:
1) RTGS or Real Time Gross Settlement
2) NEFT or National Electronic Funds Transfer
3) IMPS or Immediate Payment Service System
4) CFMS or centralized funds management system
How to Find the IFSC Code
There are many ways to find the IFSC code of a particular bank. RBI’s official website has the list of all the banks, their branches, and their IFSC codes. These are the banks which participate in the electronic funds transfers in India. As per the RBI guidelines, the IFSC code is also mentioned on all the cheques.
Remember that IFSC code helps identify the branch. But if you don’t know the IFSC code, to find it, you will need to know the branch location. To get IFSC code, you can access one of the websites which have the list of all the codes. There, you can provide the name of the bank and the location and the list will be displayed. Alternatively, you can also visit the website of the bank you want the IFSC code for and search it there.