Indian Financial System Code (IFSC Code) is a combination of alphabets and numerals forming a unique eleven-digit number. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) assigns the IFSC code to each bank branch. The account holders can easily check the IFSC code of their bank branch on RBI’s website.
You can also find the IFSC code on your mobile banking app, the front page of the account holder’ passbook and checkbook.
The account holder requires knowing the IFSC code when transferring funds online for National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), etc. Internet banking transactions for transferring the funds from one account to another cannot be done without knowing the IFSC code.
Example of an IFSC code:KKBK0001398
The first 4 digit of the IFSC code tells you which bank it belongs to.KKBK represents the bank name. In this case, it is Kotak Mahindra Bank.The 5th character is a zero.
The remaining 6 characters help the Reserve Bank of India identify the bank branch. In this case, 001398 attributes to Kotak Bank’s Juhu Mumbai branch in the Greater Bombay District in the state of Maharashtra.
Advantages of IFSC Code is as follows:
Quick Money Transfer:
The online transaction of transferring money can be carried out instantly with the help of the IFSC code.
Monitoring The Fund Flow:
Thanks to the IFSC code, you now have a start and end points to monitor the flow of funds from one account to another. This helps in avoiding potential frauds.
Elimination of Errors:
Having a unique Identification code helps in eliminating errors or discrepancies arising during the fund transferring process.
Safe Money Transfer:
By using the IFSC code, you can directly transfer money from one account to another.
Easy to Differentiate: Every bank branch has been assigned a unique ID by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that differentiates it from other branches.
Using your IFSC code to transfer money
After demonetization and digital India Movement, online payments and fund transfers increased exponentially in India. This increase could be attributed to the fact that online transfers are much more convenient, simple and safe.
There are various modes of transferring funds online as discussed above.
National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT)
NEFT is one of the most opted modes of transferring funds from one bank account to another. With NEFT, the money is transferred in batches. It is based on the deferred arrangement with 12 payment settlements sets distributed between the time slots of 8 AM to 7 PM on weekdays (Monday to Friday) and 6 payment settlements from 8 AM to 1 PM on Saturdays.
Banks like Kotak Mahindra allow their customers to transfer funds to any Third Party (Beneficiary) holding an account other than Kotak’s. The beneficiary’s bank should be a participant in RBI National Electronic Funds Transfers (RBI – NEFT). These transfers of funds are implemented using RBI’s InterBank Transfer Scheme.
Channels offered by banks to transfer funds from one bank account to another via NEFT is as follows:
Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)
National Payments Corporation of India introduced IMPS in 2010. This mode of transfer is instant and works 24*7! It can be used 365 days a year to transfer funds from one bank to another. There is no need to register separately for IMPS service. Once you are logged into your mobile banking app, you can choose from NEFT, RTGS or IMPS to transfer the funds.
Make sure you have the beneficiary’s full name, bank account number, and the IFSC code to initiate the transfer. For transferring funds through the mobile app, you would also need the Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) code.
MMID code is a 7 digit number issued by the bank for IMPS services through mobile banking.
Banks decide the charges for IMPS fund transfers. For instance, at Kotak Mahindra Bank IMPS fund transfer charges vary for different accounts and products of the bank.
Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)
This mode of transfer is essentially for high-value funds transactions. The minimum transferrable amount through RTGS is Rs. 2 lakhs is no cap on the maximum. The RTGS service can be availed from 9 AM to 4:30 PM on weekdays and 9 AM to 2 PM on Saturdays. Transfers through RTGS takes place on a real-time basis. The funds are transferred in approximately 30 minutes to an individual.
When transferring money through RTGS, make sure your bank and the beneficiary’s bank are RTGS-enabled and you have the IFSC code of the beneficiary’s bank branch.
RTGS can be a bit costlier that NEFT as the transfer of Rs. 2-Rs. 5 Lakhs may cost you a fee of Rs. 30, whereas the transactions above Rs. 5 Lakhs may cost you Rs. 55.
What is MICR?
Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) is a technology used to verify the authenticity of paper-based documents issued by the bank. Special ink, which is sensitive to magnetic fields, is used in the printing of certain characters on the original documents.
Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) authenticates the credibility and legality of paper-based documents in the banking database.
For the printing of certain characters on the original documents, a special ink (sensitive to magnetic fields) is used. Magnetic Ink is used to print numbers and characters found on the bottom of the checks.
MICR code is used to verify cheques for clearances as the code is a product of a highly advanced Character Recognition Technology (CRT).
To print with Magnetic Ink, you need a laser printer that accepts MICR toner.
MICR provides a secure, high-speed method of scanning and processing information
Difference between MICR and IFSC?
Thorough verification of money transactions can be made simpler, faster and more secure through IFSC and MICR. They also play a very significant role in verifying the authenticity of the monetary transaction.
Despite the similarity, IFSC and MICR have different usages.
IFSC facilitates electronic money transfer between the banks in India.
MICR helps in making cheque processing faster and simpler
It is an eleven-digit alphanumeric code.
It is a nine-digit alphanumeric code.
The first four characters indicate the name of the bank.
The first three digits represent the city code where the bank branch is located.