What is an IFSC Code and its importance
Ever wondered what IFSC printed on our passbook/chequebook stands for, and what is its significance in the Indian banking sector? Let’s find out everything about it.
Most of us are familiar with the Indian Financial System Code or IFSC that is used for electronic money transfers. Yes, we are referring to the alpha-numeric code printed on bank documents like the front leaf of the passbook and the chequebook. But do you know what is an IFSC and why is it important for carrying out banking transactions? Here's all you need to know about it.
What is IFSC?
IFSC is an important part of the Indian banking infrastructure. It is a unique 11-digit number issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), for identifying an individual bank and its specific branch. The format of IFSC is such, wherein the first four characters represent the bank's name, and the last six digits (combination of alphabets and numerals) indicate the location of the branch. The fifth character is zero and remains constant for all codes.
The first 4 alphabets (ICIC) in the above example serve to identify the bank, in this case - ICICI, and the last 6 digits (000053) represent its Jayanagar branch, in Bangalore.
It must be noted that no two banks or branches have the same code. In fact, the IFSC is different even for two accounts held in two different branches of the same bank. The RBI website has a list of all the banks and their IFSC.
What is the significance of IFSC?
The importance of the IFSC code cannot be stressed enough. It has made online transferring of funds easy, secure and accessible for all. Listed below, are some of the benefits it bestows:
- Seamless Transactions
IFSC ensures that fund transfers between banks are carried out seamlessly, without any blunders. The identification code can help RBI track, monitor, oversee, as well as authenticate all financial transactions conducted through modes such as the National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and Immediate Payment Service (IMPS).
- Identifying Banks:
IFSC plays a pivotal role in transferring money efficiently, from one bank account to another. It helps in determining the source as well as the recipient bank branch.
- Eliminates Odds of Error:
Since a valid IFSC is vital for initiating Fund Transfers through Net Banking, the online platform has become extremely safe. IFSC eliminates the odds of fraud, error, or theft during the Fund Transfer process.
- Quick and Easy Transfers:
Due to IFSC, the procedure of carrying out financial transactions, has not only become convenient but also picked up pace. Funds can be transferred in just a few minutes, from any corner of the globe. This is a boon for those in dire need of funds, due to a financial emergency.
- Environment-Friendly Banking:
Financial transactions through electronic modes are paperless. Thanks to IFSC, account-holders are doing their bit for Mother Earth, by using eco-friendly measures for money transfer.
Can IFSC change?
As a rule, the IFSC cannot be changed, revised or updated. However, in the event of a merger or reorganisation of the bank, the IFSC identification code changes. In this case, the account holder is issued a new code. This is to ensure the online financial transaction is successful and it reaches the beneficiary's account, without any glitch.
As you can see, the IFSC code is an integral part of the modern banking system. Apart from making Internet Banking quick, safe, and convenient, it also indirectly contributes to a greener environment.
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