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Difference Between IFSC and MICR Code

In banking parlance, the IFSC and MICR code are quite popular terms; however, one should not get confused as they have different functions. To put it simply, an IFSC Code facilitates the smooth and hassle free functioning of deposit and/or withdrawal-related processes within financial institution.....


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ICICI Bank IFSC (Indian Financial System Code) is a unique 11-digit alphanumeric code issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make the fund transfer process error-free and convenient. ICICI IFSC code is essential for electronic fund transfers like IMPS, NEFT and RTGS. ICICI Bank IFSC is diff.....



For electronic fund transfer and for some other financial transactions, all banks in India, including SBI, require mentioning of IFSC and MICR codes. The central bank in the country, the RBI, assigns both these codes to banks for an efficient fund transfer system. Wondering about the meaning and .....


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The Indian Financial System Code, better known as the IFSC code, is an 11-digit alphanumeric code used by electronic payment systems to transfer funds from one ba.....


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The IFSC code is an 11-digit alpha-numeric code used by banking institutions to facilitate money transfers. The DBS Bank IFSC code can be found on the bank's documents. You can also find the same information using any search engine.


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A unique 11-digit alphanumeric code, IFSC (Indian Financial System Code) aids online fund transactions in India. The code ensures the smooth processing of online transactions made through National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), and Immediate Payment Service (IMPS). The IFSC is assigned by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and each bank branch is bestowed with a unique code. The code remains unmodified unless the bank goes through a merger, with a recent example being Syndicate Bank’s merger into Canara Bank, which resulted in the change of the former’s IFSC.


The IFSC is listed on your cheque leaves; additionally, you can also find the IFSC code listed on the bank’s official website as well as on the RBI website.

IFSC Code: Key Features

The key features of the IFSC code are as follows:

  • Helps identify a specific bank branch

  • Eliminates errors when initiating fund transfer

  • Aids smooth payment through electronic payment options such NEFT, IMPS and RTGS

Importance of the IFSC Code

The IFSC is an extremely important part of the Indian banking system. The IFSC code also aids consumers when making financial transactions. Fund transfers cannot be initiated unless the beneficiary’s unique IFSC is added along with the account number. This mechanism ensures that the fund transfer occurs smoothly and without error.


Put simply, the IFSC system enables the RBI to track and maintain all financial transactions that are made through RTGS, IMPS, and NEFT.

Locating the IFSC Code

The IFSC code is listed at the top of the cheque leaf near the bank account number. To break down the code, the first four characters signify the name of the bank, while the remaining characters (either numeric or alphabetical) represent the specific branch.

IFSC Code: Method of Fund Transfer

The IFSC enables you to conveniently carry out fund transfers through a hassle-free process. The code acts as a key component when making transfers from one account to another. Read on to know the different methods to use the same.

i) via Mobile Applications

Leading NBFCs and banks have dedicated apps on Google Play Store and Apple Appstore that one can use to initiate the e-transfer of funds. Follow the below-mentioned steps to transfer funds using the IFSC through your mobile banking app:

  • Download your bank’s official mobile banking app.

  • Enter your credentials, such as customer ID/username and password to login.

  • Choose the option for fund transfer, i.e. IMPS, NEFT, or RTGS.

  • Enter the beneficiary’s bank account number, name, and IFSC along with other details, as requested.

  • Once the beneficiary account is linked to your account, you will be allowed to initiate the fund transfer using IFSC.

ii) via SMS

The SMS mode too can be used to initiate the e-transfer of funds. However, the service is limited to a few banks and NBFCs. Check with your financial institution before you undertake fund transfer via SMS.


Follow these steps to use the IFSC and facilitate e-transfer of funds via SMS:

  • Link your bank account with your mobile number by registering your phone number with your banking institution.

  • To register your mobile number, you will have to fill a form. The bank will then send you a ‘Starter Kit’ that includes the MMID and mPin. MMID stands for Mobile Money Identifier, i.e a 7 digit unique number and mPIN stands for Mobile Banking PIN, i.e a four-digit password.

  • Once the number is registered, create the SMS by typing ‘IMPS’ and the beneficiary details. The beneficiary details include the recipient’s name, account number, IFSC code, and the sum of the fund transfer. IMPS stands for Immediate Mobile Payment Service and depicts the transfer method that you are using.

  • Confirm the transaction by entering the mPIN. The mPIN is the one given by your bank with the ‘Starter Kit’.

  • Press ‘OK’ and the funds will be transferred to the beneficiary account.

Read More

Used an Incorrect IFSC Code During e-Transfer?

Fortunately, there is no need to worry even if you provide the wrong IFSC code while initiating an electronic fund transfer. This is because you also provide the beneficiary’s account number. In case you provide the incorrect IFSC code, the system will automatically detect the error while cross-referencing the provided name and account number. In this case, the money will be refunded to your bank account and get reflected within a few hours.

What is the Difference Between a Bank Branch’s IFSC Code and a Credit Card’s IFSC Code?

It’s a common mistake to get confused between a bank’s IFSC code and a credit card IFSC code. However, the defining distinction between the two is that while a bank IFSC code varies from branch to branch, those assigned to credit cards of individual banks remain the same. For example, the IFSC code assigned to a branch of Axis Bank based in Mumbai will differ from one given to a branch in Nashik. On the other hand, the IFSC code for an Axis Bank credit card will remain the same irrespective of the branch one avails it from. However, this is only one of the many things that set the two types of IFSC Codes apart from each other. Below is a table that points out the various ways in which the two differ. Read on to know more.

Areas of differentiation

Bank Branch IFSC Code

Credit Card IFSC Code


Varies from branch to Branch

Stays uniform throughout the country


Used by a bank account holder when they have to transfer funds into another bank account

Used to pay credit card bills

Where can it be found?

Any of the documents issued by the bank to an account holder, such as statement, cheque book, and passbook, among others

Can be obtained from the instruction manual that comes in the envelope containing the credit card or through the customer service executive representing the credit card department of the bank

Acceptable mode of payment while utilising the code



What is the Format of a Bank Branch’s IFSC Code?

Every IFSC code that is issued by RBI to a bank branch follows a specific format and each portion of the same holds a different meaning. Below is a table that contains the breakdown of the bank IFSC code format. Read on to know more about the bank IFSC code format.

1. Bank IFSC Code Format:

Portion of the code

What do they mean?

First four alphabets

Name of the bank

The “0” that may be found in the middle of the IFSC code

Does not mean anything. It acts like an empty space that could be filled in the future

Last digits

Code assigned by the RBI to a particular branch of a bank

How Do the IFSC Codes Essentially Work?

Put simply, IFSC codes are essential to initiate fund transfers to another bank account. In addition to the IFSC code, the payer also has to provide the account holder’s name and the bank account number to complete the transaction. Post this, the funds that have been transferred will be routed to the account of the payee in a near-seamless manner and mostly within a matter of minutes. An IFSC code ensures that the right payee receives the funds that they are due at the right time.


Now that you have understood all of the above, it is time to take a look at yet another code that is used frequently at the time of performing a set of specific banking-related transactions, all of which involve the processing of cheques. It goes by the name of Magnetic Ink Character Recognition, or MICR, code code. Read on to know more about MICR Code.

What is a MICR Code?

A Magnetic Ink Character Recognition Code is used to ensure that the banks that are involved in financial transactions involving cheques are financial institutions which are recognised by the RBI. Typically, an MICR code is required by an individual at the time of them filing the application documents pertaining to financial instruments like investment portfolios, lumpsum mutual funds and SIPs, amongst others. Unlike IFSC, a MICR Code is 9 digits-long and is usually found on a cheque’s bottom left corner. Additionally, a MICR code performs the functions of a barcode for the relevant financial institutions involved in the transaction, but these barcodes can be read and told apart by naked human eyes.

1. MICR Code Format:

Much like in the case of a bank IFSC code format, different portions of a MICR code mean different things. What you will find below is a table that will help you make sense of the different parts of the same. Read on for more.

Portions of the code in question

What do they mean?

First three digits

Code of the city in which the branch in question is located. They are aligned with the first three codes that are found on the postal address of a city.

The three digits in the middle

Code assigned to a particular bank by the RBI

The three digits found at the end of an MICR code

It is a code that is assigned by RBI to a particular branch of a bank

How can you Locate the IFSC as well as the MICR Codes on a Bank Cheque

Now, we will take a look at how to find IFSC code in cheque books as well as how to find MICR code in cheques that one will eventually use for the aforementioned purposes. What you will find below is a paragraph that points out their approximate locations. Read on for more.


One can easily spot MICR as well as IFSC codes on a bank cheque leaf. As far as MICR Codes are concerned, they can typically be found at the bottom of a cheque. That particular section of the cheque usually houses three sets of numerical figures, the second one of which is the MICR code. An IFSC Code of the bank branch through which an individual has received the cheque book in question, on the other hand, can be found on the top left corner of the cheque leaf under the logo of the bank.


What does IFSC stand for?

IFSC stands for Indian Financial System Code.

Is the IFSC code the same as the branch code?

No, the IFSC code is not the same as the branch code. The IFSC code comprises eleven characters and helps identify a bank’s branch. The branch code, on the other hand, is part of the IFSC code.

Can a NEFT payment be reversed?

No, a NEFT payment cannot be reversed once initiated.

Does the IFSC code change if the location of a bank branch changes?

No, the IFSC code does not change even if the location of the bank branch changes. It remains the same. An IFSC would only change when a bank goes through a merger.

How is the bank IFSC code different from the credit card IFSC code?

A bank IFSC code helps make money transfers using RTGS, NEFT, and IMPS methods. The credit card IFSC code, on the other hand, enables NEFT payments for credit cards. Note that while the IFSC changes from one branch to another for different banks, the credit card IFSC code remains unchanged.

Can you get the IFSC code through the savings bank account number?

No, you cannot get the IFSC code through the savings bank account number.

Is the IFSC code printed on the passbook?

Yes, as per the RBI guidelines, all banks must print the home branch IFSC code on the passbook.

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