IFSC code expanded as Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) is a unique identification code i.e. specific to a bank branch.
The 11-digit alphanumeric code is provided to banks and their branches by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that participate in the electronic fund settlement systems, including national electronic funds transfer (NEFT) and real time gross settlement (RTGS).
The official website of RBI includes the list of all the banks and branches that take part in electronic fund transfer along with their IFSC code.
Of the 11 digits, first 4 alphabetic characters are indicative of the bank while the last seven digits that are generally numeric but can be alphabetic represent the bank-branch. The fifth character of the entire IFSC code is always a zero.
A typical IFSC code is as : ICIC0000053 wherein the first 4 alphabets serve to identify the bank and the last digits its branch which in this case refers to the Jayanagar branch in Bangalore.
ICIC 0 000053
(Bank Identifier) (Bank branch identifier)
In pursuant with the guidelines of RBI, IFSC code is also seen imprinted on the cheque books issued by NEFT-enabled banks to its customer base.
Significance of IFSC Code for Banks and General Public
For banks carrying out fund transfer electronically IFSC code is made use of to send or route messages properly to the particular branches of any specific bank. Also, the code is utilized by the fund transfer systems to recognize the origination and destination bank branches. So, the appropriate functioning of NEFT and RTGS is extensively dependent on IFSC code.
For the general public also fund transfers are facilitated and account of the fund recipient is credited only when IFSC details of the receiving bank branch are provided by the customer.