What is IFSC Code and How to Find It – A Complete Guide


Amidst the growing popularity of digital payments in India, almost everyone now knows about certain terms like net banking, UPI ID, and digital wallet transactions. Particularly in relation to net banking, conducting banking transactions online has become quite easier and hassle-free. Anyone – be it a consumer or merchant, can make online payments 24×7 using the Internet banking facility.  A crucial aspect of making payments via net banking is using the right IFSC code of the payee’s bank account. Any error or mistake in entering the IFSC code details can lead to either payment failure or transfer of money to the wrong bank account. This is the reason it is important for you to understand what this code stands for and how to find it whenever the need arises. 

In this blog post, you will learn more about the benefits and working of an IFSC code in detail.

What is the IFSC code?

Here, IFSC code full form is Indian Financial System Code and it refers to the 11-digit alphanumeric code that is used to identify a bank branch within the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) network. In other words, it represents the bank branch where the payee’s bank account is created. Facing an error at the time of entering an IFSC code also means that you are trying to send a certain amount to the wrong bank account. This in turn helps in cross-checking the code and other details before you send money from one account to another.

Every bank branch has a unique IFSC code and it is mandatory to use this code at the time of transferring money from one bank account to another. Here are some other things you should know about the IFSC code:

  • This 11-digit code consists of both letters and numbers and is used for IMPS, NEFT, and RTGS transactions.
  • The IFSC code is assigned to every bank branch by the apex bank in the country, which is the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The RBI also uses this code to keep track of digital banking transactions.

Format of the IFSC code

Ever wondered why the IFSC codes of all banks look similar? This is because there are two main components of an IFSC code. Let’s decode the bank IFSC code meaning by using Paytm IFSC code as an example.

  1. Bank name represented by its first four characters
  2. Branch code represented by the last six digits or numbers

The fifth character of every IFSC code is zero. Here’s how it looks like:


Bank nameZero

Branch code

How Does an IFSC Code Work?

The electronic funds transfer in our country is facilitated with the help of an IFSC code that recognizes each bank branch participating in the payment transfer. Whenever a transaction is made, entering the right IFSC code details ensures that the funds will be transferred to the correct bank account. This is quite important amidst the rising risk of cyber fraud in India. 

This code is also used to add a beneficiary to your online banking account to transfer funds later. 

How to Find IFSC Code?

There are four different ways to find your bank branch’s IFSC code. 

  • Via cheque leaf

One of the simplest ways to find IFSC code is to look at a cheque leaf. In most cases, the full address of the bank branch is printed at the top of the leaf followed by the 11-digit IFSC code. 

  • Via bank passbook

You can also refer to the front sheet of your bank passbook where your account details – name, address, account number, etc. are mentioned. You can find IFSC code printed on that sheet.

  • Via the official bank website

These days, almost every bank has a branch locator tool available on their official website. You can use this tool to find the IFSC code information of your branch. 

  • Via the RBI website

You can also visit the official RBI website to find out the IFS code of your branch. You can select the bank name and then enter the branch name to find the corresponding IFSC code. 

Similar to using the bank branch name to find the IFSC code, you can do the opposite, i.e., use the IFSC code to find out the exact branch location. 

How to Use the IFSC Code to Transfer Funds?

You will need the correct IFSC code along with several other details at the time of transferring money from your bank account to some other bank account. It is important to note that this code is not needed to transfer money via UPI. There, you will need a UPI ID.

To initiate the fund transfer process via NEFT, RTGS, etc, enter the bank account number of the payee, the IFSC code, and the account holder name. These transactions will not take place without using the correct IFSC code which identifies the payee’s bank branch.

Interesting Read: UPI ID: Meaning, Definition, How to Create, and More

How to Transfer Money Using IFSC Code?

Using IFSC code, you can transfer money without facing any hassle. Since RBI has assigned unique IFSC codes to each bank branch, you can proceed with fund transfer through RTGS, IMPS, or NEFT using a valid IFSC code. Let’s understand how to use this code to transfer money.

Assuming the IFSC code for Delhi Branch of ICICI bank is ICIC0012123. Here are the steps to be followed to transfer money:

  1. Select the payment method – RTGS, NEFT, or IMPS
  2. Provide bank details of the payee, including bank name, bank branch, account number, and branch IFSC code
  3. Initiate fund transfer and the payment will be processed timely.

How to Transfer Money Through SMS?

These days, you can also transfer funds through an SMS on a mobile using IFSC code. Here are the steps to be followed:

  • To initiate money transfer through an SMS, first link your mobile number with your bank account for mobile banking facility.
  • To link the mobile number, fill out the application form requesting a mobile banking facility. Once this is approved, you will receive a unique MMID or mPin.
  • Once you are registered for mobile banking, you need to create an SMS including the term – IMPS along with payee’s bank details like name, bank, bank branch, account number, IFSC code, and the sum you want to transfer.
  • Recheck the details and then send the SMS. You will then receive a confirmation message in which you need to enter mPIN.
  • Once you enter the mPIN and proceed, this will transfer the funds to the respective account of the payee.

Interesting Read: mPIN: Full Form, Meaning, and More

How to Register a Third-Party Beneficiary using IFSC Code?

In India, almost every bank now has a policy regarding fund transfer to a third-party bank account number. In most cases, the steps to be followed for third-party fund transfer remains the same for every bank and are as follows: 

  • Use your customer ID and PIN to login to our online banking account with the respective bank.
  • Use the fund transfer option inside. There, you will see a tab to add beneficiaries. Click on that tab.
  • Enter the recipient or beneficiary’s bank account details, including name, account number, IFSC code, and bank branch.
  • Submit these details and wait for the confirmation email or SMS.
  • Once the beneficiary registration process is complete, it will take a certain period for the fund transfer service to get activated. For example, some banks may ask you to wait for half an hour after registering the beneficiary before proceeding with any fund transfer request.
  • Post that, you can proceed with the fund transfer steps and select the added beneficiary. It will automatically fetch his/her bank details that you entered earlier.
  • Select the right communication channel – email or mobile for fund transfer authentication. You will receive an OTP on the chosen channel.
  • Enter and verify the OTP. This will successfully complete the transfer of funds to the payee’s account.

Although the steps to transfer funds remain the same, you should still check for any variance in relation to your respective bank.

How is IFSC code different from MICR code?

MICR here stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition which stands for the innovative technology that authenticates the credibility and legality of paper-based documents kept in the banking database. This technology is used to verify cheques before the clearance. In relation to the security of fund transfer, both the IFSC code and MICR can be found at the bottom of the cheque leaf. 

The following table highlights the difference between MICR code and bank IFSC code meaning:

IFSC Code 


This code is used for electronic fund transfers between banks.It is used for faster processing of cheque payments.
It is an alpha-numeric code consisting of 11 digits.It is a 9 digit code.
First four characters indicate the bank name.First three digits represent the city code.
Last six digits represent the bank location.Last three digits represent the branch code.
Both codes are developed by the RBI.


What is full form of IFSC?

IFSC code full form stands for  Indian Financial System Code. It is an 11-digit alphanumeric code used to identify a bank branch within the NEFT network.

Is the branch code and IFSC code the same thing?

The branch code is a part of the IFSC code. It cannot be used separately for any fund transfer.

Is RTGS and IFSC code the same?

While an IFSC code is used to identify the bank branch, RTGS stands for Real Time Gross Settlement. 

How do I read a bank’s IFSC code?

The first four characters of the code here represent the bank name and the last six digits are for the bank location.


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