IFSC Code: Indian Financial System Code
The Indian Financial System Code (IFS Code) is an 11-character Alpha Numeric code that acts as a distinct identifier for bank-branch in India, transacting under different Electronic Payments and Funds Settlement Systems such as NEFT, RTGS.
IFSC Code is used to identify the originating / destination banks / branches and also to route the messages appropriately to the concerned banks / branches, for almost all type of Intra Branch or Inter Banks financial transactions involving mainly:-
IFSC Code Format and its Significance
- RTGS (The Real Time Gross Settlement)
- NEFT (The National Electronic Funds Transfer)
- ECS (Electronic Clearing Service)
- ACH (Automated Clearing House)
- IMPS (Immediate Payment Service)
- EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer)
- Wire Transfer etc
- IFS Code has 11 Alpha Numeric Characters
- The first four alphabetic characters represent the bank name.
- The fifth character in IFSC Code is always 0 (zero) and is reserved for future use.
- The last six characters which are generally numeric, but some times can be alphabetic, represent the branch.
Example IFSC Code: SBIN0000691
Information it conveys :-
|[State Bank Of India]
||[New Delhi Main Branch]
|[First 4 Characters]
||[Last 6 Characters]
MICR Code: Magnetic Ink Character Recognition Code
MICR Code is a 9-Digit Numeric code assigned to a Bank by Reserve Bank of India that uniquely identifies a bank participating under its MICR based cheque clearing system.
MICR is infact an independent technology deployed for printing of magnetic code which are machine readable, secure and faster to process.
Since its adoption in early 1980s by RBI, this MICR based cheque clearing system has been instrumental in safer and faster processing of cheque payments across the country.
MICR Code Format and its Significance
- MICR Code has nine digits
- The first three digits of MICR Code, represent the city name. So, the "First Three Digits" of MICRCode of all the bank branches will be same for a particular city.
- The next three digits of MICR Code, represent the bank name. Therefor, the "Middle Three Digits" of MICR Code, will be same for all branch locations in the India for a partcular bank.
- The last three digits of MICR Code, represent the bank branch and generally in the order of its inception in respective city
Example MICR Code: 400240003
Information it conveys :-
MICR Code: How it automates the Cheque Clearing
||[NARIMAN PT BRANCH]
|[First 3 Digits]
||[Middle 3 Digits]
||[Last 3 Digits]
Priore to implementation of MICR Code in Indian Banking, the manual clearing of cheques was quite slow and had always scope for human errors resulting in further unwanted delays in cheque clearing.
The MICR Codes are printed on the cheques using a special magnetic ink. The Cheque so printed with MICR Code, when inserted in cheque scanning machine, gets instantly decoded for necessary info for authentication such as name of concerned bank, its city location, originating branch and initiate the electronic clearing process.
MICR Code is present at the bottom strip of bank"s cheque leaves.";
RBI guidelines: IFSC And MICR Code
is must for all banking transactions linked with electronic clearing services (ECS - credit and debit) .
is a primary requirement for NEFT (The National Electronic Funds Transfer) and RTGS (The Real Time Gross Settlement) based transactions.
As per RBI instruction it is mandatory for all the Banks to print IFSC and MICR code of the their respective branch on the cheque leaf, passbook and the statement of account of the customers.
IMPS - Immediate Payment Service
IMPS is an instant, innovative real time payment service that is available round the clock, 24 x7 basis (functional even on holidays). This service is
offered by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) that empowers customers to transfer
money instantly through banks and RBI authorized Prepaid Payment Instrument Issuers (PPI) across
India. IMPS is Safe and secure, easily accessible and cost effective. IMPS is Channel Independent can be initiated from either Mobile or Internet or ATM channels. Every transaction through IMPS is followed by Debit & Credit Confirmation by SMS
NEFT - National Electronic Funds Transfer
NEFT is one of the most popular mode of electronic payments in India. Currently majority of interbank mobile fund transfer transactions are channelised through NEFT mechanism. Started in November 2005,NEFT is a facility provided to bank customers to enable them to transfer funds easily and securely on a one-to-one basis. It is done via electronic messages. This is not on real-time basis like RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement). Under NEFT, the transactions are processed and settled in batches, hence are not real time. Also, the transactions can be done only during the working hours of the RTGS system.
This is a "net" transfer facility which is executed in hourly batches resulting in a time lag. NEFT facilities are available in almost all bank branches all over the country .
NEFT - How it works
Step-1 : Customer fills an application form providing details of the beneficiary (like name, bank, branch name, IFSC, account type and account number) and the amount to be remitted. The remitter authorizes his/her bank branch to debit his account and remit the specified amount to the beneficiary. This facility is also available through online banking and some banks offer the NEFT facility even through the ATMs.
Step-2 : The originating bank branch prepares a message and sends the message to its pooling centre (also called the NEFT Service Centre).
Step-3 : The pooling centre forwards the message to the NEFT Clearing Centre (operated by National Clearing Cell, Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai) to be included for the next available batch.
Step-4 : The Clearing Centre sorts the funds transfer transactions destination bank-wise and prepares accounting entries to receive funds from the originating banks (debit) and give the funds to the destination banks(credit). Thereafter, bank-wise remittance messages are forwarded to the destination banks through their pooling centre (NEFT Service Centre).
Step-5 : The destination banks receive the inward remittance messages from the Clearing Centre and pass on the credit to the beneficiary customers accounts.
Service Charges for NEFT Transactions
a) Inward transactions at destination bank branches (for credit to beneficiary accounts):
Free, no charges to be collected from beneficiaries
b) Outward transactions at originating bank branches (charges for the remitter):
For transactions up to Rs 10,000 (not exceeding) : Rs 2.50 (+ Service Tax)
For transactions above Rs 10,000 up to Rs 1 lakh (not exceeding) : Rs 5 (+ Service Tax)
For transactions above Rs 1 lakh and up to Rs 2 lakhs (not exceeding) : Rs 15 (+ Service Tax)
For transactions above Rs 2 lakhs : Rs 25 (+ Service Tax)
Currently, NEFT operates in hourly batches - there are twelve settlements from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM on week days and five settlements from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays.
Any transaction initiated after a designated settlement time would have to wait till the next designated settlement time. As of 2013, all transactions initiated before 5 PM will be settled on same day. No transactions are settled on weekly holidays and public holidays.
Transaction Timings for NEFT, Monday to Saturday (Except 2nd and 4th Saturday) is 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM. RTGS / NEFT is not allowed on Sundays, second and fourth Saturday of the month and the declared bank holidays for the calendar year
RTGS : Real-Time Gross Settlement System
Real-Time gross settlement system (RTGS) is a funds transfer systems maintained by the Reserve Bank of India where the transfer of money takes place from one bank to another on a "real time" and on a "gross" basis. This is the fastest possible money transfer system through the banking channel. Settlement in 'real time' means payment transaction is not subjected to any waiting period. The transactions are settled as soon as they are processed. 'Gross settlement' means the transaction is settled on one to one basis without bunching with any other transaction. Considering that money transfer takes place in the books of the Reserve Bank of India, the payment is taken as final and irrevocable.
RTGS systems are typically used for high-value transactions that require and receive immediate clearing. Fees for RTGS vary from bank to bank. RBI has prescribed upper limit for the fees which can be charged by all banks both for NEFT and RTGS