What is IFSC Code | What is MICR Code

IFSC Code And MICR Code: Definition, Difference And Uses

3 Min Read |  April 02, 2021

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Everybody with a bank account would have surely come across the terms IFSC code & MICR code. But only a few of us can actually explain the difference between their importance.

Therefore, in this blog, we tried to clear your doubts on the same. So, without much ado, let's start with the definition of the IFSC Code.

What is IFSC Code?

IFSC stands for Indian Financial System Code and it’s a unique 11-digit alpha-numeric code. The primary use of the IFSC code is to uniquely identify bank branches within the NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer) network by central banks.

IFSC code has applications in the electronic payment system (for transferring funds) such as CFMS (Centralised Funds Management System), RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement), and NEFT.

If somebody wants to transfer fund from one bank to another, he/she must provide the right IFSC code. Every branch has a unique code and even the two branches of the same bank can’t have the same code.

The first 4 digits of the IFSC code represent the bank while the last 6 characters denote the branch.

For instance, the IFSC code of the SBI branch at No. 58, Nehru Rd, Navpada, Vile Parle East, Vile Parle, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400057, is SBIN0001174. Here, 001174 is the branch code.

Where Can I Find an IFSC Code?

One can find the IFSC code of their branch on the chequebook offered by the bank or on the front page of the accountholder's passbook.

You can also check out our blog on the difference between NEFT, RTGS and IMPS. Check it out here.

What is MICR Code?

MICR stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition and this primarily authenticates the credibility and legality of paper-based document(s) in the banking database. The MICR code is printed on cheques using MICR technology. It facilitates the identification of the cheques which in turn, leads to faster processing.

Unlike the IFSC code, the MICR code is a unique 9-digit code that distinguishes the bank and branch engaged in an ECS (Electronic Clearing System).

Mainly, an MICR code consists of three sections:

  1. The first three digits of the code indicate the city code or city. They are followed by the PIN code used by us for postal addresses in India.
  2. The next three digits signify the Bank Code or bank.
  3. The last three digits denote the Branch Code or branch.

Where Can I Find the MICR Code of the Bank?

You can find the MICR code situated on the bottom of the cheque leaf and next to the cheque number. Else, you can also find it in your bank savings account passbook which is printed on the first page.

Uses of MICR Code

The role of the MICR code comes into play when you are filling up various financial transaction forms such as SIP form, investment forms or transferring funds. You are supposed to mention the MICR code while filling up such forms.

Difference Between an IFSC Code & MICR Code

We all know that monetary transactions aren’t restricted just to financial institutions such as banks. Therefore, thorough verification of such transactions is highly required before any transaction is processed.

In order to make the mechanism simpler, faster, and automatic, banks and other financial institutions depend on specific codes. These codes, namely, IFSC, MICR, and Swift Code play a crucial role in identifying the authenticity of a transaction.

However, all these codes differ from each other in their usage and other terms. Here we have mentioned the distinction between IFSC & MICR codes.

Differentiating Terms

IFSC Code

MICR Code

Used to

Facilitate electronic money transfer between the banks in India.

Make cheque processing faster and simpler.

Code

11-digit alpha-numeric code

9-digit code

Code indication (starting digits)

The first four characters signify the name of the bank

The first three digits indicate the city code

Code indication (ending digits)

The last 6 digits indicate the bank location

The last three digits represent the bank branch code

Developed by

The code is developed by the Reserve Bank of India

It is also developed by the RBI

Located at

Could be found at the top of the chequebook and in the accountholder's passbook

Could be found at the bottom of the cheque leaf and in the accountholder’s passbook.

So, this is it.

We hope that now you would be able to explain what is IFSC code and what is MICR code to anybody and make them understand the difference between the two.

In case you have any questions regarding the same, please feel free to ask in the comment section.

Until then, happy learning!


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