The Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) is the eleven character coding system that is assigned by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and used within India's Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), Comprehensive Financial Management System (CFMS), and National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT). The code is a unique identifier of each participating bank branch in the NEFT system. IFSC implementation by the RBI is in oversight of monetary policy, financial system stability, foreign exchange management, currency issuance, development, and maintenance of merchant banking for the country's state and reserve banking institutions.
A Swift Code
The IFSC code is a Swift Code, the standard classification system assigning Bank Identifier Codes (BIC) to depository and financial institutions around the globe. A BIC provides the record for transactions between institutions. All Swift codes consist of 8 or 11 characters, and enable the transfer of money between banking institutions, as well as international wire transfers.
The IFSC and other swift codes are also used in the transmission of Structured Financial Messaging System (SFMS) message exchange between banks. The IFSC code is an 11 character BIC with four (4) alphabet characters identifying the banking institution, followed by the numerical character zero (0) controlling for future use. The last six (6) characters of the BIC indicate the branch of the institution corresponding to the transaction.
In coordination with the IFSC in India, BIC record of individual bank account transactions is supported by International Bank Account Number (IBAN) system, which is the international system of account control defined under the International Standards Organization (ISO 13616-1:2007), and in correspondence with ISO 7064 check digit classification as laid forth in the official ISO IBAN registry. The IBAN assists in identifying bank accounts at the international level, and reduces risk of conscription errors in communications between institutions cross border transactions.
Locating an IFSC Code
Merchant exporters holding virtual bank accounts can use the IFSC and MICR code to trace activity of transactions and from their account. The first three (3) digits of the MICR code are the PIN code, and correspond to the postal address or city code of the bank branch submitting a transfer or payment. An IFSC code is located in account holder passbook or statement, and are printed on cheque book issued by NEFT enabled institutions.