What is Indian Financial System Code (IFSC)?
The 'IFSC' stands for Indian Financial System Code which is a combination of alphabets and numbers (also recalled as 'alphanumeric') that uniquely identifies the specific branch of a particular bank. They are two major systems in India that handle the exchange and transaction of funds and reconciles the monetary balances among the banks, these are Real Time Gross settlement (RTGS) and the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and these are also known as Electronic Funds Settlement Systems.
The IFSC is a unique eleven digit code which is designed in such a way that the first four digits are alphabets and these alphabetic characters representing a Bank's name and the last five characters which are numbers, it represents the particular branch, the middle number, which is zero is reserved for future purposes. These codes are used by the NEFT and RTGS systems to route the messages from the source of a money transfer to the destination banks/branches.
Both of these systems perform the same task that is money transfer. The only difference that distinguishes is the amount of money. NEFT is an electronic fund transfer system that operates on a Deferred Net Settlement (DNS) basis which settles transactions in batches. In DNS, the settlement takes place with all transactions received till the particular cut-off time. These transactions are netted (payable and receivables) in NEFT whereas in RTGS the transactions are settled individually. For example, currently, NEFT operates in hourly batches.
Please note that there are twelve settlements from 8 am to 7 pm on week days and six settlements from 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays. Any transaction initiated after a designated settlement time would have to wait till the next designated settlement time Contrary to this, in the RTGS transactions are processed continuously throughout the RTGS business hours.
There is no minimum limit on the transaction for NEFT and the maximum limit up to which the transaction could be made is rupees 10 lakh. On the other hand, in RTGS, the minimum amount to be transferred should be rupees 2 lakh and the maximum limit is rupees 10 lakh. The different Banks offer various type of services according to their team and product and services. Accordingly they offer higher transfer rates for a variety of customers and corporates.
The IFSC codes are printed on the cheques issued by the bank's branches to their customers. For all transactions the parameters that are compulsory are the Branch's Name, the IFSC Code, its address in short and the amount. Indian Financial System Code is also used as the address code by one customer to another.
Find IFSC code
Magnetic Ink Character Recognition Code (MICR)
MICR stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition which is a technology used in the banking industry in printing these codes on the cheques issued to the customers.
A MICR code is a 9-digit code that uniquely identifies a bank and a branch participating in an Electronic Fund Transfer Transaction. The first 3 digit of the code represents the city code, the middle ones represent the bank code and last 3 represents the branch code. One can locate the MICR code at the bottom of a cheque leaf, next to the cheque number. It is also normally printed on the first page of a bank savings account passbook. It is usually used by banks to make easy the process and clearance of cheques and other documents
The technology allows to scan and read the information directly and feed into a data collection device. MICR characters could be easily read by humans as it is of the nature of numbers.
There are two major MICR fonts E-13b and CMC-7. It is a standard in major developed countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and many others. It is printed on a document in either of the MICR fonts. The MICR text is passed before a tape recorder. The ink which is used in printing is a magnetic ink or toner, usually contains iron oxide. It allows the characters to be read reliably even if they have been overprinted or obscured, such as cancellation stamps. The MICR technology is adopted by many countries. In the 1960s, the MICR fonts became a symbol of futurism.