IFSC, short for Indian Financial System Code, is simplifying modern banking from what was once a purely paper based system. From challans to net banking, from long queues at the teller's to fund transfers in mere minutes, banking today is an amalgamation of various helpful technologies and accountable yet simplified procedures that is far removed from the traditional systems of old. In this regard, the concept of IFSC Codes, at least in the context of Indian banking, is absolutely the simplest, yet most path breaking update in recent times. Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) is fundamentally important when it comes to online money transfers, ergo, it plays a key role in almost every India based financial transaction happening over the limitless expanse of the World Wide Web today.
In simple terms, IFSC, short for Indian Financial System Code, is an alphanumeric code that is used to identify the particular branch of a participating bank in either of the popular electronic funds settlement options in India, namely RTGS and NEFT. The standard IFSC Code is a 11 character entity, with the first four characters representing the bank's name, the fifth character is '0' (Zero) and is reserved for future use, with the final six numeric/alphabetic characters represent the specific branch of the bank. This code is crucial when monies are transferred online from one bank to another across the length of India, as it helps the proper identification of the bank branches involved and avoids costly and time consuming mistakes.
The full form of MICR is Magnetic Ink Character Recognition technology. The primary need for this innovation is to authenticate the originality and legality of paper based documents in the banking system and is majorly used on cheques. In terms of their real-world importance, MICR stands on par with IFSC where transfer of funds using NEFT or IMPS is concerned.
MICR code imbibes the cutting-edge character recognition technology that is used by banks to authenticate the clearance of cheques and other such documents. MICR code itself can be seen placed on the bottom strip of the cheque and includes such details as the bank code, account details, cheque number and amount, alongside a control indicator. The principal advantage of this system is that unlike similar concepts like barcodes, MICR can be easily distinguished and read by humans.
As has been noted before, wherever there is transfer of monies through the online media in India, the principle of bank IFSC codes is definitely part of the play. Some of the popular online money transfer systems that utilize IFSC codes at the operational level include NEFT, RTGS and IMPS.
The full form of NEFT is "National Electronic Fund Transfer" and quite as the name specifies, it concerns with the transfer of funds from one bank account onto another. This is a popular money transfer system in India that is equally popular amongst individuals as well as the corporate houses. Herein, IFSC codes must be suitably provided to ensure that money is accountably transferred from one bank account to another.
RTGS is acronym for Real Time Gross Settlement and as the name suggests, is a popular option for the speedy transfer of funds (also securities) from one bank to another, without subjecting the same to any waiting period. The operative words here are 'Real Time' (transactions happen instantaneously) and 'Gross' (refers to the fact that the monies aren't subject to any deductions and/or expenditures). Herein again, IFSC codes act in a similar way as in the case of NEFT- helping to correctly identify the participating bank branches.
The Superman of the online money transfers world, IMPS, short for Immediate Payment Service is a relatively new option in India (founded, November 2010). The USP of this service is that money can be transferred instantly, 24x7 and across all popular Indian banks, through the service available on the subscriber's mobile phone, ATM or through the internet. This system is reputed for being very safe, fast, economical and not restricted in terms of the maximum amount that can be transferred.
Unified Payment Interface (UPI) is basically a new payment architecture introduced by Reserve Bank of India under the leadership of former governor Raghuram Rajan along with support from tech scion Nandan Nilekani. In short, UPI is being referred to as a next-generation payment method which is expected to leverage the growing power of smart phone technology and the proportionate rise of smart phone users in the country. It enables making money transactions between any two bank accounts with the help of a smart phone. While the UPI payment method allows payments through online and offline, like net banking and card swipes, it is a lot more seamless and sophisticated at the same time.
To do that though, you need to meet a few requirements. They are -
- You need to be registered for your bank's net banking service.
- You need to register for third-party transactions. (Note that, in this context, third-party refers to a beneficiary from a different bank to that of yours.)
- You need to register the beneficiary's account to which you want to transfer funds.
Registering a Third Party Beneficiary -
Nearly every bank in India follows its own policy with regards to a third party money transfer. One thing worth noting here is that the process remains more or less the same except that they are phrased a bit differently.
Here's how to register the beneficiary's account -
- Name of the beneficiary.
- Account number.
- IFSC code of the beneficiary's bank.
- Bank branch.
Once you have submitted the details, your registration is complete. However, what you should know is different bank has different time periods after which you can make your first transfer. For instance, in HDFC Bank's case it takes 12 hours for the details to check out and get active.
Transferring money electronically with the help of IFSC code isn't as hard as it seems. In reality, it's quite simple once you have set it up. In this page, we will deal with transferring money through various modes with the help of IFSC Code.
Through an app -
Smartphone apps are literally everywhere these days. Want food, order it through an app and you will get your delivery within a few minutes. Want groceries, order them through an app and have them delivered within the same day. This way, our day-to-day life has integrated itself with apps and you can use one to transfer funds to a beneficiary.
Here's how you can do it in a few basic steps. To do this however, you need to have your net banking system activated for your account.
- Download the net banking application of your bank. It can be found in Google Play Store or any other app stores in other OS-based phones.
- Open the app, enter the credentials like your customer ID and password to gain access to your account.
- Now choose 'Transfer funds through NEFT'. In case, you haven't already added the beneficiary, you should register them for future transactions. To do this, you will need to type in the IFSC code, bank account number, and the bank branch. Once you are done submitting this form, it take anywhere between 5 minutes to 12 hours, depending on your bank's policy for the beneficiary account to be activated. After waiting for the stipulated hours, you can now instantly transfer money to a different account with a buffer of less than an hour.
Through SMS -
That thing you thought was obsolete can actually help you transfer money if you have the IFSC code. Here's how you can do so with an SMS.
To be able to do this though, you need to have registered your phone number for mobile banking by linking it to your bank account. If you are registering for the first time, you need to fill a form after which you will receive a starter's kit which will include an MMID (a unique 7 digit number) and mPin. This kit you receive is similar to the one you get with your debit card.
Sending the money through this is quite simple. First you need to compose an SMS and type in IMPS, followed by the beneficiary's account number, IFSC, and the amount you want to send. After confirming the transaction, you will receive a message wherein you have to type in your mPin. Press okay after entering the pin and you will have successfully transferred the money.
These are the two of the simplest ways through which you can electronically transfer money with the help of an IFSC code.