Saturday, April 07, 2012

Decoding IFSC code

IFSC Code is Indian Financial System Code, which is an eleven character code assigned by RBI to identify every bank branches uniquely, that are participating in NEFT system in India. This code is used by electronic payment system applications such as RTGS, ,National Electronic Fund Transfer and CFMS.

The code is of 11 characters. The first part is the first 4 alphabet characters representing the Bank. Next character is 0(zero), this is reserved for future use. The branch code is the last six characters. To know what is IFSC Code deeply, go through the article fully. Otherwise, if you need IFSC Code of any branch, just follow the instructions below.
How to find IFSC code?
Normally, this 11 digit code will be printed on cheque book for NEFT enabled banks. Also, you can find bank IFSC code, bank details, branch address for all banks in India by following link. By using 4 steps you can easily find this code and branch location.
IFSC Code < Click Here or 

1. Select your Bank (eg : State Bank of India)
2. Select your State
3. Select your District
4. Select your Branch name – Now you can find IFSC Code, MICR Code, Address and Contact phone number of your bank branch.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
RBI is the central banking institution of India which controls Indian rupee and all banks. It controls inter bank money transfer in all over India banks through RTGS and NEFT. It was established in April 1, 1935 and nationalized in 1949. Reserve Bank of India is fully owned by government of India.

Functions of RBI

1. Authority in monetary

RBI monitors and implements the monetary policy which maintains price stability in productive sectors.

2. Maintain financial system

It manages country’s financial and banking system which provides cost-effective banking solutions to customers.

3. Foreign exchange management

Reserve Bank of India facilitates to maintain foreign exchange and trade FOREX (foreign exchange) market in India.

4. Currency issuer

Reserve Bank of India issues / exchanges / destroys currency notes and coins in India.

5. Role of development

RBI operates wide range of development functions to achieve national goals.

6. Other functions

RBI maintains all merchant banking account for state and central banks.

RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) brief explanation

RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) is a fund transfer system used to transfer money from one bank to another. This gross basis transfer is a real time transfer system. This system can performs for large value of transaction, minimum amount can be transferred is Rs.2,00,000. There is no maximum amount limit for this transaction.

Time taken for transferring funds

The time taken for receiving funds to beneficiary account in real time when the remitting bank transferred funds. The remitting customer can receive acknowledgment from RBI when the funds transferred.

RTGS process

Normally RBI allows to use four flow structure (V, Y, L, T) in fund transfer. In RTGS system, RBI decided to use Y shaped flow structure in this system. The following flows of instructions are used in this structure.
1. The remitting bank will be send payment instruction to central processer’s technical operator
2. The central processor acknowledge stripping of message and sending original message with set of instructions (what the amount to be transferred, what is IFSC code of branch, issuing and receiving banks identification etc.) to central bank
3. The central bank process debit of remitting bank’s account and credit to beneficiary bank’s account. After transaction completed then, sending confirmation to central processor
4. The central processor re-constructing of payment message with stripped information (beneficiary details) and sending message to receiving bank with proper details

RTGS processing/service charges

Inward transactionsFree, no charges
Outward transactions 
a] 2 lakhs to 5 lakhs
b] Above 5 lakhs
Not exceeding Rs.25
Not exceeding Rs.50

Benefits of RTGS

Real time fund transfer

All transactions are processed and settled in real time basis.

Credit risk eliminated

There is no credit and liquidity risks in RTGS payment system. The beneficiary bank customer can receive payment instantly when the central bank system accepted request.

Efficiency of economy

Without exposing settlement risk, the payments are ensuring quick and secure in financial market transactions and major business solution.

RTGS coverage

The RTGS payment system was launched on 26th, March 2004 by RBI with involving four banks only. Presently it covers 109 banks in 13750 branches and 508 clearing centers. More than 800 cities/towns are covered for customer transaction.

NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer) brief explanation

NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer) is an online national-wide fund transfer system supported by RBI. It is used by an individual, firm and corporate to transfer payment as electronically. NEFT is used for small and medium amount transfer between banks and accounts. No minimum amount limit for NEFT.

Time taken for transferring funds

NEFT process to transfer funds on hourly batches. In week days there are 11 settlements (starts at 9 A.M and ends at 7 P.M) and in Saturday there are 5 settlements (starts at 9 A.M ends at 1 P.M). Normally the payment will be send to the RBI within 3 hours when remitting account given request for transaction. The actual time to take transaction completed depends on beneficiary bank to process the funds.

NEFT process

In this payment system process payment transfer from remitting account to beneficiary account involved 5 levels of operations. They are,

Level 1:

If anyone (corporate, firm or individual) likes to transfer their funds from their remitting account to beneficiary account through NEFT payment system, they need to fill the form with beneficiary account details (beneficiary account holder name, account number, what is IFSC code of branch, maximum amount to transfer and account type). This application form can available from all banking branches. Customers can available facility to transfer their funds through online by using internet banking and mobile banking facilities. Some banks are offers to use NEFT transfer by using their ATMs. The remitting customer can authorize transfer specified amount to beneficiary account.

Level 2:

The remitting bank branch begains with payment transfer message and send it to NEFT service centre.

Level 3:

The service centre stripping message and forward to NEFT clearing centre (controlled by RBI) with details of next batch available to transfer payment.

Level 4:

The NEFT clearing centre ascending fund transfer requests as beneficiary bank-wise. Then creates payment entries to debit funds from remitting banks and credit payments to beneficiary banks. Also, NEFT service centre sends response messages to destination bank-wise.

Level 5:

The acceptance message receives destination banks from NEFT clearing centre and transfer credit to beneficiary account.

NEFT processing/service charges

From March 31, 2011 RBI refrain from insisting the processing/service charges to member banks. So, member banks who are participating in NEFT fund transfer no need to pay any charges to RBI. The following charges are rationalized under RBI.

Beneficiary bank’s inward transaction:

No need to pay any charges from beneficiaries for payment transfer to destination accounts.

Beneficiary bank’s outward transaction:

TransactionCharges (+service tax)
Below Rs.1 lakhRs.5
Rs.1 lakh and up to Rs.2 lakhsRs.15
Above 2lakhsRs.25

Payment transfer from India to Nepal:

TransactionCharges (+service tax)
Remitting banks from IndiaUpto Rs.5
SBI (if beneficiary account maintained with Nepal SBI Ltd. (NSBL)Upto Rs.20
SBI (if shares this same fund with NSBL)No charges
Beneficiary branch not maintained accoumt with NSBLRs.50 (transfer up to Rs.5000) 
Rs.75 (transfer above Rs.5000)

Benefits of NEFT:


The total process of NEFT is eco-friendly and drastically reduce paperwork.

Secure and efficient:

This system performs seamless transfer of funds from one bank to another. During the transaction there are no chances to occur mistakes and whole operation is said to be quick and highly secure.

Economic efficiency:

NEFT fund transfer service charge is much less instead of making transfer by using pay order or demand draft.

Risk free transfer:

There is no credit and liquidity risks in NEFT payment system. The fund transfer request is processed and settled in day’s time.


When compared to RTGS and NEFT, RTGS payment transfer system based on gross settlement and NEFT payment transfer system based on net settlement. Gross settlement is known as transaction held without bouncing other transaction on one-to-one basis.Net settlement is known as transaction completed in specific time of batches.
Basically RTGS fund transfer used for large amount of transaction, the minimum amount can be 2 lakhs. In NEFT system can allows to transfer small amount of funds, there is no minimum value.
Reading What is MICR Code, What is SWIFT Code and What is IBAN number… will make more understanding.

Decoding Bank Swift Code

The best place to find your swift code is the Swift Website. Once you go there you can use the search box to find the swift code for your specific Bank Branch if you have little idea about what the swift code for the bank in that particular country is. If you do not have any clue our swift code blog is here. 
If you do, just enter the bank code and suffixed country code, say IN for India and US for United States there in box and press Return. You will find the list of Branches that are linked to Swift international and have been assigned any swift code or BIC number to that branch of the bank. Sometimes it also shows the swift codes for the bank which are not active any more they are not shown in the same color as others.
If you do not have any clue about the swift code for your Bank, you can use the advanced search option here: advanced Swift Code Search

Second way to find the swift code is to search it using the simple search fields on this page of our swift code website: Swift Code search

Thirdly you can call your bank to provide the swift code for the branch you are looking for.

Swift Code vs IBAN

Since there were many queries about the difference between swift / bic and IBAN code. Here I am trying to explain the same. Hope this helps.

• SWIFT code is for identification of a bank or business while IBAN is International Bank Account Number.

• IBAN is used by customers to send money abroad while SWIFT is used by banks to exchange financial and non financial transactions.
At the same time, you need to fill this information yourself, while banks require it.
• IBAN allows for easier and faster money transfers worldwide.
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