What is IFSC Code & MICR Code: Bank Branch Codes Explained
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Online banking has become a norm for many of us in the digital age. With just a few clicks, we can transfer funds, pay bills, and manage our finances from the comfort of our homes. However, with the convenience of online banking comes the risk of fraud and errors. To mitigate these risks, banks use unique identification codes to verify transactions and ensure that our money is in the right place. Here's where IFSC and MICR codes come into play. These unique codes help identify bank branches and verify transactions, ensuring your money reaches its intended destination safely and efficiently. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at what is an IFSC code and what is a MICR code along with a few other vital details regarding these codes. So, let’s get started.

What is the IFSC Code?

IFSC Stands for  Indian Financial System Code, it is an 11-digit alphanumeric code assigned to each bank branch participating in the NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer) network. It is used to identify the source and destination banks during online fund transfers. The first four characters represent the bank's name, while the last six digits indicate the branch's address. For example, KKBK0000172 represents the Kotak Mahindra Bank’s branch at Connaught Place, New Delhi, MICR Code.

IFSC Code Meaning

Importance & Key Features of IFSC Code

Now that you know what is IFSC code of a bank is, it’s time to learn its importance and the components it consists of. Some of its key features which highlight its importance are as follows:

  1. Uniqueness and Accuracy : One of the primary benefits of the IFSC code is its uniqueness. Each bank branch has a distinct IFSC code, eliminating confusion and ensuring accurate transactions. When you enter the wrong IFSC code, the transaction may fail or be delayed, causing inconvenience and stress. Using the correct IFSC code can avoid these issues and ensure your funds reach their destination promptly.
  2. Electronic Payment Systems : IFSC code plays a vital role in electronic payment systems like National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), and Immediate Payment Service (IMPS). These systems rely on IFSC code to identify the source and destination bank branches, enabling smooth and efficient transactions. Without the IFSC code, these systems wouldn't function correctly, leading to delays and errors.
  3. Error Prevention : Another significant advantage of the IFSC code is error prevention. The unique format of the IFSC code minimises the chance of incorrect entries during transactions. This feature is especially useful when transferring large sums of money, where even a minor mistake could result in significant losses. Using the IFSC code, you can rest assured that your funds are safe and will reach their intended destination.

IFSC Code Format

Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) is an 11-digit alphanumeric code used to identify bank branches for electronic payments. It consists of three parts:

  1. Bank code (4 digits): Unique code assigned to each bank.
  2. Branch code (6 digits): Unique code assigned to each branch within a bank.
  3. Zero (1 digit): Separates the bank and branch codes

Example: KKBK0000123 The first 4 digits (KKBK) represent the bank code, while the last 6 (0000123) represent the branch code. The zero in the middle separates the two codes.

What is MICR Code?

MICR stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition, a technology that recognizes characters printed using magnetic ink. The MICR code consists of nine digits and is found at the bottom of bank cheque leaves. The first three digits represent the city, the next three denote the bank's code, and the final three indicate the branch's name code. For instance, 110485003 signifies the Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Connaught Place branch in New Delhi.

What is the Difference Between IFSC Code & MICR IFSC Code?

After getting an in-depth understanding of what the IFSC Code is and what the MICR Code is, it’s time to learn about the differences between the two. While both codes serve the purpose of identifying bank branches, there are some key differences between them.

Feature IFSC Code MICR Code
Alphanumeric (11 digits)
Numeric (9 digits)
Purpose Identifies bank
branches for electronic payments
paper-based transactions, like checks
Bank code (4 digits) + Branch
code (6 digits) + Zero (1 digit)
Bank code (4 digits) + Branch
code (5 digits)
11 digits
9 digits
Example KKBK0000123 123456789


As shown in the table above, the IFSC Code is an 11-digit alphanumeric code that identifies bank branches for electronic payments, while the MICR Code is a 9-digit numeric code that facilitates paper-based transactions, such as check processing. The composition and length of the two codes are also different.

It's important to note that the IFSC Code is mandatory for electronic payment systems like National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), and Immediate Payment Service (IMPS). On the other hand, the MICR Code is used for paper-based transactions like checks, demand drafts, and pay orders.

Knowing the difference between IFSC and MICR codes can help prevent confusion or errors when conducting financial transactions. For instance, using an incorrect code may result in delayed or failed transactions, which can cause inconvenience and financial losses. Therefore, it's essential to ensure that you use the correct code for your specific transaction needs.

How can you Locate the IFSC as well as the MICR Codes on Bank Cheques

Managing your Savings Account demands attention to detail, especially when identifying the correct IFSC and MICR codes. These codes are essential for electronic payments. Here's how to locate them on bank cheques:

  • Look for the IFSC code on the top left corner of the cheque leaf. It's an 11-digit alphanumeric code that starts with the bank's name and ends with a zero. For example, "KKBK0000123". This code helps identify the bank branch for electronic payments.
  • Find the MICR code below the cheque number on the bottom left side of the cheque leaf. It's a 9-digit numeric code that represents the bank branch's unique identity. For example, "123456789". This code helps facilitate paper-based transactions like checks.
  • Verify the IFSC and MICR codes by checking the chequebook or the bank's website for the branch name and address. This ensures that you have the correct codes for your savings account.
  • If you're still uncertain, contact your bank's customer service department for assistance. They can provide you with your account's appropriate IFSC and MICR codes.


By following these steps, you can quickly and accurately locate the IFSC and MICR codes on bank cheques, streamlining your financial transactions and ensuring your accounts remain secure and well-managed.

Locate the IFSC Code and Kotak Bank Branch Details

Different Types of Bank Branch Codes Details

There are several types of codes used to identify bank branches, each serving a specific purpose. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • IFSC Code: Although we’ve already discussed what is IFSC code of a bank is, a unique alphanumeric code assigned to every bank branch, consisting of 11 characters. It's used for electronic fund transfers and other online transactions.
  • MICR Code: A nine-digit numeric code printed on cheques and other documents. It helps identify the bank branch and facilitates cheques' magnetic reading and processing.
  • SWIFT Code: An international standard for identifying banks worldwide. It consists of eight or eleven characters and is used for cross-border transactions.
  • BSR Code: A seven-digit numeric code assigned by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to all commercial banks operating in India. It helps identify the bank branch for tax payment purposes.
  • BRN Code: A unique identifier assigned to every bank branch in India, consisting of six digits. It's used for various regulatory reporting requirements.


These codes ensure seamless financial transactions and help maintain accuracy and efficiency in banking operations.

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FAQ’s About IFSC Code

1.) Is the IFSC code the same as the branch code? No, the IFSC?

If you’re also someone who gets confused as to what is branch code and believes that it is the same as IFSC code. The answer is NO. The IFSC code is a unique alphanumeric code assigned to each bank branch, while the branch code is a numerical code assigned to a bank branch for identification purposes.

2.) What does the IFSC stand for?

The IFSC stands for the Indian Financial System Code, a unique identifier assigned to each bank branch in India.

3.) How to find the MICR Code?

To find the MICR code, you can look for it on your chequebook or leaflets provided by your bank. You can also check your bank's website or contact their customer service department to obtain the MICR code. Also, remember that knowing what is MICR Code of a bank is can help you be more informed and secure.

4.) What are the uses of the IFSC Code?

The IFSC code is primarily used for electronic fund transfers such as NEFT, RTGS, and IMPS. It is also required for opening a bank account, applying for loans, and making online payments.

5.) Can you get the IFSC code through the savings account number?

You can retrieve the IFSC code from your savings account number by visiting your bank's website or contacting their customer service department. You can get your IFSC code based on your account number. At Kotak Mahindra Bank, we ensure to provide you with round-the-clock customer support assistance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s clear up some common queries about cheques:

What does a cheque number mean?

Think of the cheque number as a unique ID for each leaf in your chequebook. It’s crucial for tracking transactions and keeping things orderly.

A mistake or overwriting on the cheque - will the bank be okay with it?

Honestly, banks aren’t too fond of errors. In most cases, they’ll ask you to write a new one. So, it’s better to be careful while writing a cheque – avoid cutting or overwriting.

What’s the downside of using cheques with savings accounts?

Cheques aren’t without their hiccups. There’s the wait due to the clearing cycle, the dreaded risk of them bouncing, and sometimes, the need for human intervention.

Order cheques vs bearer cheques- same thing?

Not quite. An order cheque is made out to a specific name. In contrast, anyone can cash a bearer cheque.

Can my bank just cancel my cheque?

They sure can. Your bank can halt the cheque if something seems off or they sense potential fraud. Many times, the cheque issuer may not have enough funds for cheque payment. This can also become a reason for cancellation.

Disclaimer: This Article is for information purposes only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (“Bank”) or its employees. The Bank makes no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Article. The information contained in this Article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the customers and it does not constitute legal advice from the Bank. The Bank, its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein. Tax laws are subject to amendment from time to time. The above information is for general understanding and reference. This is not legal advice or tax advice, and users are advised to consult their tax advisors before making any decision or taking any action.