Difference between IFSC Code and Branch Code
Key Difference: In context to Indian banking, both refer to unique codes. IFSC stands for Indian Financial System Code. IFSC code is made up of eleven characters and is used to identify the bank and the branch of bank. A branch code is a number that serves as an identifying code for the bank branch. It is a number that is included in IFSC code.
IFSC is a unique code and the code is of immense importance in carrying out the transactions in the banking sector. It is printed in the check books or can be easily found online by searching the code of the bank branch. One may get confuse with the term NEFT code, but the IFSC code is just as same as NEFT code. IFSC code can also be referred as NEFT code as it is used in the NEFT transactions to uniquely identify the branch of the bank.
IFSC stands for Indian Financial System Code. It consists of eleven characters and this code has been assigned by Reserve Bank of India for the identification of the bank branches. It uniquely identifies any bank branch in India. This code is of immense importance for carrying out the electronic payments in the country.
The components of this alpha numeric code are:-
1. First four characters denote the code of Bank.
2. The fifth character is a ‘0’ and this used as a control character
3. Remaining six characters define the specific branch of the bank. (Same as branch code)
The payment methods like RTGS, CFMS and NEFT in India uses this code. All the banks have been advised by Reserve Bank of India to print the IFSC code on the checks issued by the banks to their customers. It is used for the electronic payment applications like NEFT and RTGS, thus it is also known as the NEFT or IFSC code. Therefore, both are same and can be referred interchangeably.
A bank branch code is also a number that identifies the code for the branch. One can also easily determine the branch code from the IFSC code. As already mentioned that in IFSC code, last six characters define the specific branch of the bank, thus one can identify the branch code by segregating the last six digits from the IFSC code. Branch codes are used throughout the world and Branch code lengths can vary depending on the country.
Thus, we can say that a branch code is used in IFSC code. IFSC code has been mainly developed to facilitate the process of electronic money transfer between banks in India. The branch code represents the identity of the location of the bank branch. IFSC code gives additional information of bank, whereas bank branch only deals with identification of the particular branch.
Image Courtesy: fingyan.com, pao2000.nic.in