CIF number

What is CIF Number? and Why is It Important?

December 30, 2023 • 1228 views

The CIF number is your unique financial fingerprint, functioning as your banking lifeline. This number connects all your accounts and safeguards your financial information. Understanding this critical link empowers you to manage your finances more effectively. This blog helps you understand what a CIF number is, what kind of information it stores, its importance, when to share it, and the difference between a CIF number and IFSC code. Read on! 

What is a CIF Number?

The full form of CIF is Customer Identification File (CIF). It is a secure repository, consolidating essential customer details across diverse bank accounts and services. This electronic, non-transferable file is uniquely assigned to each customer, encompassing KYC details, bank information (including loan and transaction specifics), and identity particulars such as birthday and age jointly linked to any bank account.
The use of the CIF number in banking transactions minimises confusion, fraud, and errors, ensuring efficient service delivery. Additionally, CIF may serve as a strategic tool, occasionally used for marketing purposes, offering insights into customer preferences and facilitating targeted product and scheme recommendations.

What is the Importance of CIF Number?

The CIF number is a crucial identifier for banks, offering quick access to comprehensive customer information. Its uniqueness aids in distinguishing account holders with similar names or email addresses. 
Some of the notable features of a CIF number include:

  • Fraud prevention 
  • Efficient banking services
  • Swift document retrieval
  • Personalised product offerings, 
  • Informed decision-making based on a customer’s ranking
  • Enhanced security measures through OTP authentication

What Information Does a CIF Number Contain?

The CIF number in a bank passbook encompasses key features that underscore its significance:

  • Information Retrieval

Banks utilise the Customer Identification File code for efficient retrieval of account holder information. This retrieval proves essential for transaction verification, loan application processing, and delivering personalised banking services.

  • Confidentiality

A crucial element, the Customer Identification File number plays a pivotal role in upholding the confidentiality of an account holder's information. It acts as a safeguard, permitting access only to authorised bank personnel.

  • Unique Identification

This number serves as a distinct code, containing vital details about the account holder, including identity documents and account specifics. This uniqueness ensures the precise identification of customers.

  • Location

CIF numbers are easily accessible across various platforms, including bank passbooks, online banking portals, and mobile applications. 

ALSO READ :- What is the Full Form of NBFC? Its Meaning, Types, Role & Scope

How to Find Your CIF Number?

Here are some of how you can find your CIF number:

  • Using Internet Banking: Utilise the bank's Internet banking services by logging into the portal. Navigate to the account information section or account summary to locate your Customer Identification File number.
  • Visiting Bank Branch: Visit your nearest bank branch and follow all the necessary procedures to access your Customer Identification File number.
  • Form Online Bank Statement: Generate an online bank statement through your net banking portal, which typically includes your CIF number.
  • Via SMS: Send a formatted SMS to your bank's customer service number to retrieve your Customer Information File (CIF) number. Ensure adherence to the bank's specified format for accurate results.
  • Calling the Toll-Free Number: Call the bank's toll-free number and follow the instructions to obtain your CIF number. Verify your identity by providing personal details like name, date of birth, PAN number, and email address.

Should You Share Your CIF Number in Banking Transactions?

No, you must not share your CIF number with unauthorized personnel. CIF number is vital in banking, holding essential details, facilitating tasks, and ensuring the security of financial information. It should only be shared when necessary for authorised banking activities.

Difference Between the CIF Number and the IFSC Code

The differences between the CIF number and the IFSC code are as follows:


CIF Number


Full form

Customer Information File

Indian Financial System Code

Assigned to

Each customer of a bank

Each bank branch in India

Composed of

Only numbers

Both numbers and alphabets


Easy identification of customers

Smooth financial transaction

To Conclude

The CIF number streamlines operations, enhances security, and improves the overall customer experience. Additionally, it contributes to the personalised banking experiences of customers. Keeping the Customer Identification File confidential ensures secure transactions and reinforces the customer's financial well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions About CIF Number

1.    What is a CIF number in banking?
A Customer Identification File (CIF) is a unique 11-digit electronic number that contains all the vital personal information of a bank's customers. It is a vital tool for banks to manage their customers' data efficiently and securely.
2.    Is the CIF number the same as the account number?
The account number is specific to each type of account (savings, fixed, PPF, loans), whereas the CIF Number, an 11-digit customer ID, allows the bank to retrieve comprehensive customer information.
3.    How do I change my CIF number?
To change your CIF number you need to visit the nearest branch of the bank.
4.    Is the CIF number required for online banking?
Yes, the CIF number is required for online banking and associated fund transfers. 
5.    Can I have multiple CIF numbers with one bank?
No, you cannot have multiple CIF numbers with one bank. One CIF number will contain all the information of all the accounts you have. 



We take utmost care to provide information based on internal data and reliable sources. However, this article and associated web pages provide generic information for reference purposes only. Readers must make an informed decision by reviewing the products offered and the terms and conditions. Loan disbursal is at the sole discretion of Poonawalla Fincorp.
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poonawalla fincorp team

Poonawalla Fincorp Team

Our team of expert writers and editors are passionate about providing authentic and valuable information on finance. Our aim is to simplify financial and finance-related concepts. We strive to help our readers become more aware and empowered to make informed financial decisions.

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