India : Is it safe to give bank account number, branch code, IFSC and PAN if asked?


Few years back, we were cynical of using our Credit/Debit card online or any offline vendor shop or at shopping malls because we were scared that our hard-earned money will be taken away by some Hacker, Scammer or anything else. So, even if someone asked our Bank account number to transfer funds to our account most of think twice before giving away our bank account number, branch code, IFSC and PAN card number.
But with the advent of E-commerce sites like flipkart, snapdeal, freecharge, paytm and Mobikwik. We Indians have started to use our debit/credit card for online transactions. Mostly because it gives discount offer if we pay through our Credit or Debit card. If we have the choice of Cash On Delivery and there is no offer/discount/deals on the product most of us prefer to opt for COD.

Is it safe to give your bank account number to stranger.

Is it safe to give Bank Account Number, Branch code, IFSC and PAN number?

Let’s start with Bank Account Number. If you are employed. Your employer already have your Bank account number, IFSC code and PAN card number to transfer funds. It is common for employer to have their employee Banking information for obvious reason.

  1. Company wants to keep a track of all the payment they made to their employee.
  2. Companies don’t want to go through the hassle of paying through cheque or in hand cash.

No body can get withdraw money from your account if they just know your Bank account number. Even popular shopping sites like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and Ebay asks for Bank account number and IFSC code for refunding money to your bank account in case when return the product you ordered.

IFSC [Indian Financial System Code] – It is a unique code assigned by RBI to individual branch of bank for Electronic Funds Settlement.

  1. Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)
  2. National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) Systems

IFSC helps in verifying the banks branch you need for transfer fund to someone else bank account. Apart from that IFSC is common for every Bank account holder of Bank’s Branch. IFSC of Bank’s Branch can easily be found online. IFSC of every Bank’s Branch is public knowledge. It doesn’t matter whether your Bank account is in SBI, ICICI, IDBI, AXIS. IFSC of these Banks and every other bank is public information.

Branch Code – It is the last six characters of IFSC Code represent Branch code. Suppose your Bank IFSC is ICIC0003361. Then your Branch Code is 003361. Which is again a common knowledge to public.

So, it is safe if someone knows your Bank account’s IFSC and Branch Code because it is publicly available.

PAN [Permanent Account Number] Card is generally used for tax related things. PAN is used when you are making a deposit of Rs.50,000 or above. Also PAN Card photocopy is used when you are purchasing or doing transaction of more than Rs.50,000.

It is advised by bank authority not to share your PAN to anyone. If your PAN is known to wrong person. They may do transactions in which PAN is required. They may give your PAN which would mean that it is you who has conducted that transaction and not him which could cause problems with tax authorities.

So, it is advisable to not share your PAN to anyone unless it is required for genuine reason.

No harm is done when Bank details are given to organizations like LIC of India or your gas dealer. It is required to transfer money like proceeds of matured policies or gas subsidy into your bank account.

What are the things required for funds transfer?

Bank Name, Bank Account number and IFSC for doing money transfer within India.

Bank Name, Bank Account number, IFSC and BIC-SWIFT is required for international funds transfer. basically SWIFT is used for currency conversion. 

Bank Account number is only required when you are depositing money using Cash Deposit Machine [CDM] using Cardless option.

Few advise to be followed related Banking

  1. Do not give your Bank details over the phone if you have some suspicions over the person on the other end.
  2. Never give your ATM pin to anyone ever. ATM pin code is never asked by the bank officials for any kind of Bank verification or ATM verification.
  3. If you get calls from Banks asking for your ATM pin, passwords, secure code then it is a scam call. Disconnect the call.
  4. Never give OTP [One time password] code to anyone on phone or not because OTP is use to verify that you have authenticated the transaction.

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