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Account Number

What is an Account Number?

An account number is a special combination of numerical digits, letters, and maybe other symbols that are given to the account holder for making convenience in finding the information in the accounting records of a financial institution, identifying accounts, and providing access to it. The most typical kind of account number is a checking account number, which allows for different kinds of commercial activities by identifying the owner and granting access.

Account Number

An account number facilitates the management of transactions from and to a person's account. It instructs the financial institution which account should be used for a withdrawal or which account should receive a deposit. This is passed on to the payment processor and used to make direct requests to the proper owner to authorize the transaction.

The banks or the account holders don't have the same account number for different accounts. Instead, each account has a unique number, and also, banks have different codes assigned to their branches to easily distinguish between them. Account Numbers of Banks in India typically range from 11 to 16 digits. A routing number and an account number together serve to identify a certain financial institution as well as a specific person's account.

Custom Bank Account Number

One can select their account number in this latest development in Indian banking; this option is offered by some private sector banks, which allows customers to assign an important date or their mobile number as the account number for their savings accounts. With this feature, consumers can choose to make their birthday or any significant date their account number, and banks don't apply any additional fees for this service. The rules and requirements are identical to those for a standard savings account. However, very few banks allow this facility, and there is no guarantee that one will surely get the desired account number.

Account Number vs Routing Number

It takes two essential pieces of information-the account number and the routing number-to identify a consumer during a financial transaction related to a bank, and a special set of data is assigned when a new account is opened at a financial institution.

An account number is unique to the account holder and functions similarly to a customer's fingerprint or ID. Similarly, every financial institution can be identified by its routing number, which has special numerical codes. IBAN follows a framework of checking digits to ease sanity check, which focuses on identifying and removing occurrences of duplicate, omitted, or mistyped characters. It enables data validation at the point of data entry, where a designed program checks the account number, number of characters, format, and country code.

In order to identify the source and destinations during a financial transaction, the data is needed to be filled in by an individual. Therefore, prior to an online money transfer, the appropriate banking institutions individually provide an account number to the holder. A routing number (unique for each banking institution) and an account number (ranging from 11 to 16 digits) together help in identifying a specific account of a person. When an individual has two accounts in the same bank, the routing number will be similar, whereas the bank account number will vary.

Importance of Keeping the Account Number Secure

Presently, the account number is a widely used means of identification, and the majority of individuals do not hesitate to share it with others. However, in the modern world, an account number is vulnerable. The bank account number should always be kept secure even though it isn't a security or authentication number.

The below mentioned are some of the reasons regarding the importance of the account number:

  • In modern times, this is a typical occurrence where unethical hackers and identity thieves use a person's account number for identity theft and conduct other potential crimes. Although they can't take money from a specific customer's bank account without that person's authorization, they may get aware of the bank account. One small error on one's part will result in a bank account being hacked, which will cause a significant loss of money. This is the most important reason one should never give the bank account number to anyone.
  • Banks generally advise against disclosing or sharing one's bank account information unless he anticipates receiving a fund transfer. Ensure that the individual crediting the bank account is reliable, even if it involves a transfer of funds.
  • The holder must not send anyone account numbers or any other financial or personal information over the phone unless the holder has initiated the call to the authorized number and know the individual or organization.
  • Financial institutions will halt payments on the given check numbers if one immediately reports missing or stolen checks.
  • Keep all checks and financial documents safe, including cancelled checks and ATM/card receipts.

Mailing the bank account number and the debit and credit card numbers to someone is also risky. This is due to the fact that such emails can be seen by anyone who has access to that computer. Sending the bank account number to someone by email is not the sole risk of making it public; it also raises concerns of modification and misrepresentation.

People frequently overlook this element and only consider email security from the standpoint of privacy, disregarding the possibility of compromising email integrity.

In certain circumstances, the individual transferring money to one's account may transfer money into the incorrect bank account, resulting in losses for both parties. Additionally, when someone emails their account number to someone, they should contact the receiver and ask them to confirm the details received are correct so that they proceed with the transaction. They can also use other methods while sending mail, like encrypted mail or zip files and password-protected emails. The emails should be sent from a trustworthy and reliable email service provider like Google. Also, one should be selective about the application they use and should make sure that they are legitimate and safe, especially when they ask to provide their bank details since hackers/scammers may use malware or phishing attacks to steal the information.

How to find the bank account number?

Banks separate accounts by using various codes at the start of the account number. Each public sector bank in India has a unique pattern for assigning account numbers that they typically follow, which typically consist of 11 digits. On the other hand, private sector banks typically have a 12 or 14-digit account number. For convenience, account numbers are formatted differently by each bank so that the branch and the account type can be easily identifiable.

Here are some simple ways that can be used when a person wants to locate his/her bank account number:

Welcome Letter

The quickest and most direct way to find the bank account number is to check through the welcome kit. A welcome package/kit, which typically includes an account welcome letter, is given to customers by the majority of banks nowadays when they open a new bank account. This letter includes information on the customer ID, account number, bank IFSC code, and other things.

Cheque Book

The account number is also found in the chequebook that is included in the welcome kit/package. The account number is usually located on the home page alongside all of the account information. Additionally, the account number is written on each check page.


The majority of public sector banks still offer a physical passbook that lists all of the debits and credits made to and from the customer's account. All the bank account information, along with the account number, is listed on the passbook's summary page.

Monthly Statements

These statements are issued by banks and can come in either physical or electronic formats. The physical version is delivered to the address they have given to the bank, and the electronic version is sent to the email address. The account number is usually located at the top of the statement. Besides, the statement formats differ depending on the bank.

Net Banking and Mobile Banking Apps

Another easy way to check the account overview or details is to use the Net Banking platform. Using the institutions' official mobile apps or web portals, customers can check their account number and other account-related criteria in the most convenient way possible. The account number appears on the screen when the user logs into their account using the customer ID and password. For those who are on the go or remote, it is the quickest way to check account information.

Visit Branch

The most traditional way to get the account number is to visit the nearby bank branch. However, it is also advised to go to the home branch where the account was opened. One can ask the manager anything about his/her account information, including the account number.

These are some of the most common ways to find a bank account number. For more information or clarification, it is always recommended to visit the institution's registered branch.

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