What is the CIF number? [Explainer]

. 7 min read
What is the CIF number? [Explainer]

CIF stands for Customer Information File. CIF number is a unique identifier in the form of a combination of numbers assigned by the banks to each of its customers. The unique number is assigned for the maintenance of an electronic file for the customer in the banking system. People unaware of banking-related information are confused with what is CIF number and its importance. The CIF number is crucial as it holds account-related information for the customer. The CIF number is used by the banking system to pull up customer data and look for any account-related relevant information.

All details to know about CIF number.

What is CIF number? - Good to Know Information

The CIF Number maintains the customer banking details in the form of an electronic file in the secured banking system. It is easy to access details of a customer by a banking professional by feeding in the CIF number. Here are some of the crucial and good to know information about CIF Number.

How long is the CIF Number?

The CIF number is an 11-digit unique identification number assigned to an individual customer while opening the account.

CIF holds account Holder Data


DEMAT account

KYC Proof

Identity Proof

Deposit Information

Savings Account

Joint Accounts

Transaction Details


Accessible by

By customers and banking professionals

Is it transferable?

No, CIF number is a unique identifier and hence is non-transferrable.

Importance of CIF Number in Banking

By now, it is clear what is CIF number is, but it is much more important than simply holding the customer’s information through the electronic file. The banks assign the CIF to the customer to retrieve and access the customer’s banking-related information easily. The CIF number provides collective account information for the customer and is mostly used for financial and administrative purposes while handling the customer’s account. It eliminates confusion between account holders with the same names or email IDs through the unique 11-digit number.

Here are some of the benefits provided by the CIF number:

• The CIF number gives every customer a unique identity irrespective of similar names or emails or addresses. The banks maintain an electronic database of highly secured information and use the CIF for managing the electronic files.

• The CIF allows the banks to provide accurate information and services to the customers. The CIF connects all the bank services for a particular account number.

• The number is highly specific to each customer, which eliminates confusion, reduces prospective fraudulent activities, and reduces errors.

• The CIF number is the easiest way to pull up customer information, reactivate the dormant account, and add additional services under the same account.

• The CIF number pulls up all account-related information like financial transactions, account balance, existing loans, etc. The banks use the CIF number to check for eligibility for loans by accessing the financial history, verifying and sanctioning loans.

cif word written on wooden blocks

• The CIF number is a single umbrella that holds concrete information about a savings account, loans account, recurring deposit, fixed deposit, and all other additional financial instruments connected to the account.

• The CIF number simplifies the customer service and offers pre-approved loans and additional services or products to customers.

• The CIF number is a great asset for both internal official use by the bank and customers. It helps in registration for the internet as well as mobile banking, activating different services, transfer of bank accounts to new branches, etc.

For example – If a person has multiple accounts in the same bank, the CIF number for the customer will remain the same. This gives ease for the customer care executive and bank tellers to immediately pull all account-related information for an individual customer with the CIF number.

Where Do I Find the CIF Number?

Most people are aware of the account number but confused about what is CIF number and where to find it. As a customer, it is important to know your CIF number for easy access to information and pulling up account details. There are various online and offline ways to find the CIF number.

The offline modes to find the CIF number is:

  • Passbook – If you have the bank passbook handy, it is indeed the easiest way to look for the CIF number. The first page of the Passbook holds important details like name, accounting number, address, along with CIF number.
  • Chequebook – The CIF number is printed on the first page of the chequebook from most or almost all the banks.
  • Bank Branch – You can always visit the bank branch in person and know the CIF number from the bank officers.

The online modes to find the CIF number is:

The online banking option has helped in using various modes to know the CIF number without any difficulties.

  • Internet Banking - All the banks provide internet banking facilities. Log in to the internet banking service and find the CIF number in the account information section. It is available in the account summary. The instructions and interface for each of the banks might differ.
  • Toll-Free Numbers and SMS – All the banks have toll-free numbers for reaching customer service. Use the toll-free number for the bank, follow the voice instructions, and get the CIF number. However, this is a slightly lengthy process as it requires providing certain personal identifiers to confirm the customer’s identity. Similarly, send an SMS to the dedicated bank number as instructed by the bank and receive the CIF as SMS.
  • Bank Statements – The CIF number can even be found on the bank account statements.

How is the CIF number used as a banking marketing tool?

Did you know the banks use CIF numbers as marketing tools and pitch sales for the suitable service or product to the customer? Have you ever received an offer for a pre-approved loan or credit card? Now that we know what is CIF number, it makes sense that it is a great tool for marketing and upselling products. Commercial banks offer customers new products like pre-approved loans, credit cards, business loans, increased credit limits, etc., based on the account history that can be checked through the CIF number. It helps in creating customised offers for account holders and hence markets products and services.

cif word written on wooden blocks on the spiral register


Customer Information File (CIF) is an electronic file assigned with an 11-digit number and highly specific to each of the customers. The customer’s account details and information is stored in the electronic database with the CIF number. It has comprehensive information and links all the savings accounts, loan accounts, recurring deposits, fixed deposits, and DEMAT accounts, making it easy for internal banking purposes. The banking professionals find it easy to pull up all necessary information like account transactions, account summary, personal details, etc., with a CIF number. However, as a customer, it must be kept confidential as it is sensitive information. The banks use the CIF number to provide new services or offers tailored to the customer’s needs based on the account summary and history.

We hope our article turned out to be useful for you. For more such informative content, you can visit these linked articles as well:
What is Account Payable? What is Green Marketing? What is Direct Marketing?
What is E-payment System? What is Account Receivable? What is Business Expense?

Stay updated with new business ideas & business tips with OkCredit blogs in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi & more!
Download OkCredit now & get rid of your bookkeeping hassles.
OkCredit is 100% Made in India.


Q. Is the CIF number used for making online transactions?

Ans. No, it is simply an 11-digit unique number assigned to every customer for accessing all account data in one place. It cannot be used for making online transfers. Net banking or digital payments are suitable for making online transactions.

Q. Is the CIF number and CVV number on the ATM card the same?

Ans. No, both of them are different. The CVV number is a 3-digit number on the backside of the ATM. The CVV (credit verification value) is a unique number allotted to each ATM card, and it stores all the ATM and transactional information through the card.

Q. What is the purpose of the CIF number?

Ans. The CIF number is a specific number that is unique to each customer, and it holds information about all the bank accounts, loan accounts, DEMAT accounts, recurring deposits, etc. All the account and transaction-related information for a single customer in a particular bank are registered through the CIF number. This makes it easy for banking professionals to put up all relevant information from one number.

Q. Will the CIF number be different for two accounts for the same customer in a bank?

Ans. No, if a customer opens multiple accounts in the same bank, only one CIF will be assigned, and all the accounts will be added to it.

Q. Does the CIF number help in marketing and selling?

Ans. Yes, the CIF number gives an overview of the customer’s account and financial appetite. This helps in providing personalised products or services to the customer and hence helps in cross-selling and customised marketing.