CIF Number: Meaning, Purpose, Ways to Obtain CIF Number

CIF or the Customer Identification File Number stores all relevant information about you, as a customer. It helps the business or the bank in multiple ways. Know what the number is and why it is important, Read here. 

CIF Number

If you have a bank account, you may have come across a CIF number. The CIF in CIF number stands for Customer Information File, and it contains all the information of the bank account holder, relevant to the bank. The file contains the personal and account information of the customer. The CIF number allows the banks to filter out the customer accounts and view them not just by the type of the account, but also through various relationships. Some typical information other than personal information in a CIF file could be the credit history of the customer, ownership information, accounts owned, etc. 

Note that the CIF number is not just limited to banks. Every business might have a CIF number that uniquely identifies its customers and uses the information stored in it to curate and provide products and services. 

What is CIF Number?

The CIF(Customer Identification File Number) is an 11 digits number that can be used by bands to get information about their customers specifically about KYC, Demat, and Loans. The CIF also includes address proofs and identify proofs. The number cannot be transferred to any other person.

What is the Purpose of the CIF Number?

The purpose of CIF is to reduce the chances of fraud, mistakes and to provide better customer service from the perspective of the bank or business. In the case of the bank, both the bank or the account holder can use the CIF number to obtain personal and financial information. The CIF number helps banks to keep a track record of their customers in one place. This helps them avoid confusion and reduces the chances of fraud that may occur while providing loans. The number contains important information related to the transactions, account balances, stats. The CIF also helps the bank offer various services and products to its customers while aiding them in administrative purposes. 

Always keep your CIF number a secret. 

The CIF Number as a Marketing Tool 

In some cases, the CIF number acts as a source of knowing the online habits and interests of the customer, from which various products and services can be suggested. For example, a CIF of an online retailer might include information such as previously viewed products and services, web services, and other purchases. This search and browsing pattern can help companies determine items that interest the customer, with the intention of generating new sales. 

The CIF number can also be used as a future marketing tool. These include and not limited to sending notices and reminders to a customer for their vehicle maintenance services or home maintenance services. By identifying when the customer had used a service previously, the company might predict when they might use it again in the future. 

What is the Various Personal Information Recorded in the CIF Number?

The absolute information that can be trailed using the CIF number depends on the region and country the business is in. Typically, it will have your personal information including name in full, phone number, address, and Email ID. In some cases, the CIF number may also have your birth date and your health insurance number (For example, Social Security in the USA). Apart from this, your gender and race may also be included in the CIF file.

Data Security and CIF Number 

The business or entity that retains and stores customer’s information needs to disclose how it is done and for what purpose it will be used. There are certain minimum steps that a business has to take to ensure that the CIF details are protected from fraud and usage by unauthorized parties. The specific regulations of this data protection depend from one country to another. In the USA, the Federal Trade Commission regulates how this data is to be kept secure, and they also provide assistance to businesses to ensure this data is kept safe. 

How to Get CIF Number?

Obtaining the number is easy and you can do that in multiple ways both online and offline. 

Get CIF Number Through Internet Banking 

The exact steps may vary depending on the bank. 

  • Firstly, log in to your net banking portal. 
  • Then click on the option that generates an e-statement. You can choose any period for the statement
  • The summary of the account page will also display your CIF number. 

Get CIF Number Through Mobile App

Depending on the bank you have an account in, you can find the CIF number in the account’s summary section of most banks’ official apps. 

Get CIF Number Through Chequebook

Typically, you will find the CIF number also printed on the first page of your cheque book. 

If none of these online methods are working for you, you can:

Get CIF Number Contact Customer Care

Call or Email your bank’s official customer service and ask them for your CIF number. 

Get CIF Number By Contact the Manager / Correspondent in the Bank

Alternatively, you can also approach the person who has been dealing with your account in the bank and ask them for your CIF number.

Final Thoughts

So, these are the basics related to the CIF number. If in the case of a bank, ensure to keep this CIF number a secret. If you have concerns on what information the business might be accessing of yours, you may approach them directly and get the required details. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the format of a CIF Number?

It depends from bank to bank, from business to business. 

Is CIF legal?

Yes, it is, if the business follows appropriate legal and data security measures. 

If I have two accounts in a bank, will I have two CIF numbers?

No, the CIF number for one bank or establishment remains the same. 

How is the CIF number secured?

All customer information in digital form has to follow the minimum data protection techniques set by the local government. 

What is the benefit to me from the CIF number?

It helps the bank or the business to quickly identify you when you have to do any business with them. Apart from this, you get more customized products and services based on your interests online.