ISIN Number : What it is? and How to Find it?

The code for Infosys in BSE is 500209 and the symbol in NSE is INFY.NS.  This leads to confusion lot of time and even worst in case of lesser known companies with similar names. Isn’t it nice to have a single code to identify shares and even country of the company?. “International securities identification number” is full form of ISIN Number which is an Unique code using which one can easily Identify any security of any (member) country. When we say “security” it includes shares, Bonds, Mutual funds and debentures. India is a member of International Standards Organisation (ISO) which is an independent body responsible for developing standards in various fields like technology, food safety and health culture to name a few. ISO has come up with a standard to Identify each security of its member countries, lets understand format of ISIN number in this article. 

what is ISIN Number

Understanding the ISIN Number Format:

ISIN Code is made up of 12 alphanumeric numbers.  These 12 digits can again be broken down to 3 sections.

  1. Prefix Numbers
  2. Basic digits
  3. Suffix Number (Check Digit)

The prefix is two letter alphabets which identifies the country of the security. The Basic digits consist of 9 alphanumeric numbers, we will see details of these numbers shortly. The Check digit is last digit in the ISIN number and it is used to validate the ISIN number.

Prefix Numbers:

The Country code for India is IN and hence you find all the securities in you demat account starts with number IN. You can find the country code for all the countries from ISIN Country Code Lookup

Basic Digits:

Basic digits consist of 9 alphanumeric numbers which gives more information about the company and type of the security. It will be clear when we understand it with help of an example.

Lets take example of Infosys to understand ISIN Structure


  • As we already discussed, first two letter IN is country code for India
  • The third letter E is used to identify the issuer Type. Below table list down the code for Issuer type
Sl No Issuer TypeCode
1Central GovernamentA
2State GovernamentB
3Municipal CorporationC
4Union Territories D
5Company, Statuary Corporation , Banking CompanyE
6Mutual FundsF
7Partly paidup SharesG
  • Next four letter, that is 009A is used to identify the company, that is Infosys. Each company is assigned with unique number. It starts from 0001A and goes upto 999F
  • Next two digits, that is 01 in the example are used to identify the type of the security in question like shares, mutual fund or debentures etc. The below table gives the details of the code used to identify the security type
Sl NoSecurity TypeCode
1Equity Shares1
2Postal Savings Scheme2
3Preference Shares3
5Deep Discount Bonds5
6Floating Rate Boands6
7Commercial Papers7
8Step Discount Bonds8
9Regular Return Bonds9
10Certificate of Deposits10
11Securitised Instruments11
  • The next two digits, that is 02 in the example are serially issued for the each security of the issuer entering the system

Also Read :  10 Top and Popular Stock Brokers in India


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Check Digit:

This section is going to be little mathematical, skip yo next section if you are not interested.

OK, Since ISIN is used for the financial instruments, it is very essential to ensure the correctness of the number itself. Since it is a 12 digit number, there are chances of mistakes in day to day life. However, ISO has introduced the check digit, using which one can identify the correctness of the ISIN number.

The check digit helps in identifying the errors in previous 11 bits. It is calculated using the method called “Modulus 10 Double Add Double”.

Lets calculate the check digit for the Infosys example we have used.

  • Convert letters to numbers by adding 9. For example A=10, B=12,C=13……Z=35                                                            INE009A01021 =>  1823140091001020
  • Separate the digits at Even and Odd Place => Even (1,2,1,0,9,0,1,2), Odd(8,3,4,0,1,0,0,0)
  • Multiply the first group by 2 => (2,4,2,0,18,0,2,4)
  • Now add up all the individual digits of both groups  => (2+4+2+0+(1+8)+0+2+4+8+3+4+0+1+0+0+0) = 39
  • Take the 10 modulo of the sum (i.e find the reminder after dividing from 10) => 30 mod 10 = 9
  • Subtract the result from 10 => 10-9 =1

Since the result matches with the check digit of the ISIN number, we will be sure that the other 11 digits (which are most important fields) are correct.

Who issues the ISIN numbers in India?

In India, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is authorized to issue the ISIN number to the securities. For Government securities or G-Sec RBI is the authorized to issue ISIN

How to find out the ISIN Number?

If you are searching for the ISIN number of a particular security, you can search it using ISIN lookup . Just enter few letter of the company you are searching and you are good to go. Conversely, if you know the ISIN number, you can find out the details of the company.

Where will you use ISIN Number?

As a normal investor/trader, we may not heed much attention to this number as everything happens without our direct involvement. But there are few scenarios, one may have to quote the ISIN number for the transactions such as

Ok, that’s about meaning of ISIN numbers, its format and uses. If you liked the article, consider sharing it through the social buttons below and do let us know your feedback through comments.

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