What is a Unique Transaction Reference (UTR) number?

Making a bank transaction or money transfer to or from India? Then you'll need a UTR number. Here's what it is, what it does, and how to find yours.

Xe Consumer

December 11, 20206 min read

Unique Transaction Reference (UTR) number

If you’ve ever made any inter-bank transactions in India, you’re probably familiar with UTR numbers. If you haven’t but plan on making transactions in the future, this number is a key ingredient that you’ll need if you want to make any kind of money transfer. So, what exactly is a UTR number and why is it important to your transactions?

Note: This is not to be confused with a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number or code in the UK. If you’re looking for information on those numbers, check out our guide here.

What is a UTR number in India?

In India, “UTR number” means Unique Transaction Reference number. This number is used to identify a specific bank transaction in India. All banks in India use UTR numbers for all types of money transfer. Every UTR number is unique and each is generated to identify each fund transfer. UTR numbers in India are generated by the banks that initiate the transfer. You can easily use the UTR number to track the status of your transactions.

How do I find a UTR number?

Where exactly can you find your UTR number for each transaction? All you have to do is look at your bank statement for your UTR number. The UTR number is listed as “Ref no.” just below each transaction details. UTR numbers in India often look like this: 

XXXXR7310682908954385XX

The few characters of each UTR number usually vary depending on the bank that generates them.

One of the quickest and most convenient methods of getting a specific transaction’s UTR number is from your account statement. You can easily download or just view this statement via your bank’s mobile app or internet banking. The UTR number is the 22 or 16 characters usually next to the transaction date.

What’s the importance of a UTR number in India?

The importance of a UTR number in India is to recognize and keep an eye on financial transactions. Banks can use UTR numbers to help you track your fund transfers if they are delayed, stuck, or if you intend to refer to any previous transaction for whatever reasons.

For instance, if you send some amount of money to someone and he or she claims the money wasn’t delivered or the amount was different, the bank that facilitates the transaction can use the UTR number to track it and to resolve the issue easily.

UTR numbers are generated in India when money is transferred between two banks. You can use two key methods to transfer funds between accounts held in various banks in India. The first is the National Electronic Fund Transfer normally known as NEFT. The other is the Real Time Gross Settlement known as the RTGS.

When you make NEFT or RTGS transactions in India, UTR numbers are generated. Though NEFT transactions aren’t processed instantly. Rather, they are processed in batches which means the fund transfer isn’t completed instantly. Currently in India, NEFT is done in half hourly batches from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and working Saturdays.  

In contrast, when you make a money transfer using RTGS in India, the fund transfer is processed instantly. As soon as you transfer funds via RTGS, the money is deposited to the recipient’s account within a period of two hours. As such, RTGS is the fastest process for transferring funds from one bank to another. Nonetheless, you can only use RTGS when the amount of money you’re transferring is less than Rs 2,00,000.

How to identify the UTR number of RTGS transactions

RTGS transactions UTR numbers are 22 characters long while NEFT transactions UTR numbers are 16 characters long. Each of the two types of bank transactions have a unique UTR number format. The UTR number format for RTGS transaction is: 

XXXXRCYYYYMMDD########

Here’s a simple breakdown of the UTR number of RTGS transactions:

  • XXXX - indicates IFSC (this is the first 4 characters) and is the bank code of the sender

  • R – indicates RTGS system

  • C – indicates the transaction channel

  • YYYYMMDD – indicates the date of the transaction in this order: year, month, and day

  • ######## - indicates the sequence number

How to find the UTR number of a NEFT transaction

As we mentioned earlier, you can find the UTR number of any transaction by checking the detailed account statement via the online banking section of your bank. So, how can you see the UTR number of a specific NEFT transaction? All you have to do is click on the transaction details or narration. You will see a detailed description of the said transaction.

You can easily identify every type of transaction by the format of their UTR number. As we mentioned earlier, the UTR number of NEFT transactions is 16 characters long. You can easily use the UTR number of a NEFT transaction to track the status of the transaction.

How to use a UTR number to track your transaction status in India

If your NEFT transfer is delayed, you may check the status of the transaction by using the UTR number. Or in the event that your account has been debited for a specific transaction but the recipient is yet to receive the fund, you can easily contact the bank’s customer support asking them to track the transaction via the UTR number.

Another option is to reach out to your assigned Relationship Manager asking them to track the status of the transaction using the UTR number.

Here are other methods of tracking the status of your transaction using the UTR number:

  • Visit your bank’s mobile app or internet banking account

  • Check the previous transfer section

  • Search for the specific transaction with the UTR number

  • The status of the transaction will be displayed

Remember: a UTR number in India is not the same as a UTR number in the UK

It is easy to assume that the UTR number in India is similar to the UTR number in the UK – that’s not true. The UTR number in the UK means Unique Taxpayer Reference number and it is absolutely different to the UTR number in Indian which means Unique Transaction Reference number. Both numbers are used for different reasons and they serve different purposes.

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