CUSIP Number

Identifying and tracking specific securities efficiently is crucial when navigating the financial markets. This is where the CUSIP number comes into play. Understanding what a CUSIP number is, its structure and its significance in financial operations can greatly enhance your knowledge of market mechanisms.

This guide aims to discover the essential aspects of CUSIP numbers, providing investors and finance professionals with a clear understanding of how these codes facilitate transactions and maintain accurate records in the financial industry.

What is the CUSIP Number?

A CUSIP number, an acronym for Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures, is a unique identifier assigned to various financial instruments, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. This alphanumeric code consists of nine characters and is a universal identifier for securities traded on the stock market.

CUSIP numbers are crucial for accurately tracking and identifying securities during trading, settlement, and custody processes. They provide essential information about the issuer, type of security, and other pertinent details.

Understanding the CUSIP number system is particularly important for investors and traders who frequently trade in the stock market. It helps ensure accurate and efficient record-keeping and enables them to make informed investment decisions.

Furthermore, individuals looking to participate in the stock market can open a demat account, which holds their securities electronically, making trading and monitoring their investments easier.

How Do CUSIP Numbers Work?

Understand how CUSIP numbers work and recognise their role in the stock market. These unique identifiers are crucial in facilitating the smooth functioning of securities trading and settlement processes. CUSIP numbers provide a standardised method for identifying and tracking securities, ensuring accuracy and efficiency in record-keeping.

By assigning a specific code to each security, the CUSIP system enables investors and traders to easily access important information about the issuer, type of security, and other relevant details. This information helps individuals make informed investment decisions and contributes to the transparency and integrity of the stock market.

Examples of CUSIP Numbers

CUSIP numbers are assigned to various securities traded in the stock market, including equities, bonds, and mutual funds. For example, suppose an investor wants to invest in a specific company’s stock. In that case, they can use the CUSIP number to identify and track that security.

Similarly, when investing in bonds or mutual funds, CUSIP numbers provide a standardised way to identify and differentiate between different issuers and offerings. This system ensures that investors have accurate and reliable information about the securities they invest in and allows for seamless trading and settlement processes.

Investors in the Indian stock market can easily access CUSIP numbers through their brokers or by opening a demat account, which allows them to hold their securities electronically and simplifies the trading process.

Benefits of CUSIP Number

  • Unique Identifier: CUSIP numbers provide a unique identifier for each security, enabling precise and efficient tracking of investments and helping investors avoid confusion and ensure informed portfolio decisions.

  • Streamlined Trading and Settlement: Facilitates quick and accurate identification of securities during transactions, reducing errors and delays, thus enhancing market efficiency.

  • Regulatory Compliance and Reporting: CUSIP numbers offer a standardised system for identifying and categorising securities, simplifying the reporting process, ensuring transparency, and aiding in regulatory compliance.

  • Efficiency in Trading: The use of CUSIP numbers aids in efficient trading, accurate tracking, and compliance, which are essential for successful market operations.

  • Accessibility through Demat Account: Investors can access CUSIP numbers by opening a demat account, which further integrates them into the broader financial trading and management system.

Finding CUSIP Numbers

  • Official CUSIP Database: Investors can consult the official CUSIP database managed by the American Bankers Association (ABA) to find specific securities using the issuer name, ticker symbol, or other criteria.

  • Financial Institutions and Online Platforms: Brokerage firms and online trading platforms often provide access to CUSIP numbers for the securities they handle.

  • Broker or Financial Advisor Assistance: Investors may also consult their brokers or financial advisors to obtain CUSIP numbers easily.

  • International Considerations: While CUSIP numbers are prevalent in countries like the U.S., other countries might use different systems for security identification, necessitating familiarity with local protocols when investing internationally.

  • Empowering Informed Investment Decisions: Understanding and accessing CUSIP numbers enables investors to navigate the stock market more efficiently and make well-informed investment choices.

Difference Between ISIN and CUSIP

Purpose A global standard for identifying securities. Primarily used in the United States and Canada to identify securities.
Format 12 characters long, alphanumeric. 9 characters long, alphanumeric.
Composition Begins with a 2-letter country code, followed by a 9-character national security identifier and a single check digit. Starts with a 6-character issuer code, followed by a 2-character issue number and a single check digit.
Geographic Usage Used worldwide for cross-border transactions and by exchanges outside the U.S. Used in the United States and Canada for domestic securities.
Issuing Body Issued by National Numbering Agencies (NNAs) based on the country. Issued by the CUSIP Global Services, which is operated by Standard & Poor’s.
Scope of Use Encompasses a broad range of securities including stocks, bonds, options, and derivatives. Typically includes bonds, stocks, and other financial instruments traded within the U.S. and Canada.
Integration in Financial Markets Widely accepted and used in global financial markets for transaction and settlement processes. Primarily recognized and utilized within North American financial markets.
Adaptability Due to its international recognition, ISIN is adaptable to global financial markets and can accommodate various types of securities. Mainly adapted for use within specific financial systems (U.S. and Canada) and may not be as widely adaptable internationally.


Understanding the CUSIP number is essential for investors and financial professionals. It is a unique identifier for securities, making tracking and trading in the market easier.

Additionally Read: Meaning of Demat Account

Additionally, it provides important information about a security issuer and its characteristics. So next time you come across this 9-digit code, you’ll know exactly what it means and how it impacts your investments.

Open a Demat & Trading Account

Know More about Share Market