If you are curious about business, technology or things in your daily life, you may like to know how credit card numbers work. These figures ensure ease of payment, while also helping to prevent payment and fraud errors.
The numbers of credit cards evolve and may seem different in the coming years.
How credit card accounts work Credit card numbers belong to the identity card standard of the international standardization organization (ISO).
Therefore, a simple formula determines the format.
The account number of the credit card, also known as the main account (PAN), consists of three main sections, which we will describe in detail below:
Information about the issuer
Your account information
ISO-compatible identifiers (including credit and debit cards) contain information about the issuer.
Industry No.: The first number on your card is an industry identifier that provides extensive information about the issuer.
Credit card industry number
1, 2 aviation industry
Travel & amp; Entertainment, including Grand Leica and American Express
Masters & MasterCard
Masters and Discovery
7-9 other industries and future tasks Issuer identification number: digits 6 through 8 on the back are the issuer identification number (IIN).
This number specifies to which financial institution the card is issued, which helps to route the payments.
Your account information
The remaining numbers-except the last number-refer to your specific account, which allows the publisher to link the payment to your personal account.
The checksum numbers The last number is “checksum”, which helps to ensure that the credit card number is valid. To apply the checksums, the payment processor uses a process called the LUHN algorithm. This series of steps provides a quick and easy way to determine if the payment numbers you provide follow an acceptable pattern. Finally, the algorithm looks for an output that can be divisible by 10, which indicates that the card number can be valid.
Checksum provides basic quality control, but does not provide robust protection against fraud. The algorithm is publicly available, so anyone can generate a card number that meets the requirements.
However, this is a useful step to quickly capture data entry errors and immature thieves.
Card number length Most credit cards have 14 to 19 digits, and you can expect to see longer numbers in the future. For example, the length of Visa and MasterCard is typically 16 bits, although there are shorter and longer numbers.
The American Express card has 15 digits, the Discover card has 16 digits. Why does the card number get longer? ISO recognizes that the card number can be executed unless the card issuer uses more characters.
Therefore, the IINs will be converted to at least 8 digits, and your personal account number will be at least 10 digits.
Your credit card account contains basic information about payment processing, but in many cases you also need a security code, also known as CVV. When placing an order online or by phone, you should normally provide a security code to complete your purchase. This code helps verify that you have a credit card and if you are using a stolen credit card number.
Your card number can be stolen by the data or stolen by the card thief, but obtaining a password is an additional obstacle for thieves.
Visa, MasterCard and Discovery cards show the three-digit code on the back of the card.
The front of the American Express cards shows a four-digit security code.
From the card number to the tokens The traditional card reader receives information from the credit card account directly through the magnetic stripe. Stealing a card number from a magnetic stripe is easy, and you expose your account each time it slips.
Some merchants in the United States are still using magnetic card readers, but the technological advances described below provide a safer way to pay. Token: New technologies no longer provide credit card information to the merchant payment terminal “publicly”, but instead replace the information on your credit card with a series of characters, which are called tokens to help prevent fraud.
Tokens can be much longer than a card number of up to 19 digits, which makes it possible to add information about the transaction and makes it harder for hackers to understand the stolen data. Mobile payment: when you pay with a mobile device, the device sends tagged payment information to a payment terminal with near field communication (NFC).
Before making a mobile payment, you must enter your card number in the payment application of the device, but the mobile device does not transfer the number of your card. EMV card: a credit card with a smart chip can also protect your credit card number. Instead of swiping and providing an unencrypted account, the chip on the card is connected to the chip reader. The chip contains a processor, with cartoon letters, to manage your payment security. This interactive process is difficult to replicate for thieves, and making chip cards is not feasible for most thieves.