How many numbers/ digits does a Mastercard, Visa & Amex credit card have?
The debit and credit cards are usually equipped with 16 numbers or digits displayed on the front of the card. However, the card could have up to 19 digits or even as low as 13. As with a secret code card, numbers can represent different personal and business financial data associated with the card’s owner and the card’s issuer. The cards issued by Visa Master and Visa cards come with 16 digits numbers. If the card begins with 4, then it is Visa, and if 5 is the case, then it’s issued the card is issued by Mastercard.
The 2nd through 6th numbers are the bank’s issuer numbers, and the 7th-15th numbers represent the individual’s account number. The 16th number is referred to in the industry as the “check digit,” which helps determine if the total number is valid.
Then, there’s the three-digit CVV code located on the bottom of the credit card. The CVV code is used to verify online transactions. It is vital to ensure that card numbers cannot be given to anyone. If someone asks for your card’s number along with the date of issue and expiry as well as CVV codes, the alarm should sound. Never, ever give your CVV details to anyone.
Why does American Express have a 4-digit CVV instead of three digits in Visa or Mastercard?
It isn’t straightforward to understand Luhn Algorithm used by Visa and Mastercard. However, the same is not operated by Amex. All CVVs with 4 digits make it challenging for fraudsters to guess compared to 3 digit CVV. AMEX has taken this step to ensure that card transaction are safe and secure. American Express always has CVV 4 digits printed on the front and the 3 digits printed on the reverse. Since Mastercard and Visa both have 16 digits on their card numbers, AMEX has 15 Digits. They are known for their uniqueness from other businesses. Therefore, they create their security code differently from Mastercard or Visa card.
Remember, the three numbers on the reverse of your Amex card are not CVV, It’s CID (card identification information). Amex CVV is visible directly on the card’s face over the card number. Amex system can manage CVV with 4 digits for transactions that are not card-not-present instead of 3 digits of CID.
Why do Amex cards only have 15 digits, not 16 like Visa/ MasterCard?
American Express cards have a distinct PAN format compared to Visa, MasterCard, and Discover since they provide different financial services. American Express cards are “travel and entertainment” cards.
The numbers on the front of most credit cards are referred to by Primary Account Number or PAN. Nearly all credit card companies issue PANs (including debit cards, but not merchant cards) under the ANSI Standard X4.13-1983. The American Natural Standards Institute protocol for numbering is an industry-wide standard. It aids in improving the efficiency of digital POS systems, financial systems banks, banking databases, and other similar systems designs.
The anatomy of ANSI-PANs is straightforward and will provide what you need to know about your query. The first digit indicates the kind of card. A 3 is one of the “travel and entertainment” cards. The 4 is a Visa card, while 5 is one of the MasterCard cards, and 6 is a Discover card. T&E cards are credit cards that were initially designed for businesses to pay for operating expenses for employees. It includes hotels, car rental flights, meal tickets, etc. The most important thing about T&E cards is that they run charged on a 30-day cycle, and the full payment is due after every cycle. Diners Club (later bought by Discover) issued the first T&E in 1950, and American Express followed shortly after in late 1957.
All American Express cards are technically they are T&E cards. They have become a huge segment, and thus particular that they each come with their unique second digit, which is 7. Each of the American Express cards begins with “37,” followed by a currency indicator (digits 4, 3) and Account numbers (digits 5-11) and card number in your account (digits 12-14), and the check number (digit 15).
The variation in length comes because Visa, MC, and Discover PANs must reference a bank number. In contrast, American Expresses lists account numbers. Bank numbers are in a particular format similar to PAN format, and they have their guidelines and standards. Since American Express issues T&E accounts/offers T&E financial services, they don’t need to adhere to the format for bank numbers, which Visa /MC /Discover follow.
Over time the distinction between financial services like T&E service and Visa /MC /Discover credit is becoming less noticeable. It is largely unknown to the general public. However, they’re still technically distinct and deserve the distinction of a different ANSI classification.
What is the process behind the credit or debit card numbering function?
The bank card, a credit or debit card, is composed of various numbers strung together. Typically, a bank card number is 16 digits in length. The typical format of a bank card number is governed by the ISO/IEC 7812 international standard published through the International Organization of Standards.
Let’s start working on the code. The first digit on the card’s number will be the Major Industry Identifier (MII). For all bank or financial-related cards, 4, 5, or 6. Therefore, the code on your credit card will begin by using one of those numbers. Others numbers go to different sectors.
The remaining five digits and the initial one form an Issuer Identification Number (IIN). They are used to are the identifiers for the bank or organization that issue the card. Different banks have different variations of IIN. For example, MasterCard numbers all begin with the numbers 51,52,53 and 54,55.
The remaining nine digits suffice to identify the account of the institution or bank.
The final digit is typically the checksum. Checksums are digits that result from doing some calculations with the other numbers in the code. It’s helpful to verify the validity of the algorithm. It works this method: you employ an algorithm to calculate the remaining digits to produce a value, then add it to the 16th number. That number can be examined to find various mistakes in the code that could happen when transmitting.
The most well-known method to calculate the checksum digit of a bank’s number can be found using the Luhn Algorithm. It is defined in Annexure B of standard 7812, and it can detect the majority of single-digit code errors.
That is what you get when you have 16 digits.
In addition to this, another code on credit/debit cards is the Card Verification Value or the Card Security Code. This code validates transactions where the card/cardholder is not physically present. It verifies that the card is indeed in the holder’s hand, and it substitutes the PIN.
Today, nearly all cards come with the CVV written in small letters on the back of the card. The CVV is a combination of personal details such as the PAN number of the holder and the service code and expiration date for the card. It is done using an encryption algorithm. Such as those used in the Data Encryption Standard (for Visa cards) and encryption keys available to the issuer and then encode the result as a three-digit number.
How do banks create credit card/ debit card numbers?
The initial fifteen digits of a credit card of a 16-digit number are calculated by the bank issuing the card. And the last number, also known as the check digit, is determined mathematically using all other numbers. The exact mathematical formula to generate it was devised by Hans Peter Luhn, an engineer at IBM, in the year 1954. The algorithm was initially patented but is now available in the public domain and a Worldwide international standard ISO/IEC 7812-1.
The Luhn Algorithm or modulo-10 Algorithm
Luhn’s algorithm depends on the concept of modulo arithmetic along with digital roots.
- Begin from the rightmost digit (check digit)
- Multiply each second digit is 2 (digit at even positions)
- If the answer at step 2 contains greater than one digit, add the results (12: 1+2 = 3)
- The resulting numbers add up to the odd positions of the digits
Credit cards are issued with an embossed or printed number in line with the ISO/IEC 7812 numbering standard. The card number prefix, known as”the Bank Identification Number (known in the business as BIN). It refers to the series of numbers at the start of the number that determines the institution to which a credit card’s number belongs. It is the first six digits that are used for MasterCard as well as Visa cards. The remaining nine digits represent the particular account number, and the last one is a valid check code.
Credit cards are equipped with magnetic strips that comply with ISO/IEC 7813. ISO/IEC 7813 defines the properties of carrying out financial transactions through ATM cards and credit cards. Most modern credit cards include chips embedded to provide security.
The credit card you use may not have the same number of extra codes and do not use the same amount of digits.
Numbers on card cards were initially embossed to facilitate the transfer of the card number onto charge slips. Since the demise of paper slips, certain credit cards aren’t embossed, and in actuality, the card numbers are no more displayed on the front of the card.
|2-6||Bank Number||Bank Number|
|3-4||Currency & Type|
|1-6||Issuer Identifier Numbers|
|First digit: It is network that produced the credit card kwown as Major Industry Identifier (MII). Every digit represents a different industry.|
|0||ISO/TC 68 & other industry assignments|
|2||Airlines, financial and other future industry assignments|
|3||Travel and entertainment|
|4||Banking & financial|
|5||Banking & financial|
|6||Merchandising & banking/financial|
|7||Petroleum & other future industry assignments|
|8||Healthcare, telecommunications & other future industry assignments|
|9||For assignment by national standards bodies|
|Cards||The first digit is always different for each card network:|
|Visa||Begin with a 4 and have 13 or 16 digits|
|Mastercard||Begin with a 5 and has 16 digits|
|American Express||Begin with a 3, followed by a 4 or a 7 has 15 digits|
|Discover cards||Begin with a 6 and have 16 digits|
|Carte Blanche/ Diner cards||Begin with a 3, followed by a 0, 6, or 8 and have 14 digits|
|2 – 6||Provide an identifier for a particular institution|
|7 – 15||Unique Personal Identifiers, Identify the cardholder name, Unique to the issuer|
|Last digit||It verifies card numbers for accuracy to ensure that they are not input incorrectly|