How Credit Card Validation Works – Explained
E-commerce is everywhere, and for good reason. The ability to enjoy all sorts of products and services without having to carry cash or even exit your premises has always been appealing.
Though since scammers are persistently monitoring transactions for weaknesses and advertising fake offers, tools like credit card (CC checker) play an important role in keeping your finances safe.
But how, you might be wondering, does this technology work? How are publicly-available resources legally capable of verifying bank card credentials that are supposed to be a secret? The answer lies in how the banking sector issues cards.
Like houses are identified by their addresses and books are given ISBN identifiers, your credit or debit card possesses a chain of numbers that is imprinted on its face in shiny, prominent characters. This would be the primary account number, or PAN associated with the card that you own.
This card number holds all the information related to when you had your bank account activated and/or your card newly instated. This includes your name, account, security details, expiration details, and information about the bank that provided you with the card.
The guidelines that are followed when a credit card number is assigned are designed to facilitate everyone that benefits from the issuance of bank cards to a customer. On that note, verifying it should be a breeze for everyone who benefits on either side.
Banks and banking institutions worldwide generate verifiable numbers that are based on their services and use proprietary algorithms to do so, like the Luhn algorithm. The idea is to make sure that you yourself should be able to verify your credit card information through the PAN without compromising your details.
What Does Your Bank Number Consist Of?
Credit card numbers are between 12 to 16 characters long, depending on your bank. Some vendors even have identifiers measuring up to 18 or 19 digits. The reason behind such an abundance of characteristics is that your PAN has to accommodate a great deal of information.
Overall, the PAN is divided into three parts:
- Bank Identification Number (BIN)
- Account Identifier
- Checksum Digit
Also known as the issuer identifier number (IIN), this is the section of your PAN that is specific to the bank or enterprise that gave you your card. Usually, the first six digits of your card number constitute the BIN details and are used in the validation process to identify the card issuer details.
Each bank has its specific set of prefixes that are included in the BIN. China Unionpay, for instance, uses 62, meaning that the PANs of all cards that it issues to start with these two digits. On the whole, your card’s BIN should be able to tell the bank’s name, the country where it was issued, the type of card, and other key details.
The first digit of every BIN, and therefore every PAN, is the “major industry identifier”, or MII, which indicates the nature of the company that issued it. Each of the ten single digits (0-9) that can be used as MII is attached to a particular sector.
- 0 is related to Technical Committee 68 on banking and financial assignments of the International Organization for Standardization, commonly known as ISO/TC 68.
- 1 and 2 are associated with airlines.
- 3-6 are linked to banking and are therefore the most commonly used among actual banks that issue bank cards. However, 3 and 6 are also attached to travel/recreation industries and merchandising, respectively.
- 7 is connected to the fossil fuel sector.
- 8 relates primarily to healthcare and telecommunications.
- 9 is geared towards the issuance of national standards.
Personal Account Identifier
This is the part of the account number that starts after the sixth digit and ends at the penultimate digit. As the name suggests, this will be specific to your card. For security reasons, this part of your account number is usually not shown on receipts after a transaction.
Since the longest PANs are up to 19 digits long, account numbers, which start from the seventh digit, are no longer than 12 characters.
This is the final number of your PAN. This number might be visible on receipts next to your account number and is used by the Luhn algorithm during card verification to ensure that there are no errors taking place.
The Luhn Algorithm
Also known as the MOD 10 algorithm, this public-domain system was designed as a quick way to generate and authenticate card numbers based on a series of basic checks that determines that the sequence of numbers is valid and checks out based on how certain calculations match with the checksum.
Credit card (CC) validation is a completely legal and foolproof method for determining credit card authenticity, based on standard industry practices that can be effectively replicated by CC checker tools.