Where to get credit card number
What is a bankcard number?
A credit card number is the inimitable number imprinted on a bankcard. Card numbers are distributed in accordance with international standard ISO/IEC 7812. All payment card numbers have common numbering systems. Credit or debit card number is usually 16 digits in length. Sometimes it can be up to 19 figures.
The most important part of the card number is the prefix which is representative of the payment system that has issued this card. The first 6 digits on a card mean the issuer identification number. This combination of figures helps to identify the issuer of the card. The first digit of bankcard number (the Major Industry Identifier) signifies the system:
6 - Discover;
5 - MasterCard;
4 - Visa;
3 - entertainment/travel cards (Diners Club, American Express).
The rest digits of a card number are unique for each bankcard. A structure of the bankcard number varies by system (Diners Club payment card numbers start with 38, AmEx - with 37).
Credit card number is usually embossed. It was necessary in the past for use in zip-zap machines that create multiple receipts by sliding the raised numbers on the front of a bankcard onto carbon-paper packet copies.
Where to get credit card numbers
The bankcard number is printed on the front side of a payment card. As usually, it is in four groups of 4 digits.
On the front side of a debit or credit card you can also find the expiry date and the name of its owner.
In order to reduce the risk of bankcard fraud, different techniques are used to avoid the dissemination of payment card numbers:
- PAN truncation - when only some of the figures on a bankcard are printed on receipt (according to PCI-DSS standards only the first six and last four digits may be printed on receipts).
- Tokenization - when token (an artificial account number) is used instead of the true number.
- Format-preserving encryption - when the account numbers are replaced with an encrypted version that retains the card data format including parts of the field such as first six and last four digits.
How banks can protect their cardholders
Many banks take their clients security seriously. Thus, their debit and credit cards come with different security features that can help protect personal information.
1. Fraud Protection. If your card is stolen or lost, bank can credit fraudulent charges back to client's account as soon as it possible.
2. Fraud Monitoring. Checking of the card using helps block potential fraud (in case of detection of unusual transactions).
3. Chip card technology. Built-in microprocessor provides additional protection for debit and credit cards. Innovative chip technology protects personal information while using a chip-enabled terminal.
4. Photo Security. Posting client's photo on front of bankcard can help prevent fraudulent activity if the card is stolen or lost.
6. Secure Transactions (MasterCard SecureCode, Verified by Visa). Banks use various tools to protect debit and credit cards against scam transactions. If the card issuer is an active participant of MasterCard SecureCode, Verified by Visa, its clients can use an extra identification when using bankcard online.
What cardholders can do to protect against fraud
1. Sign your new debit or credit card immediately. Client should sign the special panel on the card as soon as he or she receives it.
2. View your account statements and check your balance online. It is safer than getting information through the mail.
3. Save all receipts from charges and keep them in safe place. Check your statements regularly. Report your bank any scam transactions immediately.
4. Use digital wallets. Digital wallets store information about physical bankcards, so customers can make purchases at different merchants. Some digital wallets can use virtual cards (it is a digital form of physical card that has a special number that is different from the main card number). Thus, you can use the virtual card or the digital wallet to make purchases. Customer gets all the rewards, protections and benefits that the physical card provides.
5. Keep a list of card account numbers in a safe place. The list should include telephone numbers to contact the bank if the card is lost or stolen.
6. Use cash machines with surveillance cameras, be aware of people around you. Cover the ATM keyboard with your body or hand while entering the PIN. Keep your bankcard in a secure place.
7. Always be cautious and never provide a card account information to people who call you. Bank will never ask the client to give confidential information by phone.