Bank card number

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Payment card numbers are found on payment cards, such as credit cards and debit cards, as well as stored-value cards, gift cards and other similar cards. Card issuers refer to the leading six digits on the card as an "issuer identification number (IIN)", or sometimes referred to as "bank identification number (BIN)". On rare occasions they are referred to as bank card numbers. The remaining numbers on the card are referred to as the primary account number or PAN. IINs and PANS have a certain level of internal structure and share a common numbering scheme. Bank card numbers are allocated in accordance with ISO/IEC 7812. This technical standard has two parts—Part 1 identifies the structure of the Issuer Identification Number. Part 2 identifies the application procedures and eligibility requirements for obtaining an IIN. The bank card number (or as it is more commonly known, the IIN) identifies the issuer of the card, which is then electronically associated by the issuing organization with one of its customers and then to the customer's designated bank accounts. In the case of stored-value type cards, there is no necessary association with a particular customer.

ISO/IEC 7812 payment card numbers can be up to 19 digits. The structure is as follows:

  • a six-digit[1] Issuer Identification Number (IIN), the first digit of which is the Major Industry Identifier (MII)
  • a variable length (up to 12 digits) individual account identifier
  • a single check digit calculated using the Luhn algorithm[2]

The bank card number differs from the Bank Identifier Code (BIC/ISO 9362, a normalized code—also known as Business Identifier Code, Bank International Code, and SWIFT code). It also differs from Universal Payment Identification Code, another identifier for a bank account in the United States.

Issuer identification number (IIN)

File:Credit card-first 4 digits.jpg
Partial IIN on a credit card (both printed and embossed)

The first six digits of a card number (including the initial MII digit) are known as the issuer identification number (IIN). These identify the card issuing institution that issued the card to the card holder. The rest of the number is allocated by the card issuer. The card number's length is its number of digits. Many card issuers print the entire IIN and account number on their card.

In the United States, IINs are also used in NCPDP pharmacy claims to identify processors, and are printed on all pharmacy insurance cards. IINs are the primary routing mechanism for real-time claims.

The ISO Register of Issuer Identification Numbers database is managed by the American Bankers Association. ABA is the Registration Authority for this standard and is responsible for allocating IINs to issuers.

Online merchants may use IIN lookups to help validate transactions. For example, if a card's IIN indicates a bank in one country, while the customer's billing address is in another, the transaction may call for extra scrutiny.

Issuing network IIN ranges Active Length Validation
American Express 34, 37[3] Yes 15[4] Luhn algorithm
Bankcard[5] 5610, 560221-560225 No 16 Luhn algorithm
China UnionPay 62[6] Yes 16-19[citation needed] Luhn algorithm
Diners Club Carte Blanche 300-305 Yes 14 Luhn algorithm
Diners Club enRoute 2014, 2149 No 15 no validation
Diners Club International[7] 300-305, 309, 36 Yes 14 Luhn algorithm
38-39[8] Yes 14 Luhn algorithm
Diners Club United States & Canada[9] 54, 55 Yes 16 Luhn algorithm
Discover Card[10] 6011, 622126-622925, 644-649, 65 Yes 16, 19 Luhn algorithm
InterPaymentTM 636 Yes 16-19 Luhn algorithm
InstaPayment 637-639[citation needed] Yes 16 Luhn algorithm
JCB 3528-3589[11] Yes 16 Luhn algorithm
Laser 6304, 6706, 6771, 6709 No[12] 16-19 Luhn algorithm
Maestro 50, 56-69 [1] Yes 12-19 Luhn algorithm
Dankort 4XXX, 4175, 4571 (Visa co-branded) Yes 16 Luhn algorithm
MasterCard 2221-2720 No 16 Luhn algorithm
51-55 Yes 16 Luhn algorithm
Solo 6334, 6767 No 16, 18, 19 Luhn algorithm
Switch 4903, 4905, 4911, 4936, 564182, 633110, 6333, 6759 No 16, 18, 19 Luhn algorithm
Visa 4 Yes 13, 16, 19 Luhn algorithm
UATP 1 Yes 15 Luhn algorithm

On November 8, 2004, MasterCard and Diners Club formed an alliance. Diners Club cards issued in Canada and the United States start with 54 or 55 and are treated as MasterCards worldwide. International cards use the 36 prefix and are treated as MasterCards in Canada and the United States, but are treated as Diners Club cards elsewhere. Diners Club International's web site makes no reference to old 38 prefix numbers, and they can be presumed reissued under the 55 or 36 IIN prefix. Effective October 16, 2009, Diners Club cards beginning with 30, 36, 38 or 39 have been processed by Discover Card.[13]

On November 3rd 2014, MasterCard announced that they were introducing a new series of BIN ranges that begin with a “2” (222100–272099). The “2” series BINs will be processed the same as the “51–55” series BINs are today. They will become active 14th October 2016.

Effective October 1, 2006, Discover began using the entire 65 prefix, not just 650. Also, similar to the MasterCard/Diners agreement, China Union Pay cards are now treated as Discover cards and accepted on the Discover network.

Whilst the vast majority of Visa's account ranges describe 16 digit card numbers there are still a few (40 as of 11 Dec. 2013) account ranges dedicated to 13 digit PANs and several (439 as of 11 Dec. 2013) account ranges where the issuer can mix 13 and 16 digit card numbers. Visa's VPay brand can specify PAN lengths from 13 to 19 digits and so card numbers of more than 16 digits are now being seen.

Switch was re-branded as Maestro in mid-2007.[14] In 2011, UK Domestic Maestro (formerly Switch) was aligned with the standard international Maestro proposition with the retention of a few residual country specific rules.

EMV Certification requires acceptance of a 19-digit Visa card (ADVT 6.1.1 Test Case 2) and Discover Card (E2E Test Plan v1.3, Test Case 06).

Canadian bank card numbering

Bank card numbers issued by Canadian banks also follow a pattern for their systems:

Issuing network Ranges Length
CIBC Convenience Card 4506 16 digits
Royal Bank of Canada Client Card 45 16 digits
TD Canada Trust Access Card 589297 (regular debit) 19 digits
Scotiabank Scotia Card 4536 16 digits
BMO ABM Card 500 16 digits
HSBC Canada Card 56 16 digits

Security measures

To reduce the risk of credit card fraud, various techniques are used to prevent the dissemination of bank card numbers. These include:

  • Format-preserving encryption: in which the account number is replaced with a strongly encrypted version which retains the format of the card data including non sensitive parts of the field such as first six and last four digits. This permits data field protection without changing payment IT systems and applications. A common use is for protecting card data from the point of capture in a secure reader to the payment processing host end-to-end to mitigate risk of data compromise in systems such as the Point of Sale (POS). AES-FF1 Format-Preserving Encryption is defined in NIST Specification SP800-38G.
  • PAN truncation: in which only some of the digits on a card are displayed or printed on receipts. The PCI DSS standard dictates that only the first six and last four digits of the PAN may be printed on a receipt or displayed in cases other than where a business need requires the full PAN. US federal law (FACTA) allows only the display of the last 5 digits. In order to comply with both laws, generally only the last four digits are provided elsewhere to allow an individual to identify the card used.
  • Tokenization: in which an artificial account number (token) is printed, stored or transmitted in place of the true account number.

See also


  1. "What your credit card numbers mean". Retrieved 2010-12-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. ISO/IEC 7812-1:2006 Identification cards — Identification of issuers — Part 1: Numbering system
  3. "Card Security Features" (PDF). American Express. January 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 March 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link][dead link]
  4. "American Express Fraud Prevention Handbook" (PDF). p. 13. Retrieved 2006-04-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Bankcard Association of Australia". Archived from the original on 6 April 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "China UnionPay Cards". Archived from the original on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "MasterCard Diners Club Alliance". Retrieved 2006-04-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Discover Bulletin for VARs Feb 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-08-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Diners Club - Fraud Management". Retrieved 2007-01-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Discover Network - IIN Range Update, 8.2" (PDF). September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Discover Network IIN Range Update, 9.2" (PDF). September 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Laser Card Services Ltd". 28 February 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Discover Network - IIN Range Update, 9.1" (PDF). October 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Switch to Maestro". Archived from the original on 8 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links