Credit Card Verification Value

What is the credit card verification value code?
 

   
What is its significance to credit card holders and their protection? Where is it located? Is it part of the credit card number?

The credit card verification value code or the CVV code is an authentication and security feature that is added to debit and credit cards in order to ensure safety and avoid fraudulent activities and credit card number theft. The credit card verification value code is also referred to as the Card Verification Code (CVC), Card Code Verification (CCV), Card Verification Value Code (CVVC), or Verification Code (V Code). The term usually varies according to the credit card company but is tantamount to the same entity. American Express calls it the Unique Card Code (CID) while Discover uses the term Card Identification number (CID2). Visa cardholders call it the Card Verification Value (CVV2). For MasterCard, on the other hand, it is the Card Validation Code (CVC2).

Aside from the term, the format for the credit card verification value code also differs according to credit card company. MasterCard, Discover, Diner’s Club, JCB, and Visa have three-digit number codes, which are usually located at the back of the card. It’s generally seen immediately after the credit card number or after the signature box. For American Express, the credit card verification value code is a four-digit number found at the right portion of the front of the credit card.

The credit card verification value code was created as an added security feature of credit cards which helps authenticate credit card holders for card-not-present transactions. Examples of these are online transactions, phone transactions, and mail orders that are vulnerable to fraud. The credit card verification value code is usually asked to verify that the cardholder is indeed holding the credit card that s/he is using. This number is separated from the credit card number and is not included in receipt prints in order to avoid being shared to other consumers. This is very useful in terms of “card-present transactions” since it stops merchants from the unauthorized use of credit card details. Nowadays, no transaction is complete without the credit card verification value code. By January 1997, American Express required all its credit and debit cards to contain a credit card verification value code. Visa followed suit in January 2001 and Discover in 2003. Discover even required the code for all Discover transactions be it on or offline.

What happens when a card does not have a credit card verification value code? In these situations, the decision usually lies in the merchant or his/her credit card processer.


  

Source: Credit Cards For People With Bad Credit Rating


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