Credit card number: These are the numbers on the credit card

If you have a credit card, you can feel the numbers and letters correctly: on the front and back of each credit card, codes and numbers are not just imprinted, but embossed. These numbers clearly identify both the credit card and its owner. The printed hologram is an additional feature for the security of the credit card. This can not be copied. Each credit card number is based on a specific principle. Anyone reading them out can get a fair amount of information about the publisher, the type of credit card, the account number and the check digit.

Credit cards are one of the most common payment methods worldwide. It makes it easy to make online purchases. It also acts as a loan. If you want to keep your Schufa score stable or improve, you should be careful to settle the outstanding amounts quickly. Here we take the credit card under the microscope. We look at what can be found on each credit card and what each component is for a meaning.

The credit card number

The credit card number

How is the credit card number structured?

On each credit card, the credit card number on the front page is applied, for readability divided into blocks of four . The credit card number is executed in a common credit card in the so-called embossing – and reminiscent of the times in which the data were transferred during the payment process using the Ritsch Ratchet device on the receipt. Prepaid credit cards that work on a credit-based basis do not require the credit card number to be stamped. The number is not arbitrarily assigned by the credit card companies. From her a lot of information can be read. This concerns the publisher of the card, the card type as well as the account number and the check digit.

The information of each section of the card number

1. Numbers 1-4 (z1 – z4): The first four digits of the credit card number identify the publisher or manufacturer of the credit card.
2. Section 5 (z5): This number indicates the type of credit card. H ere example, can be seen if there is a VISA Classic or VISA Gold credit card.
3. Paragraph 6 (z6): This number indicates whether the credit card is a second, partner or company card . The first six digits of the credit card number can be referred to as a BIN code, a Bank Identification Number. This determines both the issuing bank and the card type. Each ATM recognizes which credit institution has issued the respective credit card.

The remaining nine digits indicate the credit card’s account number, and the tenth digit is a check digit. The identification numbers of all credit cards are automatically generated with the help of software and can be checked for correctness . Different mathematical methods are used for the verification. For example, the so-called Luhn algorithm checks to see if the number sequence of the credit card is real or random.

Can a cardholder be identified using the credit card number?

If a third party obtains the number of the credit card, they can not identify the holder of the card. This is only possible for the bank as it knows the data of the customers and the issued cards. The fact that the credit card number is not suitable for the identification of the cardholder is also due to data protection . If a card is lost and the finder submits it to the bank, the employee can identify the customer and return the card to him.

Every credit card has a lot of information in addition to the credit card number and the name of the owner, so that convenient payment is as easy as possible. Nevertheless, every owner of a credit card should be meticulous to ensure that he does not give out these data and numbers recklessly .

When and how often does the card number change?

If the validity of the credit card expires, the company usually issues a new card. The account number remains, as does the manufacturer or the publisher. The new credit card will have a new expiration date printed on it . The three-digit CVC2 number required for payment on the internet also changes. In the meantime, if the bank from which the original credit card was issued was taken over by another bank, the credit card number changes.

Is the card number sufficient as information to make debits?

If you want to make a purchase with a credit card, you will need to provide your credit card number so that the merchant can book the appropriate amount from the account. In order to make a transaction such as debiting, the expiry date of the credit card and the card verification number must be indicated in addition to the card number. For this reason, the card verification number found on the back should not be noted anywhere where an unauthorized person can read it.

Can the credit card number tell if the card is private or business?

The sixth digit of the credit card number indicates whether the credit card is, for example, the card holder’s main card or a partner card , or whether the credit card is a company card. The concrete number is determined by the publisher of the card and follows its internal regulations. Therefore, only the bank or credit card company can tell whether it is a private or business credit card. Different conditions apply to both cards. However, only the bank sees for which payments the credit card was used, but not whether the expenses were arranged for business or private purposes.

Is it possible to recognize the credit card company by the credit card numbers?

In principle, the corresponding company can be recognized by the card numbers of the credit card. For example, all American Express credit card numbers start with either a 34 or a 37 . At Diners Club , the card number starts with a 30, 36 or 38 . For the Mastercard, the first two digits are either 51 or 52, 53, 54 and 55 , while for each VISA the credit card number starts with a 4 .

Security of credit card

Security of credit card

What visible information on the credit card should be protected?

In particular, the card test number printed on the back should only be indicated if required when paying. So that no one can read the test number and make a note , the credit card should not be given out of the hand. Otherwise it could be copied secretly. Likewise, care should be taken that no one photographs the credit card. If the card was stolen or lost, it should be immediately blocked.

H3 How can the consumer protect himself against card theft?

The credit card should always be kept separate from the cash : thieves often see it on the cash in the wallet. If you get the credit card in the fingers, it is important to lock them quickly. Since 2005, there is the emergency number 116 116th If you are abroad, you must also dial the country code 0049 for Germany before this telephone number. For secure storage, the PIN number should under no circumstances be kept with the credit card . This would be considered grossly negligent and the credit card holder may be left with his financial loss.

How and for what reasons is a credit card number to be checked?

Anyone acting as a dealer wants to be sure that the information provided by customers and business partners is correct and valid. For this reason, there are services that can be used to check the credit card numbers, so that fraudulent orders have no chance. When checking the credit card is tested whether the combination of card number and type is in principle possible. It can not be verified that the company has actually assigned the credit card number.

Components of the credit card

Components of the credit card

Credit card number: dimensions and standard of the credit card

While there are a number of different types of credit cards, there is one thing that is the same: each credit card stores information, part of which is visible to everyone, and another part remains invisible to most. The size of the credit card is called check card format . It is just as big as the debit card, the insurance cards of the health insurance companies and the driving license card. The dimensions are precisely defined: The international standard ISO / IEC 7810 prescribes dimensions of 85.6 x 53.98 millimeters for the ID-1 format . All credit cards have relevant characteristics that are used for specific purposes.

The individual components of each credit card

The information on the front:

  • At the top is the name of the publisher or the name of the bank
  • The credit card number is stamped on the front : it has 15 digits for the American Express card and 16 digits for all other credit cards.
  • The first four digits of the credit card number contain the identification number of the respective publisher , the so-called BIN code (Bank Identification Number).
  • “VALID FROM” indicates the month the credit card was issued. This is called the month and year in two numerical digits each.
  • After “UNTIL END” you can find out, by which time the credit card is valid. The last month of validity is also indicated with month and year in two numerical digits each.
  • Similarly, the name of the respective holder is on the credit card.
  • Depending on which company has issued the credit card, the corresponding logo of VISA, MasterCard, Diners Club or American Express is on the front of the card. Although there are other companies that issue credit cards, the four mentioned are the ones most commonly used in Germany.

The EMC chip is for security

Every credit card has an EMV chip. EMV is an abbreviation for the designation of “E” as EuroCard, “M” as Mastercard and “V” as Visa. While a simple magnetic stripe is easy to read, the EMV chip offers the credit card user much more security . The gold-colored chip adorns the front of the credit card and should replace the usual magnetic stripe. All ATMs and card readers are converted to the EMV chip. Thus, the magnetic strip is no longer important for the payment process and the withdrawal of money at the machine. But it is needed for the acceptance of the credit card as such.

EMC chip: no access without authorization

If someone attempts to access the data of the EMV chip without authorization, the chip itself should be destroyed . Since the EMV chip graces the front of the credit card, in many cases the signature is no longer sufficient for payment. Here it depends on the respective dealer whether he still accepts the signature or whether he prefers to ask for the PIN of the credit card in order to authorize the payment. If you want to withdraw cash at the ATM with the credit card, you can do the same as before. Anyone who wants to, in which the EMV chip can take over the function of a cash card.