Card-based payment facilities were introduced in the 1980s, enabling people to pay for purchases without cash. The two types are credit cards, which allow the customer to buy with borrowed credit, and debit cards, which takes the money from the customer’s bank account to pay the vendor. Both have grown in popularity, especially with the advancements in technology.
Online shopping is the primary driver of this adoption. With increased usage and digitalization has come increased crime related to it. A slew of measures has been introduced to tackle it, particularly the ‘CVV.’ Read on to find out what you should know about it.
Top 5 FAQs about CVV Number on Debit and Credit Card
“What is CVV?” is a common question asked by new users and those unfamiliar with payments by cards. The answer is Card Verification Value, and it is a three or four-digit number printed at the back of the card. It’s unique to that card only and is used as a verification code while using it for online payments. Few more relevant questions should be asked to be more informed of this vital security measure.
1. Are There Different Types Of CVVs?
Different service providers call it by different names, but they all serve the same purpose. Visa uses CVV2, which is an improved version of CVV. MasterCard calls it CVC or Card Verification Code. Other names are CID (Card Identification Number) by Discover cards, Card Security Code (CSC), Card Verification Data (CVD), etc.
2. Where Can It Be Found?
Besides American Express, CVV’s are three digits found at the back of the card, with the former using four digits at the front. Common for all is the embedding of the same in the magnetic strip at the card’s back. Any Point of Sale (POS) machine will read the CVV Number in the strip when it is swiped.
3. Is There Any Difference Between CVV And PIN?
Once you know ‘what is CVV,’ you may confuse it with the PIN. Personal Identification Number (PIN) is a (usually) four-digit code that is created by the user to access Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for cash withdrawal or similar such uses with a debit card.
The credit card’s PIN gives cash advances. It can also be required while making online purchases. Either way, it is user-generated, with only a temporary one issued by the bank when handing out the card. The user must then change the PIN within a stipulated time.
On the other hand, CVV is generated and attached to the card during its registering process before the issue. Once fixed, it cannot be changed by either the bank or the user.
4. What Do The Digits Mean?
The CVV numbers are not random; they are generated with certain essential bits of information. For security purposes, the algorithms generating those numbers are kept secret. However, the pieces of information used to generate those numbers are the primary account number, a pair of DES (Data Encryption Standard) keys, the card’s expiration date (four digits), and a three-digit service code.
5. How To Protect My CVV?
Some measures must be implemented to avoid falling victim to fraud and identity theft through CVV leak. Using cards on only verified and protected networks and devices ensures that hackers are not in the vicinity to catch the information. Going to secure websites using HTTPS in their address, i.e., encryption will help with security.
In public networks, it’s vital to take extra precautionary measures like usage of VPN (Virtual Private Network). Suspicious links and messages asking for card information must not be opened or used. Always verify the sender of such messages and requests, as even bank employees are forbidden from asking it. Modern-day chip-based cards add more security, and magnetic strip-based cards are being phased out as they can be vulnerable to RF-device based information theft.
With better awareness, you can answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) like ‘What is CVV?‘ and help yourself and others combat card-related crimes more effectively.