You may be asked for more information than just your credit card number and expiration date while making a purchase online or over the phone. Depending on the credit card company, you may also be asked to provide the security code printed on the front or back of your card.
A credit card’s security code is an extra layer of protection against fraud. What it is and why it matters are detailed below.
Exactly what is a credit card verification number?
There is a three- or four-digit number printed on the back of your credit card that serves as a security code. Your credit card information is safer with this special number in place. In order to verify your identity while making an online or phone purchase, merchants may often need this number.
Protect yourself from credit card theft by routinely reviewing your account statements and credit reports for any suspicious activity. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com every four months for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three main credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion): Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Alternate names for credit card numbers
The standard term for a credit card’s security code is CVV (Credit Verification Value), however, you may also hear it referred to as:
- CVS/CVC2 (Card Verification Value).
- CSC (Card Security Code).
- Card Verification Data).
- CID (Credit Identification Number).
Credit card verification codes are typically required in places where you can’t physically show the card, such as
Executing a purchase through the Internet. When making an online purchase, you can be prompted for your credit card’s verification number. Buying anything on the telephone. When placing an order over the phone, you could be asked for a security code.
The Importance of Credit Card Security Codes
When making purchases over the phone or online, when the merchant cannot see the card physically, the added layer of verification provided by the credit card security code is invaluable.
According to Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards, merchants are not permitted to record their security code number with their credit card number in any online database. Credit card security numbers make it more difficult for fraudsters to use stolen credit card information.
The best place to look for your credit card’s verification code
Credit card security codes are the digits printed on the back of your card by several major issuers. The standard is three digits, while American Express requires four.
How to determine the card security code without the card
A credit card security code allows you to verify to a retailer that you actually possess the card being used. Therefore, the security code on your credit card cannot be found without the card itself. If you have misplaced your card, a replacement must be requested.
You may avoid inputting your card’s security code while making purchases online by requesting a virtual card number from your supplier.
Increase the difficulty for identity thieves.
Credit card fraud may be prevented, in part, by using a security code. Credit card security codes for Discover, Mastercard, and Visa are printed on the back of the card, while those for American Express are printed on the front.
Credit card security codes can make it more difficult for fraudsters to steal your identity and use your card without your knowledge, but they can’t make it impossible. Additional measures you may take to detect fraudulent charges include monitoring your credit reports and credit card statements.
In conclusion, knowing where to look for and how to enter the credit card’s security code is essential for protecting your financial data during online purchases. When making purchases online or over the phone, having the security code, sometimes called the card verification value or CVV, is an added layer of safety. You can find the security code on different credit cards and enter it correctly when needed by following the steps outlined in this Time article. To prevent fraudulent charges on your credit card, it is important to keep your security code private, secure your credit card information, and report any unusual activity to your card issuer.
Q1. What’s a security code?
Credit cards use three- or four-digit CVV (Card Verification Value) or CVV2 security codes. It adds security by validating that the card is present during online or phone purchases.
Q2. Where is the credit card security code?
Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards include security codes on the back. The signature panel has a three-digit number. American Express cards have a four-digit security code above the card number on the front.
Q3. Without a security code, can I use my credit card?
Most credit card transactions require a security code. For recurring purchases or trusted accounts, merchants or payment processors may not require the security code. For transactions requiring a security code, keep it handy.
Q4. Do credit card security codes match PINs?
Credit card security codes are not PINs. The security code is used for online or phone transactions to verify card authenticity, whereas the PIN is a numeric number used at point-of-sale terminals or ATMs.
Q5. Can I keep credit card security codes online?
Online credit card security codes are not advised. Digital storage raises the danger of theft and fraud. Remember the code or store it offline.
Q6. When my credit card security code is lost or stolen, what should I do?
Contact your credit card issuer immediately if you suspect your security code has been stolen. They will help you deactivate your card, issue a new one, and monitor your transactions for fraud.