A credit card CVV number serves the major purpose of adding a layer of security and provides financial safety for transactions via digital platforms. It comes into importance while making a purchase online or over the phone.
While purchasing online, you will be asked to mention the name on the card, the card number, the expiration month and year of the credit card and the CVV number, to authenticate the transaction.
Credit card CVV full form is the credit card’s ‘Card Verification Value’. This refers to an extra verification code or security code that authenticates the card and protects the account balance from an unauthorized transaction, especially during online transactions.
This CVV number on Credit Card is usually a 3- or 4-digit number assigned by the bank or the issuer of the card. It is printed either on the front or back of the card. It is neither embossed nor has any raised lettering like the card name or number.
CVV happens to be the most commonly used term. However, this verification value is sometimes also referred to as Card Security Code (CSC).
In fact, each credit card issuer has a different name for the CVV number. This number is sometimes referred to as a Card Identification Number (CID) or Signature Panel Code (SPC). Some examples are as follows:
There are several regional translations of this code in various languages worldwide. However, all of them refer to the same security code that provides the same level of security irrespective of the nomenclature of the issuing bank.
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During online transactions, vendors or payment sites request a credit card CVV number to confirm the authenticity of the person making the transaction. It is seen as an identification or verification code that proves that you are the rightful owner of the card. It also shows that you have been or have the card.
As fraudsters find it increasingly easy to recreate fake credit cards, this CVV words as an extra tier of security that the cardholder can use to demonstrate their ownership over the credit card.
Hence, for all online transactions or transactions where the card is not present and is used digitally, you would require a CVV number before proceeding to complete the payment.
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While making online transactions, a credit card CVV number is entered to authenticate the payment. This requirement does the trick and ensures that the card cannot be hacked. However, it is essential to note that payment sites cannot store these CVV numbers.
Over the past 2 decades, several data privacy standards, certifications and compliance requirements including the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), have ensured merchants do not hold CVV2 information after the individual transaction is completed. Similarly, payment gateways and service agents involved in the payment process are also not authorized to have CVV2 data.
Further, since the CVV2 information is not contained within the magnetic strip on the card, it is not recorded or stored during a physical transaction. Hence, when a database of transactions is extracted with the card number or expiry dates, no one would have access to complete a payment transaction with the data in hand as the CVV2 information is missing.
Security and privacy around digital payments is of key significance for banks and financial institutions. Ensuring the usage of credit cards ensures lesser processing costs and helps identify the genuineness of a payment. In fact, for transactions where a credit card CVV number was not used, any complaint or claim is usually resolved in favor of the cardholder.
You can protect your credit card by restricting the knowledge of the CVV number, not falling for phishing emails, and ensuring that the card is in safe hands.
Ans: Different cards store the number in different formats. AmEx cards have the CVV number printed on the front of the card. While most other issuers have placed the CVV number near the back signature or magnetic strip panel.
Ans: No. A CVV number once generated and printed on a card cannot be changed by you. In fact, even the issuing bank cannot change this CVV number for you at a later date. If you feel that your CVV number might have been stolen, the best solution is to request a new card which will automatically come with a new CVV number.
Ans: As CVV numbers are entered to counter credit card frauds, it is safe to disclose this on secure and trusted merchant sites. Also, the data privacy standards prohibit merchants from storing the CVV number in their database and hence, the risk is minimal as long as the websites used are official and secure.
Ans: Similar to handling other personal information, treat the CVV number with care. Never disclose the CVV number to your friends. Always use secure sites (https sites) for transactions and use a VPN where necessary. Never make payments on public WIFI that do not have passwords. Ensure that anti-virus softwares on the computer is up-to-date. And finally, beware of phishing emails and keep the card secure.
Ans: The CVV number is different from the PIN number. A PIN is a 4-digit code that is also used to authenticate transactions. However, the PIN number is not disclosed on the face of the credit card, it is temporary, and is communicated separately by the bank. The PIN is used at the time of initiating transactions on a card payment machine as well. For online transactions, both the CVV number and the PIN (or a one-time password in the form of an OTP) are necessary.
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