What The Numbers In A Credit Card Number Represent

The numbers on your credit card are not just a string of numbers but each digit actually holds meaning and more importantly a purpose. Every credit card has a particular set of 16 digit number and each number has a purpose or meaning. The first number on the card is called the MII or Major Industry Identifier which is basically the industry category which provided the card.

Here is the list of MII:

  • Airlines
  • Airlines and Other Industries
  • Banking and Finance Mastercard
  • Banking and Finance VISA
  • Banking and Merchandising
  • ISO and Other Industries
  • National Assignment
  • Petroleum
  • Telecommunications and Other Industries
  • Travels and Entertainment American Express or Food Club

Issuer Identification Number
The Issuer Identification Number or IIN is the first six numbers in the card which can identify the institution which issued the card. VISA cards begin with 4xx while the MasterCard starts with 51-55 which is the prefix.

After the 6 digits IIN is the unique bank account number which is basically the number assigned to the account. Fake credit card numbers derived from snurl.com which can be used for test purposes will also contain 16 digits similar to the real credit card. However, these credit card numbers which are generated cannot be used to make any transactions since the numbers will not be validated by the system.

Card Verification
The CVV which stands for card verification value or also referred to as the CSC or card security code are the 3 to 4 digits found at the back of the card. The CVV is an essential part of any credit card since it will be required by the payment systems like VISA or MasterCard as a form of validation or authentication.

Always make sure to keep your credit card information secured and sign your card as soon as you receive it for further security.