October 20th, 2005 by Jamie Estep
Credit card verification numbers
Card verification numbers, known as CVV, CVV2, CID, CVC, are printed 3 or 4 digit numbers on credit cards that are not encoded in the magnetic strip on the back of the card. Card verification numbers are used to help prevent businesses from processing a fraudulent transaction. By creating a number that is not contained in the magnetic strip, a consumer must have the specific credit card on their person to be able to read the numbers. Visa, MasterCard, and Discover have a 3 digit number printed on the back of the card while American Express has a 4 digit number printed on the front of the card. Each card issuer has a different name for the verification number, but ‘card verification number’ is a generally accepted term.
Is it OK to give out my Card Verification Number?
You should never need to give out your number if you are at the place you are making a purchase. If you are buying something over the phone or on the internet, then it is acceptable to give out your number if asked. Make sure you are shopping with a reputable business before you give out your credit card or card verification number. Also, your card verification number is not your PIN (Personal Identification Number) used for debit card transactions. Do not ever give out your PIN to anyone.
Card verification for merchants:
Online and phone order businesses should require a card verification number for every transaction processed in order to help prevent fraud. By requiring the card verification number, you are ensuring that your customer actually possesses the card they are paying with, protecting yourself from fraud and costly chargeback expenses. You are also protecting any consumer that may have had their credit card number stolen. You are protecting your business and consumers from credit card fraud. Most processors actually require that all internet transactions use the card verification systems with every transaction. There is no extra cost for processing using card verification, so there really isn’t any reason not to use it.