Why Card Security Code Matters In Online Shopping

Ecommerce is growing fast and credit cards are still the most popular online payment method. Read the full post and see what card security code is and why you need one to pay for the goods on the internet.

A typical credit card holds three information fields: the bank card number, the signature magnetic strip and a Card Security Code (CSC). The code is used for online transactions, so it’s important to keep it safe and not share it with others.

This security code may be referred to your Card Verification Value, abbreviated to CVV2, the signature panel code (SPC), or may be termed as your unique Card Identification Number (CID). The name depends on the credit card you are using. It doesn’t matter how you call them, the three or four digits make your online purchases more secure.

What do you need to know?

Credit cards are convenient and popular payment method used all over the world, with various banks and companies offering competitive packages. Thus, unfortunately, the risk of a credit card scam is rising.

Although, credit card payments are reasonably secure when the card (and cardholder) is present at the point of sale, and it is more risky with online transactions. Furthermore, while there is a unique code on the magnetic strip of the card, it’s is not fully secure from skimming: if the entire card is duplicated, the code will also be stolen. Thus, the card security code is an extra safety layer to protect your payments from scam and fraud.

What it the card security code?

This code, as the name implies, is a security feature, placed onto your credit card. It is an addition to the bank card number which is embossed or engraved on the card. It is a decimated value generated by the card issuer, and is arrived at by an encryption of the expiry date of the card and the bank card number. The encryption keys used to generate it are highly sensitive information available only for the bank.

When do you need the code?

When you pay online with credit card, you may be asked for your card security code. You need to use it to prove that you have your card with you; and to provide the authority of access to your funds to the person you are paying by your credit card. It is used to prevent online payment scams and frauds.

The card security code must be provided when the card and card holder are not present in brick-and-mortar, such as by payments through the internet, fax or telephone. However, the card security code should not be used on insecure web pages or email conversations.

How to find your card security code?

credit cards back CVC security code

It is alternately located on the back of your credit card or on the front face. It is printed flat, typically in black, not embossed or engraved like the card number. It may be a three or four digit code. For example, MasterCard and Visa cards have a 3-digit card security code printed on the back of the card, next to the signature panel. The new cards have placed it on a separate panel beside it. Yet, American Express cards use 4-digit card security codes printed on the front face of the card, above the number. If your code is unreadable, or you have a fear it is unsafe, contact your card issuer for help.

To sum up: use your card security code when you pay online and don’t, under any circumstances, share it with third parties.

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