What is Credit Card Security Code? Where do I find it?

by Vanessa Diem

What is Credit Card Security Code? Where do I find it? – No matter what you call them – a card security code (CSC), card verification value (CVV), card verification code (CVC), verification code (V-code) or signature panel code (SPC) is a security feature formed in 3 digits as an additional measure of credit card security when you make online transaction, by mail or over the phone.  Credit card security code can be actually generated after possession of the card. It means that only the cardholder can possess the security code.

What is Credit Card Security Code?

There are generally two types of security codes:

The first code is called CVC1 or CVV1. It is encoded on the magnetic stripe of the card and used for card present transactions. The code is aimed to verify that a payment card is actually on the merchant’s hand. This code will be automatically retrieved when you swipe the magnetic stripe of the card and verified by the issuer.

What is Credit Card Security Code?
What is Credit Card Security Code?

The second code is CVV2 or CVC2. Most merchants are more interested in this type of code in which the transaction is done by mail, fax, telephone or internet. Some countries in Western Europe, card issuers ask a merchant to get the code when the cardholder is not present.

How to Find Credit Card Security Code Without Card

The location of codes depends on the card you belong to. If you have a visa, mastercard, or discover, please turn the card over. In the signature box, or just to the right of it, you will see series of digits. But the last three digits numbers you see in the end of the series is the security code. For example how to find credit card security code without card in American Express (AMEX) which has 4-digit security code, the cardholder can find the credit card security code on the front of the card, either to the left or right of the 15 digit card number. These four digits are printed in black, not embossed.

Meanwhile, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard and Visa credit cards have a 3-digit card security code. The code in these cards is the last numbers printed on the back signature panel of the card. A New North American MasterCard and Visa card has the code in a separate panel to the right of the signature stripe. It is so to prevent overwriting the numbers by signing the card.

How to Find Credit Card Security Code on Statement

Since the security code is a safety feature, just like your PIN, you must protect it. Generally as long as you have a secure connection, you can go online transaction safely. The merchant is prohibited from storing the code. However, never show up your credit card security code to anyone else, whether you know the individual or not, and never include it in your email because email is unsecured communication. If someone else has your security code, card number and card expiration date, it means that he/she is possessing your card.

Your security code is not your PIN

Your security code is not your PIN
Your security code is not your PIN

Your PIN is your Personal Identification Number, it is completely different from your credit card security code. A PIN is a numerical code used to authorize transactions such as a cash withdrawal from an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM).  In contrast, a credit card security code is a code used for a transaction when the retailer may ask the number to verify the possession of the cardholder at the time of the transaction. Hence, protect your security code carefully and don’t share it with anyone else.

What if you can’t find your credit card security code?

If you can’t find your credit card security code, or if you can’t read it because it is faded or illegible, please call the financial institution that issued the credit card. You will see the phone number on the back side of the card. The illegible security code can be actually handled by the financial institutions because each of them has guidelines although you need your card to reissue. You will be free from any fraud because you already have a security code. But please pay attention not to show up your security code to prevent it falling into the wrong hands.

Credit Card Security Code Generator

The codes actually have different names as follows:

  • CID/Card ID : Card Identification Number / Card Identification Code. (find it on Discover,

American Express, in which 4-digit number appears on the front of card)

  • CSC : Card Security Code. (Find it on American Express with 3-digits on the back

of the card)

  • CVC2 : Card Validation Code (Find only on MasterCard)
  • CVD : Card Verification Data (Find on Discover, which is sometimes used as the

common acronym for this kind of code)

  • CVE : Elo Verification Code (on Elo Brazil)
  • CVN2 : Card Validation Number 2 (Find on China Union Pay)
  • CVV2 : Card Verification Value 2 (Find on Visa)

Benefits of credit card security code

Benefits of credit card security code
Benefits of credit card security code

The card issuers usually ask the traders not to store the CVV2 when making individual transaction. In this case, the numbers become less useful if a database of transactions is compromised, the CVV2 is not included and stolen, Virtual terminals and payment gateways do not store the CVV2 code. Therefore, employees and customer service representatives with access to these online payment transaction who have access to complete the card numbers, expiration dates, and other information will still have lack of CVV2 code. Hence, your credit card security code is completely secured.

Now that you already familiar with credit card security code, you must concern in the making of it, protecting it, and making use of it. All in all, credit card security code is very important code that the cardholder must aware. Consider the security benefit, it must be carefully protected by the cardholder. This information, I am sure, has acknowledged you well to use credit card for sure.

About Vanessa Diem

Vanessa Diem is a finance blogger who has gained widespread recognition for her insightful and informative content on personal finance, investing, and money management. With a keen understanding of the complexities of the financial world, Vanessa is dedicated to providing her readers with practical advice and strategies to enhance their financial well-being.

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