cúantos números tiene una tarjeta de crédito

How many numbers does a credit card have?

Today the number of people with credit cards has increased dramatically and you are probably one of them. But, if you are not a credit card holder and have a debit card, you may have noticed that your number differs from any credit card.

Well, if you’re curious to know how many numbers a credit card has, in which these numbers differ from those of a debit card and their meaning, then keep reading.

How many numbers a credit card has and what meaning they have

You have probably never thought about it and now that you have read the introduction to this post, you will have looked for a credit card and a debit card to see if you can identify their differences by eye.

Well, the first thing you’ll find easy to identify is that, these numbers are embossed on a credit card while on a debit card they are only printed

But, if you look closely, you will see that the numbers themselves also present some differences and now we will explain why and the meaning behind these differences.

The first thing you need to know is that the numbers on a card are not randomly placed. All credit cards have a standardized numbering. Their numbers are determined by the international standard ISO/IEC 7812-1:2006 and its function is to give each of them a unique identity and make them verifiable at any time by any financial institution, thus ensuring your safety.

What Credit Card Numbers Mean

qué significan los números de la tarjeta de crédito

Generally credit cards have 16 digits.

Let’s see what each of them means:

  • The first digit identifies the sector to which the card issuing company belongs. That is, thanks to this digit we will be able to identify who is the issuer. Below you will see which issuing company corresponds to each first digit of your card.:

1 and 2: Airlines.

3: Travel and entertainment (Diners Club and American Express cards among others) 

4: Visa

5: Master Card

6: Discovery Card

7: Petrol industry.

8: Telecommunications.

9: Digit reserved for use in the country in which the card operates.

  • Along with this first digit, numbers from 1 to 7 form what is called INN (Issue Identification Number). This is a private code containing the information for the card issuer and the country of issue.
  • The rest of the numbers minus the last one (from 7 to 15) allow to associate the card to a specific account number  and they are identifiers of the owner of this one. 
  • The last digit is a control digit that, using an algorithm (the Luhn algorithm), verifies and validates the rest of the numbers, avoiding fraudulent use of the card. 

Other data present on a credit card

In addition to this identification number, the card has more data that give us important information we need, for example, when buying online.

  • Expiry date: appears below the 16-digit number, in month/year format. 
  • Name of the holder: almost all cards bear the name of the cardholder at the bottom. Only some of them (for example all prepaid cards) may not include it. 
  • Name of banking institution
  • Logo of the card provider: (e.g., Visa, Maestro, American Express, Mastercard, etc.).
  • CVV: are three digits on the back of the card that correspond to the Card Verification Code (Card Verification Code), also called CVV, CW2, CVC2 or CID. This code serves to add an additional level of security and to reduce fraud when using the credit card, especially on the internet. This number is chosen randomly.

Finally, remember that your credit card number is different from your bank account number.

How are credit and debit card numbers different?

As we have already said, the difference between credit and debit card that you can see with the naked eye is that credit card numbers are embossed, while debit cards are printed.

Well, the reason why the numbers are in relief is that before they allowed the merchant, when paying for a purchase, to be able to copy the card number with a machine to verify if it was reported as stolen.

But, at present, this system has been eliminated in some credit cards since it is not necessary since the dataphone reader only needs the magnetic stripe to validate the credit card information..

This means that if the card were blocked or reported stolen, it would not be validated by the reader.

However, some banks continue to maintain this type of printing.

Moreover, as we mentioned in the introduction, credit card numbers differ from those assigned to the debit cards of the same holder, so we must understand that their configuration is different.