Card Security Code (CVC2, CVV2, CID)

By September 17, 2018Industry Terms

Every debit and credit card has a card security code (sometimes referred to as CVC2, CVV2, CID, etc). This code is a 3 or 4-digit number that is printed on the card, either on the signature panel or above the embossed numbers on the front of the card.

  • Visa: Card Verification Value 2 (CVV2) is a three-digit code printed on the signature panel on the back of the card
  • Mastercard Card Validation Code 2 (CVC2) is a three-digit code printed on the signature panel on the back of the card
  • Discover: Card Member ID (CMID) is a three-digit code printed on the signature panel on the back of the card
  • American Express: Card Identification Number (CID) is a four-digit code printed above the embossed account number on the front of the card

How the Card Security Code Helps Prevent Chargebacks

The card security code is a fraud prevention tool for card-not-present transactions.

Merchants are encouraged to ask for this code during the checkout process. As part of the authorization request, the code will be relayed to the card issuer who will either confirm or deny a match.

A mismatch could indicate the shopper doesn’t have the card in-hand–for example, stolen account information is being used by a fraudster. This data can be used to decline transactions that are likely fraudulent so the merchant can avoid the resulting chargeback. Also, a CVV2 match could help prevent or respond to Visa’s allocation disputes.

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