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.
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.