What Are the Three Numbers on the Back of a Credit Card Called?
When you flip a credit card over, you may notice three numbers printed on the back. These numbers are known as the Card Verification Value (CVV) or Card Verification Code (CVC), depending on the card issuer. The CVV/CVC is an important security feature that helps protect your credit card from unauthorized use. In this article, we will explore the purpose of these three numbers and their significance in ensuring the safety of your transactions.
Understanding the CVV/CVC:
The CVV/CVC is a three-digit code located on the back of most credit cards, excluding American Express cards which have a four-digit code on the front. It is typically printed on the signature strip, after the credit card number and the expiration date. The purpose of these numbers is to provide an additional layer of security when making purchases online or over the phone.
The CVV/CVC is not stored in the magnetic stripe or the chip of the credit card, making it difficult for potential hackers or thieves to obtain this information. It acts as a verification tool for merchants and payment processors, ensuring that the person using the credit card has physical possession of it during a transaction.
How Does the CVV/CVC Work?
When you make an online or phone purchase, you are usually required to provide the CVV/CVC along with your credit card number and expiration date. This information is then transmitted to the payment processor, who confirms the authenticity of the card by matching the CVV/CVC provided with the one stored on the card issuer’s database.
By requiring the CVV/CVC, merchants can minimize the risk of fraudulent transactions. Since the code is not imprinted on the card, it is more challenging for scammers to use stolen credit card information to make unauthorized purchases.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Q: What is the difference between CVV and CVC?
A: The terms CVV (Card Verification Value) and CVC (Card Verification Code) are used interchangeably, depending on the card issuer. Visa, Mastercard, and Discover use CVV, while American Express uses CVC. However, they serve the same purpose of providing an additional layer of security for credit card transactions.
Q: Why is the CVV/CVC necessary?
A: The CVV/CVC is necessary to verify that the person making the purchase has the physical card in their possession. It adds an extra layer of security, especially for online and phone transactions where the card cannot be physically presented.
Q: Can someone misuse my credit card if they have the CVV/CVC?
A: While the CVV/CVC adds an extra layer of security, it is still important to keep your credit card information secure. If someone gains access to your credit card number, expiration date, and CVV/CVC, they may be able to make unauthorized purchases. Therefore, it is crucial to protect your card details and report any suspicious activity to your card issuer immediately.
Q: Can the CVV/CVC be changed?
A: The CVV/CVC is a unique code assigned to each credit card. It cannot be changed or customized by the cardholder. If you receive a new credit card, the CVV/CVC will change along with the new card number.
Q: Is it safe to provide my CVV/CVC online?
A: It is generally safe to provide your CVV/CVC online, as long as you are on a secure website. Look for the padlock icon in the browser address bar or “https://” at the beginning of the URL, indicating that the website has encryption protocols in place to protect your information.
In conclusion, the three numbers on the back of a credit card, known as the CVV/CVC, play a crucial role in securing your online and phone transactions. By requiring this code, merchants and payment processors can verify the authenticity of the card and minimize the risk of fraudulent activity. Remember to keep your credit card information secure and report any suspicious activity to your card issuer promptly.