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What is CVV2?

CVV2 is a credit card security measure aimed at reducing fraud for card not present transactions. It is a three or four digit number that is only present on the credit card. Theoretically, this is used to verify that the credit card being used in a purchase in the in the possession of the purchaser at the time of the transaction making the sale more secure.

This code can be found in varying places on a credit card and is called different names by each of the major credit card companies:

Visa places their three digit code, which they call “Card Validation Code” (CVC2) on the back of the credit card in the signature panel. Usually at the very top-right most corner.

MasterCard places their three digit code, which they call “Card Verification Value” (CVV2) on the back of the credit card in the signature panel. Usually at the very top-right most corner.

American Express places their four digit number, which they call “Card Identification Number” (CID) on the front of the credit card, usually toward the end of the credit card number. It is not embossed like the credit card number and cannot be captured with a manual imprinter.

Discover Card places their three digit number, called “Cardmember ID”, on the back of the credit card in the signature panel. Usually at the very top-right most corner.

Using CVV2 is common in online transactions and most online retailers will not allow a sale to proceed unless this number is verified as being correct.

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