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28 APRIL, 2023
Each credit card is defined by a number ranging from 15 to 19 digits. In India, most credit cards usually have 16 digits on their front side. This number is unique to every customer or cardholder.
How are Numbers on a Credit Card Generated?
The Luhn algorithm is used to generate credit card numbers. The algorithm was established in the 1960s mainly to validate Social Security numbers and credit cards. Today, a credit card number is valid only if it passes the Luhn Check.
Information on the Credit Card
Most people find the long credit card number digits extremely confusing. Do remember, each digit of the number is relevant as it defines the card type, use and security. Here is a quick guide to understand that number and other details on your credit card.
The Front Digits and Numbers of Credit Cards
The sixteen-digit credit card number, which is on the front of the card, holds great significance.
Relevance of the Check Digit
The Information on the Back of the Credit Card
The back of a credit card has a magnetic strip, hologram, bank details, the account holder's signature, and the card network's logo. Here is a quick guide to this information:
Credit Card Number and Credit Card Account Number
Have you ever wondered if your credit card and account numbers are the same? They are not the same, but they link to one another. When you change your credit card, the number on the new card might change, but your account number will always remain the same.
Credit Card and its PIN Number
One number that is associated strongly with the credit card but never printed on it is its PIN or Personal Identification Number. Only the cardholder should know the credit card’s PIN.
When you apply for a new credit card, the bank sends you a PIN separately and securely. You are supposed to memorise that number and discard the paper containing the Pin. This process ensures nobody else gets to read that number.
In case you feel somebody knows your PIN, change it immediately to avoid misuse.
Online credit card security
The vulnerability to theft and misuse increases when you use a credit card online. It is common for phishers to hack into accounts and access credit card information. There are many steps you can take to avoid credit card theft, misuse and hacking.
You should know what the numbers on your credit card mean to use it safely and securely. As hacking and phishing occur rampantly, awareness of the details enables you to improve the safety of your credit card information.
The credit card number seems very long-winded, but it contains a lot of important information. That is why you must never share the number on your credit card with any unknown person. Also, you should use the card only on secure websites. Basic precautions like these will ensure your credit card stays safe and secure.
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