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What is CVV2 (Credit Card Security Code)?

Security Codes on Credit Cards CVV2 (Card Verification Value) is an important security feature used in credit card transactions to help protect against fraud, especially for transactions on the Internet and over the phone. Credit card firms and merchants are now requesting and/or requiring that their customers enter the CVV2 value printed on the back (or sometimes front) of their credit cards, which helps to ensure that the customer actually has the card and that the credit card number is valid.

In addition to CVV2 (Visa), this credit card security system is also known as CVC2 (MasterCard), CID (American Express), and Cardmember ID (Discover Card).

  • Visa, Mastercard, and Discover: It is the three-digit number printed in the signature space on the back of most credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards. The CVV2 number is always the last group of numbers in the signature space on the back of the card. It is not part of your regular credit card number.
  • American Express: It is a four-digit number on the front of AmEx cards. The CID number is printed (flat) rather than embossed like the card number.

The CVV2/CVC2 numbers enhance fraud protection and help to validate two things:

  • The customer has the credit card in their possession
  • The credit card number is legitimate

By helping to prevent credit card fraud, the CVV2 / CVC2 numbers help keep costs down for everyone.


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