What is a Credit Card Code Verification Value (CVV, CVC, and CID)?

What is a credit card code verification value (CVV, CVC, and CID)? That’s a great question! Credit cards are a part of many people’s daily lives.  It is very important to protect the security of a credit card.  Many may not know about Credit Card Verification Values, but this information is important to users of credit cards.

Credit card fraud increases when users do not protect the Credit Card Code Verification Value on existing credit cards.  Read on to learn more about the importance of protecting this value.

What are the various names for Credit Card Code Verification Value?

The Credit Card Code Verification Value comes in various types.  This information provides added security for users during transactions.

These codes are known as Card Verification Value (CVV or CV2), Verification Code (V-Code or V Code), Card Security Code (CSC), Card Verification Value Code (CVVC), Card Code Verification (CCV), Card Verification Code (CVC), Credit Card Identification Number (CCID), and Card Identification Number (CID).

What are the differences between CVV, CVC1, CVV1, CVC2, CVV2, CCID codes?

  • CVVs may be supplied for chip card and contactless cards with electronically generated codes.
  • CVC1 or CVV1 codes are encoded on the magnetic stripe of credit cards.  The code is used during in person transactions. When a merchant swipes a credit card, the value is submitted to the issuing bank for verification.
  • Merchant requires CVC2, CVV2, or CCID when the credit card is not present during a transaction by mail, fax, phone, or Internet

These codes are not the same as the credit card number.  Many people confuse these numbers, but the credit card number and the verification value have separate validations to process a credit card.

Which credit card companies use CVV, CVC1, CVV1, CVC2, CVV2, CCID codes?

The credit card companies that use the codes are as follows:

  • Visa (CVV2) card validation code)
  •  Discover (CVC2) verification value)
  •  MasterCard (CID) card identification number or unique card code)

How do you find the CVC, CVV, CID verification code on your credit card?

Look for either a three-digit or a four-digit number located on the front or the back of the credit card.  This information is visible and not encoded into the magnetic stripe.

  • American Express cardholders have a four-digit code as the verification code. The CID is on the front of the card directly above the credit card number. The number is not embossed like the credit card number.
  • Visa cardholders have a three-digit security code.  The magnetic stripe on the back of the card sometimes contains the last four digits of the credit card number.  Directly behind those four numbers is the three-digit security code.  This number is printed flat, not embossed.  The information is located in a separate section after the magnetic stripe so the cardholders do not write over this number when signing the credit cards.
  • MasterCard and Discover have three-digit security codes on the cards. The non-embossed number is on the back of the credit card on the signature panel.

What is the CVC, CVV, CID used for?

These numbers provide security to credit card users and the credit issuing institution. The CVC1 and CVV1 are encoded in the magnetic strip for face-to-face transactions.

Merchants require photo identifications to verify that the credit card belongs to the person using the credit card during the transaction. In the event someone tries to use a credit card belonging to someone else, the photo identification verification protects the credit institution and the cardholder.

The second credit card verification is the CVC1, CVC2, and CID (three to four-digit codes). These codes provide protection to card holders during phone, Internet, fax, and mail order transactions.

U.S. laws forbid merchant from storing these codes once the transaction is completed. Providing the verification code also ensures the merchant that the cardholder has possession of the credit card at the time of the transaction.

Ways to Protect the Card Verification Value

The credit card number and the verification code should be treated like a valuable possession. A credit card contains important information within the magnetic strip and the visible verification code. Here are a few tips to help you protect your information:

  • Cardholders should store information regarding any transaction that is not in person. Record the name, date, and identification number of the person you spoke to during the transaction. In the event a merchant or merchant employer captures the credit card number and verification code value and tries to use the information later, the cardholder has the necessary information to track down the user.
  • Destroy documents with credit card numbers and verification values written on it. If this information gets in the wrong hands, the cardholder may initially be responsible for any transactions. Use a shredder to destroy this information.
  • Shred all old credit cards when the new ones arrive. This ensures that the credit card information does not land in the wrong hands. Use scissors if a shredder is not available.
  • Make sure that credit card numbers and values are not visible in an open wallet. Storing a credit card in the area of the wallet designated for the driver’s license may make it easy for someone to obtain your credit card number and security code when opening a wallet in public.
  • Never loan credit cards to others. Any transactions made by a lost credit card may be the responsibility of the cardholder.

The verification values of credit cards are very important, and cardholders must protect this information to protect creditworthiness. It only takes a few minor changes to protect this information. Knowing about credit card verification values may help cardholders take additional precautions to protect this information.