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CVV Number: What is CVV? How to Find Credit Card's CVV Code?

  • Highlights

  • CVV on card stands for Card Verification Value

  • The CVV number protects you from fraud

  • CVV is also called a CSC number or a CVC number

  • What is CVV Number and how to find it

What is CVV Number or CVV Code?

A card verification value or a CVV number is a 3-digit code printed at the back of a credit or a debit card. Also known as card security code or card verification code, it acts as an additional security layer protecting your data during online transactions or card swipes at POS machines.

The CVV code is distinct from the card’s PIN and is required while making online transactions. Cardholders must protect their CVV and not share it with anyone to avoid falling prey to cyber frauds.

What is CVV number in credit card?

CVV stands for Card Verification Value and refers to both the magnetic strip behind your card and the CVV number too. While the magnetic strip contains your data, a unique 3 or 4-digit code is assigned to the back of your card. This CVV number is a decimal representation of a code specifically assigned to your data and known only to your issuer. Thus, every time you swipe your credit card, the data on the magnetic strip is used to verify your identity and your CVV confirms the same, making your transaction secure.

Your credit card CVV number is also called a Card Security Code (CSC) number or a card verification code (CVC) number. This CVV code is a three-digit number on credit cards offered by networks such as VISA, MasterCard, and Discover. American Express cards have a four-digit CVV number.

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Where to find CVV number on the card?

As the 3-digit CVV code is printed on the credit card itself, accessing it is not difficult. If you are a Visa and MasterCard credit card holder, you can find the CVV number on the back of your card. The code is printed on the right side of the signature panel after your credit card account number. The American Express credit card, on the other hand, has the 4-digit CVV number printed on the front of the card above the account number.

Additional Read: Balance Transfer Credit Card

How does CVV number work?

When you type in your CVV number during an online transaction, you prove that you have the physical possession of the card, which helps reduce fraud. Further, this CVV number cannot be guessed or forged by just knowing your credit card number. It also cannot be copied while your card is swiped. Also, if there is a change in the data held in the magnetic strip of your card, the transaction is declined due to a ‘damaged card’ error. Thus, your CVV works in multiple ways to protect you from fraudulent transactions.

Also, you need not worry about a data breach as merchants are forbidden from storing the CVV number according to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. So, even if you save your credit card number and other details on a seller’s website, you are still required to key in the CVV code to complete every new transaction. This is why you will notice the CVV field to be empty even on frequently used apps where you choose for your card information to be saved.

Though CVV on the card is an excellent safety feature, your credit card is not entirely safe from scams like phishing or other cybercrimes. This is because not all merchants require the credit card CVV code to complete a transaction. So, a fraudster or hacker can easily use your credit card details to carry out unauthorised transactions on sites that don’t require the CVV.

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