What Is Credit Card Verification?

B. Miller
B. Miller
Most credit cards have the CVV number on the back.
Most credit cards have the CVV number on the back.

Credit card verification is a process for ensuring that the person presenting a credit card number, or even a physical card is the rightful card holder, and is not committing credit card fraud. This can occur in a number of different ways. A credit card verification number (CCV) is one of the most common; this is a three-digit number usually found on the back of the card. Some stores may also ask customers to present photo identification as a process of verification, usually for the name and signature on the card. Some people take steps to protect their credit card even further, and on the back of the card in the signature area will write "Ask for I.D." to ensure that identification is checked every time the card is used.

A CCV number is a convenient protective tool developed by credit card companies to help protect online shoppers. In most cases, when ordering something online with a credit card, the shopper will be asked to enter the three-digit credit card verification code, as well as the credit card number itself. This is to ensure that the person is actually in possession of the card, and has not simply gotten hold of the credit card number. For this reason, it is important to protect the CCV number just like the credit card number.

Another method of credit card verification involves checking the numbers of the credit card with the other types of numbers given out by that company. For instance, a credit card company might always give credit cards that are sixteen digits long and begin with "52"; this can be a method of verifying, as charts listing these numbers can be found online. However, it can be difficult to do in a store if the customer is impatiently waiting.

The simplest and most common method of credit card verification generally involves simply checking photo I.D. and matching up the name and signature. Some stores will require this for all customers, while others will only do it randomly. Customers generally understand that this process is for their own protection, and will be willing to show identification when using a credit card. When verifying I.D. with a credit card, it is important to make sure that the name matches exactly, not just the last name, which could indicate that someone took a family member's card, and that the signatures match very closely.

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Discussion Comments


I have my old credit card and the first four numbers are the same, as is the date (plus 3 years) but the ccv rubbed off - I know the old one but not the current one. Is there any pattern?

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    • Most credit cards have the CVV number on the back.
      By: stockyimages
      Most credit cards have the CVV number on the back.