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CVV Number: All You Need To Know

CVV Number? What exactly is it? This question crosses a lot of people’s minds whenever they make a purchase online or by phone, and are asked to provide this number. You’ve given out this number at least a hundred times, but never really know what it is and why retailers ask for it.

CVV stands for Card Verification Value. It adds an extra layer of security when making purchases online or over the phone. 

It also helps to verify that you have a physical copy of the card in your possession and helps protect you if your card number falls into the hands of hackers and identity thieves. 

Let’s answer some common questions you may have about your CVV.

Where Is The CVV On My Card?

It’s easy to find your CVV code. If you use cards branded by MasterCard or Visa, your CVV number will be listed on the back of your credit or debit cards at the end of your card’s signature strip. 

The location of your CVV number is different if some other card types, as they are placed in the front, right above your card account number.

What Is The Difference Between My CVV And My PIN?

You should never confuse your CVV code with your card’s pin. 

Your PIN – Personal Identification Number is a four-digit code that you use when making purchases or using the ATM, while your CVV is the final and vital step to complete your transaction online.

What Other Name Is CVV Known By?

You might hear CVV codes referred to by different acronyms, usually CID or CSC. These different acronyms are used for different credit cards. 

All the identifying codes used by credit cards are known by the umbrella acronym of CSC, which stands for card security code. These three-digit CSCs are known as CVV or Card Verification Value — codes on Visa-branded cards. 

With MasterCard, the three-digit codes are known as CVCs, or card verification codes. On American Express cards, the three-digit code is known as a CID or card identification number.

How Does Your CVV Protect You From Identity Theft?

CVVs add another layer of identity theft protection and can help prevent unauthorized transactions. 

While many major retailers store your credit card account number in their databases, your CVV or CID is not allowed to be stored after the card is authorized due to credit card compliance standards.

This means even if identity thieves hack into a merchant’s system and steal your credit card number, or somehow otherwise access your credit card number, they may not be able to use your card information if they don’t have the code when attempting an online or phone purchase.

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