From 6 to 8 digits: What will change with the BIN extension by Visa and Mastercard
The card organizations Visa and Mastercard will extend the BIN (Bank Identification Number) of their cards from 6 to 8 digits globally on April 1st 2022. The change in BIN length is a regulatory change and mainly affects card issuers. But some merchants and Payment Service Providers (PSPs) use the BIN for routing transactions, for loyalty programs, for fraud prevention or for reports, among other things. Whether you are in face-to-face business or e-commerce, as a merchant you need to be compliant next year.
Find out below what can happen if you continue to use the 6-digit BIN in your day-to-day business.
The first 6 digits of the Primary Account Number (PAN) of credit, debit and prepaid cards are called Bank Identification Number (BIN). The BIN is generally used to identify the scheme and the issuers. Other payment information such as the issuing country or the card type can already now only be reliably determined via so-called "account ranges". These are the first 9 digits of the PAN for Visa and the first 11 digits for Mastercard.
The massive growth of credit card issuers in recent years has led to a shortage of Bank Identification Numbers available. Because of the increasing demand of BINs by issuers, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) introduced a new standard to extend the BIN from 6 to 8 digits. The general length of the card number (e.g. 16 and 19 digits for Visa and Mastercard in Europe) will not change.
Visa and Mastercard are implementing the new 8-digit standard from April 2022.
What will change for you?
For most merchants, this 8-digit extension will have no impact. For a small part of merchants, it could have an impact on their day-to-day operations if they have dedicated processing based on the BIN that they manage themselves: For example, this affects routing of transactions, identification of the issuer for fee calculation, fraud management and reports.
However, you as a merchant need to be compliant with the new BIN-system at the deadline. If this is not the case, a significant loss in sales due to e.g. rejected cards might result – depending on the implementation.
What do you have to do?
As a Worldline customer, you usually don't have to do anything. Worldline has started to update its products to recognize 8-digit BINs for a readiness in April 2022.
But if you use 3rd party acquirers, 3rd party PSPs or Integrated Software Solutions for your payments, please contact your online Payment Service Provider or your terminal supplier. They will inform you, if you are 8-digit BIN-ready, or if adjustments need to be made.
Be aware, that the change concerns only Visa and Mastercard at the moment. All other major schemes like American Express, Diners Club/Discover, UnionPay, etc. have not yet announced timetables for implementing the new 8-digit BIN, but it is expected to happen sooner or later.
Key facts at a glance:
Generally speaking, if you are not using any rules or processes based on BIN, no action is required from your side.
On the contrary, if you have access to the card number or if you apply specific rules based on BINs, you should check if these rules are still working with the new 8-digit system.
If you have an e-commerce contract with Worldline but use a terminal provider or online Payment Service Provider other than Worldline, please contact your provider.
Solutions provided by Worldline will be fully compliant.
Q&A 8-digit BIN
What is the Bank Identification Number (BIN)?
The Bank Identification Numbers (BIN) uniquely identifies schemes and issuers and holds other payment information such as the issuing country or the card type. Currently the BIN corresponds to the first 6 digits of the card number.
Because of the increasing demand of BIN by issuers, in April 2022 the length of the BIN will be extended from 6 to 8 digits, without a change of the general length of the card number/PAN - Primary Account Number (e.g. 16 and 19 digits for Visa and Mastercard in Europe).
What is changing?
For Visa and Mastercard, in April 2022 the length of the BIN will be extended from 6 to 8 digits.
By this time, Visa and Mastercard will reallocate the BINs between issuers step by step. Some will keep their complete 6-digits BIN extended to 8 digits, while others will get a slightly or completely new BIN.
What won’t change?
The general card number length will remain the same.
The PCI rules won’t change. Receipt requirements remain unchanged.
No new cards will need to be issued.
What can be the consequences?
The use of the old 6-digit BIN could have negative consequences for merchants doing processing on BINs.
Check if you use the 6-digit BIN in the following areas in your case. For example, for:
BIN blocking, fraud scoring, fraud prevention.
Identifying of transactions in the context of disputes (chargebacks).
Retrieving information about the type of card (debit, credit, prepaid, commercial) or the currency in use.
Identifying the card issuer (bank and country).
Actions to be taken by you as a merchant?
If you have processing tasks based on BINs, you have to change their compatibility to the new 8-digit format.
If you use 3rd party acquirers, 3rd party PSPs or Integrated Software Solutions, please check with your provider it they are compliant with 8-digit BINs. Worldline has already started to update its products to recognize 8-digit BINs for a readiness in April 2022.
What is the influence on PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)?
The generic PCI regulations are not expected to change with the introduction of the 8-digit BIN.
For further questions regarding BIN customization in relation to your payment solution at Worldline, please contact us here.