Everything You Need to Know About CVV Numbers

Have you ever wondered why you are asked to provide your CVV number when you make purchases over the internet or phone? A CVV number is a numeric code that protects you from online frauds. Let us dive deeper into the concept of CVV to understand what it is and why we need it.

What does CVV Stand for and the Meaning of CVV Number?

CVV stands for Card Verification Value. It helps to authenticate the owner’s identity and reduce frauds. A CVV number is usually a three or four-digit code that is printed on the front or backside of the credit or debit card. The CVV security code is highly effective in protecting against frauds.

A CVV number is commonly known as:

  • CID – Card Identification Number
  • CVC – Card Validation Code
  • CVV2 – Card Verification Value 2
  • CSC – Card Security Code

Purpose of CVV

The primary purpose of introducing CVV number by banks and credit card issuers is to reduce fraudulent transactions online. To minimise the risks of credit/debit card scams, banks allocate two CVV numbers to each card. The first CVV number is encoded in the magnetic stripe and is used for card-present transactions. The second is printed on the card and needs to be provided when making online transactions.

While hackers can access your credit/debit card information through scammers, they cannot get your CVV number. According to PCI SSC, small business merchant services and big merchants may store your card information, but they are prohibited from storing CVV security codes. This regulation also provides safety in case a data breach happens, especially in the case of high risk merchant services. The CVV number enhances the security as it provides an additional layer of security.

Difference Between CVV and PIN

A CVV differs from a PIN. A CVV is Card Verification Value, whereas a PIN is a Personal Identification Number. The CVV number is permanently printed on the back or front of the credit/debit card, whereas a PIN is not written anywhere on the card. The credit card issuer generates a CVV security code. In contrast, the bank might assign a PIN, but it is temporary and needs to be reset by the person as soon as he receives the debit/credit card or ATM card.

In the case of debit cards, you need a PIN to withdraw funds from an ATM or to complete an in-person transaction, but credit cards use PINs only when you take cash advances from ATMs.

Does a New Card Have A New CVV Number?

You will get a new CVV security code on signing up for a new credit/debit card, replacing the old card on expiration, or when a new card is issued in case the card is lost. For security reasons, no two cards have the same CVV security code.

How to Protect CVV?

CVV number is very important and should be protected to avoid frauds and scams. Some of the ways you can prevent misuse of your CVV number are:

  • Shop only on trusted websites. SSL padlock and https are signs that indicate a website is safe and secure.
  • Avoid using public wi-fi to protect your personal information.
  • Do not share any details about your card with any person.
  • Beware of phishing scams and do not click on any suspicious emails or links.
  • Install anti-virus software on your systems as it provides you protection from malware.
  • Use password protection for your wi-fi network.
  • Monitor your account activity regularly and scan for any suspicious activity.

EMV Chip Cards

EMV cards work on chip technology and have enhanced security features. These chip-based payment cards are designed to prevent fraudulent practices.

The data in EMV cards is stored on a microprocessor chip that is embedded in the card. On the contrary, in old credit/debit cards with magnetic stripe, the data is stored in the magnetic strip.

EMV cards use the card and secret PIN to complete the transaction and create a unique code for each transaction. EMV chip cards are not vulnerable to skimming and cloning, making them safer.

Dynamic CVV Numbers

A dynamic CVV is an attempt to reduce fraud in card-not-present transactions. It allows the printed CVV security code to change at a set time period with the help of a tiny lithium battery-powered screen on the backside card. There are a few problems with this technology; first, there are difficulties in selecting the frequency at which the code changes and secondly, this technology is expensive.


CVV number is a security feature that helps to protect from online frauds. It enables the merchants to authenticate your identity and ensure you are the original cardholder.

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