MasterCard has announced that they will add a new 2 series BIN range effective October 2016. The BIN range (222100-272099) will be processed with and in the same manner as the existing 51-55 BIN range (510000-559999).
What is a BIN?
A BIN, or “bank identification number,” is a six digit number that identifies the card issuer. This number is part of what makes up the entire payment card number on a payment card, like a credit, debit, or gift card.
The BIN is the first part of the payment card number, usually sixteen digits in length. The first four digits of this number are often printed on the card for additional security, just underneath where the number is embossed. The very first digit is called the MII or “Major Industry Identifier.” Here is a list of what the MII numbers mean:
1-2 Airlines (Diners Club enRoute)
3 Travel and entertainment from non-bank issuers like AMEX, Diner’s Club, JCB, and Carte Blanche
4 Banking and financial (Visa, Switch, and Electron)
5 Banking and financial (MasterCard and Bankcard)
6 Merchandising and finance (Discover, Laser, Solo, Switch, and China UnionPay)
9 National assignment*
*If this is the MII, the next three digits of the card number are going to be a 3-digit country code.
Using the MII, we can further discern more about cards. For example, Visa always starts with a 4. MasterCard starts with a 5, but (as we’ve just revealed) they will begin starting with a 2 in October of 2016. Discover cards begin with 6011, 644, and 65. AMEX cards begin with 3 and 37. Diner’s Club and Carte Blanche cards start with 300, 305, 36, and 38.
The rest of the payment card number is assigned by the issuer, who selects a number up to twelve digits to identify the account. Additionally, the payment card number contains a final single check digit.
What is the BIN used for?
The BIN list helps validate card transactions. Conflicting information, such as a BIN that does not correspond to the same location as the billing address, can signal fraud. Merchants can also use BINs to help identify card types and issuers by looking numbers up in a BIN database. The BIN database may also include more detailed information about a card, including the credit limits and levels.
BINs can also be used to target certain offers and promotions to specific audiences. Those cardholders with BINs associated with cards that demand higher credit-worthiness may be identified during an online checkout process and targeted with costlier merchandise.
Remember, the new 2 series from MasterCard will not change processing of their cards and will be used just like the current 5 series. As the date draws nearer, MasterCard will release more information if it directly affects merchants.
Photo credit: Dennis Skley