Have you ever wondered, “What is the security code on a credit card?” To answer that question, let’s first go over where the security code is located. For MasterCard, Visa, and Discover cards, the security code is the three-digit code located on the back of the card. For American Express cards, it’s the four-digit code located on the right side of the front of the card.
The security code adds additional verification that a customer is in fact the owner of the card they’re using. It’s used in the card not present transaction space, which includes any transaction that occurs without the physical card present—online, phone, mail, and fax orders. The idea is that the more correct information needed to verify a credit card, the harder it is for a thief to match that information. In some transactions, the correct security code may not be needed to run a transaction. Therefore, when a fraudulent charge is made with an incorrect security code, it’s easier for a cardholder to prove that fraud has occurred.
How To Protect Card Information
In order to ensure the highest level of data security, we recommend using payment card tokenization.
Tokenization provides several layers of protective armor to safeguard sensitive credit card information and shield against a potential data breach.
Tokenization technology replaces credit card information with a unique token that is only decipherable with the proper payment system. With a tokenized credit card, businesses will never see the original credit card number. Instead, only the tokenized data is visible in the payment system.
A tokenized credit card is completely different from the original credit card information and acts as the key for all future transaction. Businesses can use this token to house customer records and guarantee secure data storage.
Tokenization makes it impossible to hack or decipher your credit card data.
Safeguard Data with PCI Compliance
If you’re a business owner, we highly recommend that you don’t store your customers’ card security codes.
Not only does this break PCI compliance—it also increases the risk of credit card fraud and defeats the purpose of the security code in the first place.
PCI compliance applies to any business that accepts credit cards. In the event of a data breach, lack of PCI compliance could result in steep fines by the PCI Security Standards Council. PCI compliance significantly decreases the liability for your business should a data breach occur. Using a tokenized credit card can help your business achieve PCI compliance.
You can also use tokenization technology to secure business passwords, email addresses, employee files and customer accounts.