Traditional 6 digit Bank Identification Numbers (BINs)
The payment industry is currently facing challenges in respect to the supply of Bank Identification Numbers (BINs) that cannot keep up with the industry growth. Notably, a BIN is the first 6 digits of the primary account number (PAN), the 8 to 19 digits long card identifier found on payment cards, such as credit cards, debit cards, stored value cards, gift cards, virtual cards, and other similar cards. The BIN is also referred to as the issuer identification number (IIN). On the other hand, BIN database is a list with thousands of validated credit and debit card numbers to help merchants assess and determine the authenticity of credit cards used by consumers to purchase goods and services.
In most cases, BINs contain six numbers which represent the details of the bank that issued a card. Electronic cards offer convenience to users. Unfortunately, their ease of use has resulted in the fraudulent use of cards, which is common across enterprises and industries. Malicious users can steal a card and use it to make illegal purchases before the owner discovers and acts. Frequently, businesses can be charged high back fees that could be passed to the customers in form of higher priced services to recover the losses and keep the business profitable and sustainable.
The largest payment processors, MasterCard and Visa have already been forced to take steps to combat the diminishing supply of BINs. MasterCard introduced the 2-series BINs, while Visa mandated on 9-digits account ranges. Their solutions are effective in the short term. Unfortunately, they are not addressing the core issue that is being exacerbated by tokenization as a result of increased online and mobile payments. There is a need for the expansion of the BIN from 6 digits to at least 8 digits. This move will prepare the BIN for the future, as specified by the International Standard ISO/IEC 7812-1 that specifies a numbering system for the identification of card issuers.
In July 2016, the American National Standards Institute (ANSO), a private non-profit organization in charge of overseeing the development of voluntary consensus standards announced plans to increase BIN digits. The proposed changes within the PCI and banking industry involves increasing the PAN to 19 digits and the BIN to 8 digits to create a larger address space for BIN numbers. Changing the truncating rule allows storage of the first eight and last four digits, which will idyllically weaken security since it leaves only a few digits to be guessed while storing the PAN numbers. However, increasing the PAN to 19, and storing the first eight digits will result in 11 remaining digits to be guessed.
Recently, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has issued a truncation guidance for the proposed changes to BINs and PANs. An organization should ensure that its format is compatible with the applicable payment networks.
The proposed BIN extension will not affect the PAN, which will remain the same 8 to 19 digits. However, the new changes will have a crucial impact on the payment industry and affect stakeholders across the many segments of the industry.
April 2022 has been set as the deadline for agents to fully adapt to the proposed BIN system. Failure to comply will result in misrouted transactions for clients. Moreover, they may also experience unnecessary and avoidable costs if they fail to plan in a timely manner.
Extended BIN Numbers and PCI DSS Compliance
Normally, card numbers range between 15 and 16 digits with the truncation rule set at first six and last four being the only digits electronically stored as part of rendering the primary account number unrecognizable to unauthorized people. The currently acceptable format for all PAN lengths across all Payment Brands allows for a maximum of the first six digits and last four digits to be retained or stored.Truncating involves eliminating a section of the PAN data to retain only a portion of the PAN for storage. This rule has been in place for security purposes within the PCI DSS.
Unfortunately, most BIN base database vendors are yet to provide a lookup service with the extended BINs. Moreover, existing payment platforms have been developed and implemented with the 6-digit numbering scheme in mind. To prevent data loss and compatibility issues, organizations will have to reconfigure their applications and databases, which may require modification of the source code.
Preparing for 8-digit BINs may be a challenge for organizations that still rely on legacy systems that are no longer maintained by their vendors. An upgrade to newer systems is required.
To meet security requirements, merchants and service providers will be required to consider modifying their technologies that encompass payment processing systems, CRM solutions and truncating technologies to meet the new requirements for increased PAN lengths. They must thoroughly investigate their point of sale terminals and websites to ensure that they are ready to accept the new 8-digit BINs in both card present and card-not-present payment channels. The assessment should be conducted in close collaboration with vendors of the respective solutions as it is necessary to maintain compliance with the PCI DSS standard so that transactions with extended BINS are managed correctly.
Evidently, merchants cannot afford to ignore the new changes in the payment industry. In fact, a failure to properly use the extended BIN numbers could result in significant loss of business and the inability of a merchant to provide value-added services such as loyalty programs, cash backing, and a series of discounts since merchants typically rely on the BIN to identify whether a BIN is domestic or belongs to a specific issuer.
BinBase.com Extended BIN Numbers
Unlike other BIN providers that only offer 6 digits BINs, BinBase.com offers an Extended BIN Database with longer account range definition. The new service is in accordance with the PCI SSC truncating guidance on PANs and BINs. BinBase.com is a leading BIN lookup database that provides an extended database with 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 digit BINs to prevent misrouting transactions. We have developed the innovative lookup service to provide flexibility beyond the currently accepted truncation format. The new service is built on the understanding of the purposes to which the truncated data may be put, as well as considering all constraints, such as Payment Brand requirements, that should be addressed before providing the service.
BinBase.com extended BIN database with longer account ranges is accessible at an affordable price to effectively support merchants in the fight against credit and debit card fraud. This innovation, unlike the conventional 6-digit BIN database, will offer more power to e-commerce platforms since it will enable real-time verification of credit and debit card as users transact. BinBase.com helps clients to scrutinize every card against records on the database automatically. A transaction is issued after verifying that a card is valid. On the contrary, if a card is invalid, then the transaction is aborted immediately and an alarm is raised.
BinBase.com BIN database with up to 11 digits is a vital innovation that further reduces instances of fraud and enhances the use of cards as a secure option for purchasing goods and services. On the other hand, failure of merchants to deploy the BIN verification databases will result in increased cases of card frauds. Therefore, the introduction of an extra digit on a card ensures that merchants and card owners are at low risk of being affected by fraud.
BinBase.com helps clients to transition smoothly to the new requirements. They help their clients with timely planning to avoid adverse impact of noncompliance, such as misrouted transactions and unavoidable costs. BinBase.com is ready to help with a well-designed BIN lookup system that allows merchants to instantly analyze a customer's purchase and electronic transactions, which increases the efficiency of the operations.
The new product, the Extended License, includes all the benefits of our popular Universal License plus a database of extended BINs delivered in the CSV file format for maximum compatibility and accessibility. You can read my complete BinBase review.