Bank Identification Numbers

Table of Contents

  1. What Is a Bank Identification Number?
  2. How Do You Find Your Bank Identification Number?
  3. How Do BINs Work?
  4. How Can BINs Prevent Fraud?
  5. Emerging Technologies and the Future of BINs in Fraud Prevention
  6. What Other Uses Do BINs have?
  7. What Is a BIN checker?
  8. What Can Someone Do With a BIN Number?
  9. What Is BIN Scamming?

In most developed nations, credit and debit cards are nearly universal. Many customers now prefer using cards for most of their purchases rather than cash, and the world of e-commerce operates almost exclusively using credit cards. Unfortunately, the convenience these cards provide isn't without its downsides. Credit cards also opened up new opportunities for fraud, and the development of e-commerce made such fraud even easier to commit, negating the need for the fraudster to have the physical card in their possession.

A number of security measures have been implemented over the years to help merchants detect such fraud. In one case, however, an aspect of credit cards that was present from the very beginning gained new importance as a way to spot fraud in e-commerce: the Bank Identification Number (BIN). Let's talk about what a BIN is, what it means, and how it helps merchants prevent fraud.

What Is a Bank Identification Number?

A Bank Identification Number or BIN consists of the first four to six digits on a payment card. These numbers reveal information about what kind of card it is and what institution it's associated with.

New call-to-actionDeveloped by the American National Standards Institute and the International Organization for Standardization, BINs can be found on credit and debit cards as well as prepaid cards, gift cards, etc.

A BIN may also be referred to as an Issuer Identification Number (IIN), given that banks are not the only institutions that issue payment cards.

These numbers provide information that allows merchants to easily derive information about where a card came from based on the card number alone. Each credit card network has a range of BINs associated with them, and each issuer is given one or more unique BINs within those ranges.

How Do You Find Your Bank Identification Number?

The numbers on your card aren’t as random as you might think. The first four to six numbers are your card’s Bank Identification Number. The BIN identifies which card network and issuer are responsible for that particular card.

While listing every BIN associated with every issuer would result in a chart far too large to be of any use, the card networks each have ranges of BINs associated with them. Larger card networks may have ranges that cover every BIN with the same first two digits, and Visa's range includes every BIN that starts with a 4. Smaller card networks have smaller ranges, often defined by the first four numbers of the BIN, with the remaining two indicating the issuer.

Issuing network IIN ranges
American Express 34, 37
Bankcard 5610, 560221–560225
BMO ABM Card 500, 5510
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Advantage Debit Card 4506
China T-Union 31
China UnionPay 62, 81
Diners Club enRoute 2014, 2149
Diners Club International
300–305, 3095, 38–39
Diners Club United States & Canada 54, 55
Discover Card 6011, 622126 - 622925, 624000 - 626999, 628200 - 628899, 64, 65
HSBC Bank Canada Card 56
InterPayment 636
InstaPayment 637-639
JCB 3528–3589
LankaPay 357111
Laser 6304, 6706, 6771, 6709
Maestro UK 6759, 676770, 676774
Maestro 50, 56–69
MIR 2200–2204
NPS Pridnestrovie 6054740-6054744
Royal Bank of Canada Client Card 45
RuPay 60, 6521, 6522
Scotiabank Scotia Card 4536
Solo 6334, 6767
Switch 4903, 4905, 4911, 4936, 564182, 633110, 6333, 6759
TD Canada Trust Access Card 4724
Troy 979200–979289
UkrCard 6040, 6041
Visa 4
Verve 506099–506198, 650002–650027

The first digit on your card is known as the Major Industry Identifier (MII), which indicates a general category the card falls into. For example, the numbers 4 and 5 are for banking and financial cards—mostly Visa and Mastercard, respectively—while the number 1 is for airline cards. After the Major Industry Identifier, the next three or five digits under the BIN determine the issuing party. 

The rest of the numbers that don’t fall under the BIN are the individual account identification numbers. The last digit on your card is the Luhn check digit, a single check digit generated using the Luhn algorithm, which is used to quickly check if a credit card number is valid.

How Do BINs Work?

A card's Bank Identification Number provides necessary information for authorization and security against fraud. BINs help merchants identify and verify important transaction information such as the issuing bank’s address and phone number.

BINs work by identifying the issuer that should receive the transaction’s authorization request. The issuer then responds with information about whether or not the account is valid and whether the account has sufficient funds for the transaction.

These processes all happen in the background during card transactions, taking a matter of seconds to verify all the relevant information with an issuing bank that might be thousands of miles away.

You can check the information contained in a BIN using an online database, where you’ll find the credit card brand, type, issuing bank, and bank network, among other information. 

How Can BINs Prevent Fraud?

BINs can be used by merchants to verify transactions and look for red flags, such as a bank location and billing address in two different countries. If a transaction seems suspicious, the merchant can contact the issuer identified by the BIN to verify the information.

Although the information garnered from a BIN is relatively basic, it can be used to flag certain potentially fraudulent transactions as suspicious.

fraud Prevention- Proven Strategies to prevent e-commerce fraud For example, a business in the UK receiving an order from a customer in Spain might not be all unusual, but if the BIN indicated that the card was issued by a Canadian bank, that might be a reason to look at that transaction a bit more closely.

Many fraud prevention tools will use the BIN, among other information, to detect potentially fraudulent transactions.

Emerging Technologies and the Future of BINs in Fraud Prevention

As technology continues to advance, the landscape of e-commerce and financial transactions is evolving. The role of Bank Identification Numbers (BINs) in fraud prevention is adapting to new challenges and opportunities presented by emerging technologies. Here's a look at how BINs are expected to shape the future of fraud prevention:

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning:

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is becoming increasingly prevalent in fraud detection. In the context of BINs, AI algorithms can analyze vast datasets to identify patterns and anomalies associated with fraudulent transactions. This proactive approach allows merchants to stay ahead of evolving fraud tactics and respond swiftly.

Biometric Authentication:

With the rise of biometric technologies such as fingerprint and facial recognition, future payment systems may integrate these features alongside BINs for enhanced security. Combining biometric authentication with BIN verification can provide a multi-layered approach, making it more difficult for fraudsters to exploit payment systems.

Dynamic BINs and Tokenization:

Some financial institutions are exploring the concept of dynamic BINs, where the identification numbers change dynamically for each transaction. Additionally, tokenization, a process that replaces sensitive information with unique tokens, adds an extra layer of security. The synergy between dynamic BINs and tokenization aims to make it harder for cybercriminals to compromise transaction data.

Collaboration with Cybersecurity Initiatives:

As the financial industry faces increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, collaboration with cybersecurity initiatives is crucial. BINs could play a pivotal role in supporting collaborative efforts to share threat intelligence, enabling merchants and financial institutions to stay informed about emerging fraud trends and potential risks.

As the financial landscape evolves, the adaptability of Bank Identification Numbers will play a vital role in shaping the future of fraud prevention. Integrating emerging technologies and fostering collaboration within the industry will be key to staying ahead of cyber threats and ensuring the continued security of e-commerce transactions. Merchants and financial institutions that embrace these advancements in tandem with BINs will be better equipped to safeguard against fraud in an ever-changing digital environment.           


What Other Uses Do BINs have?

BINs also provide merchants with valuable data that can be analyzed for information about customer demographics, changing purchasing patterns, and chargebacks.

Merchants can use BIN information to see the type of card a customer uses and send targeted promotions and offers their way.

For example, a customer with an American Express platinum card likely has higher purchasing power and may be more interested in luxury goods.

If a customer uses a gift card, on the other hand, that might indicate that one of their friends or family members knows that they purchase from you frequently, or suspects that they might be interested in doing so. Sending that customer information about your customer loyalty program could be a great way to secure their future business.

BIN information can also indicate a particular issuer that's granting a disproportionate number of chargebacks against your business or rejecting your representment packages more often than other banks. Such information can help you identify mistakes you might be making or help you tailor your representment to that particular issuer.


What Is a BIN checker?

A BIN checker is a tool used to look up BIN numbers and reveal the information they contain.

What Can Someone Do With a BIN Number?

A BIN can be looked up using a BIN checker to reveal the bank that issued the card, the card type and brand, and other non-personal information.

What Is BIN Scamming?

Fraudsters can take a valid BIN number and generate potential strings of remaining numbers to test using small online transactions, trying to stumble upon a number that is in use.

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