Full Form of CVV

Updated on March 19, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Full Form of CVV – Card Verification Value

The full form of CVV is the Card Verification Value. CVV (also termed as CSC (card security code) or CVN (card verification number) or CVC (card verification code), or CVD (card verification data)) can be defined as a combination of security features that are used in debit, credit, and ATM cards for eliminating or minimizing the possibilities of fraud and establishing the identity of the owner of the card.

Key Takeaways

  • CVV stands for Card Verification Value. Security codes on cards, also known as CSC, CVN, CVC, or CVD, are safety features that prevent fraud and verify the cardholder’s identity.
  • a card verification code (CVV) helps reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions by confirming the cardholder’s identity when making online purchases or paying bills. Credit and debit cards are commonly used for these transactions.
  • CVV is a 3-digit number on the back of MasterCard, Discover, and VISA debit cards and a 4-digit number on Amex cards. There are two types – CVV1 for card-present and CVV2 for card-not-present transactions.

Purpose

A card verification code or CVV aims to minimize the risks of fraudulent transactions by establishing the cardholder’s identity. Users largely use credit and debit cards for online shopping or making other payments, such as bill payments.

Online portals cannot save the card verification number provided on the credit and debit cards. This means that even if the portals have all the details concerning the cardholders’ debit or credit card, they still cannot access the card verification number unless the latter does not type it separately to confirm the payment transaction. This makes it impossible for others to access the card information for initiating payments without the cardholder’s authorization and safeguarding them against potential fraud.

Full-Form-of-CVV

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Characteristics

The characteristics of the CVV number are as follows:

  • CVV is a three-digit number on MasterCard, Discover, and VISA debit cards, credit cards, and ATM cards, while a four-digit number on American Express debit or credit cards.
  • CVV is provided at the back of the MasterCard, Discover, and VISA debit cards, credit cards, and ATM cards while displayed at the front of the American Express debit or credit cards.
  • A CVV is a security feature for “card not present transactions.”

Types

The two types are as follows:

Types of CVV Number

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#1 – CVV1:

CVV1 is used in card-present transactions to verify if the data is valid and issued by a banking institution. It is provided in the card’s magnetic stripe.

#2 – CVV2:

CVV2, unlike CVV1, is a code printed on the card. It is used in the case of a card, not present transactions such as mail order/ telephone order (MOTO) or internet. It acts as an added security feature for preventing potential frauds.

Location

A card verification value number can be found on debit and credit cards. A CVV is a three-digit number provided in the magnetic stripe of a debit or credit card. CVV can be located as a three-digit number at the back under the magnetic stripe of the MasterCard, Discover, VISA debit cards, credit cards, and ATM cards. In the case of an American Express debit and credit card, the CVV number can be found as a four-digit number on the front right side of the same.

Importance

A card verification value is important in today’s world, where most shoppers prefer to shop for everything online. This is why most businesses are selling their products online to cater to more and more customers and adjust to today’s requirements.

Not only shopping, but people also tend to pay their bills like credit card bills, electricity bills, telephone bills, mobile recharge, insurance bills, etc., online. This saves them a lot of time and harassment since the users with Digitalization can pay their dues and bills or even go shopping anytime and anywhere without needing to go out and stand in long queues and wait for their turn.

But with growing Digitalization and online transactions, the scope for fraud has also risen. With the rise in frauds, the security mechanism in executing online transactions has also been constantly enhanced to safeguard the users from being robbed. Debit and credit cards come with a CVV, an added security feature in initiating online transactions.

A CVV code prevents and eliminates fraud and protects cardholders from data breaching. Online portals cannot save this vital information of the cardholders; therefore, the users will have to provide the CVV for manually initiating the transactions online. Online portals can save other cardholders’ details but will not have access to the CVV provided in the previous transaction. This safeguards the cardholders from potential fraud and secures their online transactions.

CVV vs CVV2

CVV and CVV2 differ from each other on various parameters.

  1. A CVV2 is a type of CVV, and it is used for cards, not the present type of transactions. On the other hand, a CVV can either be a card not present or a card-present transaction.
  2. CVV is the short form used for card verification value, whereas CVV2 is the short form used for card transaction value 2.
  3. A CVV is a three-digit number displayed on the MasterCard, Discover, and VISA debit cards, credit cards, and ATM cards/ four-digit numbers on the American Express debit and credit card. It acts as an added security feature during online transactions. On the other hand, a CVV2 is a three-digit number generated during the second process, which is why it becomes more difficult to guess the same correctly.

Benefits

The benefits of CVV are provided as follows:

  • Minimizes Fraud: CVV minimizes the possibilities of fraud and protects cardholders against the same. Online card transactions cannot be executed without a CVV. Hence, the users will have to manually provide the CVV for initiating the payment from their bank accounts.
  • Safeguards from Data Breaching: CVV protects cardholders from data breaching. It disallows the online portals to save the CVV of the shoppers. The shoppers must insert their CVV every time they make an online transaction. The online portals can save other information but not CVV and the card’s four-digit pin.

Conclusion

A CVV can be regarded as an added security feature in online transactions. It is a three-digit number mentioned on the backside of the MasterCard, Discover, and VISA debit cards. In the case of American Express branded debit and credit cards, a CVV is a four-digit number, and it is displayed at the front. A CVV can be of two types CVV1 and CVV2. CVV1 is used in a card-present transaction, while CVV2 is used for card, not present transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Is CVV Sensitive Authentication Data?

It is important to remember that Sensitive Authentication Data (SAD), like complete track data, CVV, and PIN data, are highly sought after by attackers for fraudulent transactions, whether in person or online.

Can the CVV number be changed?

Credit card issuers generate CVVs and print them on the card. When you receive a debit or credit card from a bank, they may provide you with a temporary PIN, but you will typically need to change it to a number of your choice. However, you cannot change your CVV as it is automatically generated.

Can we share CVV with anyone?

To safeguard your card against unauthorized use or fraud, keeping the CVV number private is essential. This code is required for many online transactions and is embossed on the card. It is different from the debit card PIN and can be found on the back of the card. It is crucial to keep this number private.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to the Full Form of CVV and its definition. Here we discuss the characteristics, types, and location of CVV, along with its importance and benefits. You may refer to the following articles to learn more about finance –

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