What is a Debit Card Security Code and what Is It Used For?

The numbers on your credit and debit card aren’t just fanciful numbers to beautify or decorate the card. They are usefull and quite important. The debit security code is the number found at the back and in some cases located at the front of the debit and credit card.

Those numbers on your card makes it possible for you to perform online transactions and also helps in accessing your account information.

What is a Debit Card?

In order for us to know what a debit card security code is and what it is used for we should first understand the concept behind a debit card.

A debit card which is sometimes referred to as a payment card is a plastic card that is used to perform monetary transactions. A debit card can be usefull in both online and offline transactions.

A debit card is quite different from a credit card although some people unknownlingly interchange the two of them. A debit card must contain money for transactions, when a purchase is done money would get deducted from the account and immediately transferred your merchant account to pay for the purpose of purchase.

With the introduction of debit cards the use of checks has been drastically reduced, which has had a huge impact in online transactions.

A credit cards is one which allows you to borrow money from the card issuer up to a certain limit placed on the account to purchase items or withdraw cash.

The credit and debit card are identical with each of them having a 16 digit card number, expiration date, EMV chips, and magnetic stripes.

 Now that we have an insight into what a debit card is let’s get into what debit card security code is all about.

What Is A Debit Card Security Code?

The debit card security code is an lmportant internet security feature that is mostly seen on the back of the debit card this code is basically a four-digit number that provides a cryptographic check of the information embossed on the card.

It can also be found on the back of most Visa or MasterCard including in the front of the American Express cards.

The debit card as well as a credit card has numerous numbers printed on it, you could visibly see the card number of 16-digits and usually appears in front of the card.

Apart from this number the card issued and expiring date is also on the front of the card but the debit security code is a 324 digit number located on the signature box below the magnetic stripe on the back of the card.

It is also called a card verification code, card verification value or CVV.

How Does a Debit Card Security Code Work?

As earlier stated, the debit card is a means by which online payments are carried out, whenever you make a purchase or pay for a service. Money is directly removed from the account in which the card is linked to.

The simple fact that a debit card is linked to your bank account makes it very important for safeguarding. you aren’t meant to share your 4 digit debit card security code with anybody, Any fishy activity carried out on your debit card may render you broke.

You might be asked for your debit card security code and your account information when making a purchase over the phone or online.

This is usually done by a merchant to verify that you are the original cardholder and authorized user. That is because we expect you to have the card in your possession to share this code.

This is a major way of preventing crime.

Furthermore, make sure that you protect your debit card security code from getting into the wrong hands, because if it gets into the wrong hands, it can be used for fraud or fraudulent activities even if they don’t have the card in their possession.

How to Keep Your Debit Card Security Code Safe?

 Fraud is now very rampant in society today especially with the growing use of debit cards to steal money from peoples account or use them in ordering goods online.

In other for you not to be on the safe side, you need to learn how to keep your card and card details safe. Here is a guide to safe-keep your debit card security code.

  • Never disclose your pin to anyone, write it down or carry it around with you because giving anyone access to it may be dangerous
  • Refrain from using your debit card for online transactions but rather using a credit card is a wise decision.
  • Request to always receive an email or text messages from your bank or financial institution when a transaction take place, this way you learn about activities that have to do with your account.
  • Pay attention to your bills, bank account statements, and credit report for any fraudulent activity. For example, withdrawals you didn’t make or purchases you didn’t authorize if you find any quickly report to your bank, credit union, or card issuers immediately if your card is lost
  • Always make sure you change your debit card security code regularly as constant change can help you get out of a scam or theft.
  • Make sure you have more than one bank account. If your checking account is compromised, you might be able to access cash from another source to pay for necessities and meet your financial obligation
  • Use Bank ATMs as they tend to have better security (video cameras) than automated teller machines at convenience stores, restaurants, and other places. Some ATM might store your details and the owners use it for illegal activities.
  • Use firewall, password, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software on your computer and mobile devices while keeping it up to date.
  • Beware of Phishing Scams

When doing business online, make sure you know who you’re interacting with because an identity thief may set up a phishing website that looks like it belongs to your bank or another business you have an account with. In reality, the scammer is looking to get access to your personal information and may attempt to access your bank account.

In the case of a merchant, a security code helps to validate the customer placing the online order isn’t pretending to have the debit card in his possession but has it and that the credit /debit card account is legitimate.

The security code is only printed on the card. It doesn’t reflect on the magnetic stripe information nor does it appear on the sales receipt or billing statement.

The debit card security code is important because it adds security to your account. It would be difficult for anybodt to steal from your account without knowing this code and any other information associated with it.

The CVV can be used for card nonpresent transactions as requested by the card issuer or holder. Merchants are expected not to save the CVV for future purposes or reference that way anyone who checks the web-based payment interface has access to every other information except the CVV.

 Limitations of the Debit Card Security Code

The CSC is not immune to phishing that is why the cardholder must be careful not to be tricked into rendering fragile information.

Fraudulent activities may still be committed without the debit card security code

Scammers can guess the CSC by using a distributive attack

What Is Phishing?

Phishing is a process where your details or identity or personal infotmation is been stolen and used for fraud or nefarious activities.

It is mainly carried out using a fraudulent website which is cloned to look exactly like the original website. It is programmed in a way that it stores all your details and send them to the email associated with the website. Your card details may be used to purchase things online or used to apply for some benefits.

people that visit this site usually thinks that they are interacting with the real website while they willingly submit there details to the scammer. Personal information such as social security numbers (SSN), account numbers, passwords, login IDs and card details. 

The scammer would use the information submitted by the user to steal visitors’ money, identity, or both; or to sell the information to other criminal parties who pay hugely for such information.

Phishing may also occur in the form of emails or texts from scammers that are made to appear as if they are sent from a legitimate business owner.

These fake emails or texts may come alongside some links that when you click on them it may install programs like ransomware that can allow scammers to access a victim’s computer or network.

Types of Debit Card Security Codes

CVC1 or CVV1 is the first code encoded on track one and two of the magnetic stripe and used for card-present transactions with signature.

It is required to verify a payment card is actually in the hands of the merchant.

CVV2 or CVC2  on the other hand is the second code used by merchants for card not present exchange including online purchases in certain countries

How is the Debit Card Security Code Generated

The debit Card Security Code is generated by the card issuer when the card is issued. It is calculated by encrypting the bank card number and expiration date with encryption keys known only to the card issuer.


Never be fooled into giving out your debit card security code to anybody and when you do make sure it is to the right source and merchant. 




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