6 Bank Card Secrets Everyone Should Know About
We use bank cards every day. We withdraw money from ATMs, we use them to pay our bills and pay for food, and we transfer money to our friends. And this is not a complete list of the transactions we make every day. However, there are a few things about bank cards that we never knew.
Bright Side will tell you about the small secrets of bank cards that can teach you a few financial tricks.
6. What the numbers on bank cards mean
- Most bank cards have a 16-digit number (sometimes 13 or 19 digits). The first digit is the system number identifier (4 — VISA, 5 — MasterCard). The next 5 digits represent the issuing bank. So just 6 digits will give you information about the type of the card, the system, and the bank that issued the card. Check for yourself.
- The next 9 digits are useful only for the bank because they identify the card owner.
5. The check digit and the magic of numbers
- The card number is determined by digits 9 to 15. They are made by a special algorithm. The chances that 7 numbers are the same on 2 different cards are extremely low because the number of possible arrangements of 7 digits is more than the number of people currently alive.
- The last number (the check digit) is calculated based on the Luhn algorithm. It prevents unintended mistakes that are bound to appear if the numbers are typed manually. You can easily check the Luhn algorithm on your bank card.
4. A bank card in UV light
- Very few people know that bank cards are protected in the same way as usual money. For example, with watermarks that can be seen in ultraviolet light. On VISA cards, you will see a “V,“ on MasterCard there are ”M" and “C,” and on American Express you can find an eagle.
3. Credit or debit?
- A bank card can be either debit or credit. The main difference between them is who the money on the account belongs to: the bank or the client. Credit cards are often issued in addition to debit cards. Just remember that a bank has no right to issue a credit card for you without your permission.
- Overdraft cards are a compromise between credit and debit cards. An overdraft card allows you to use more money than you have in your account, but the limit is usually lower than on a credit card.
2. A technical overdraft
- There is a term "technical overdraft," and this is when a sum that is bigger than the regular limit is charged from the account. It might appear when you pay in another currency or if you replenish the account from a different bank and withdraw the money right after.
- There is nothing scary about a technical overdraft, and it disappears right after the money is in the account and no interest is calculated.
1. The other side of the card
- On the other side of the card, there is another security measure: the CVV code (for VISA cards) and the CVC code (for MasterCard). In both cases, CV stands for Card Verification. This code verifies your card.
- CVV allows you to make transactions without the actual card, for example, when paying online. Using this code you can make a transaction remotely. Just like the PIN, you shouldn’t show it or tell it to anyone, especially if someone is asking you to.
Safety rules for using bank cards
- If you are buying something on the internet, do it only on secure websites. Check if the website uses https-protocol for financial transactions. This will protect your data from leaking.
- Keep your card information safe. This goes for both the PIN and the CVV. Remember, it takes only a few seconds to capture the information on the card. Don’t let anyone take your card, even in cafes and restaurants.
- If you need to withdraw money from an ATM, follow the safety rules. When you come to an ATM, check if it has additional cameras or something on the keyboard.
- If you lose your card or somebody steals it, call the bank immediately to have it blocked. If you think that somebody might have your bank card data, inform your bank of your suspicions.
- Don’t feel shy to talk to the bank. Most financial organizations have a 24/7 support service. You can ask any question about your card by calling the service or writing to them.