Card Validation Code (CVC)

The Card Validation Code (CVC), is a security feature designed to safeguard against fraudulent card-not-present transactions. Appearing as a three or four-digit number on the reverse side of credit and debit cards, it remains separate from the card’s magnetic stripe information and chip data.

It plays a pivotal role in verifying the physical possession of the card during remote transactions such as online purchases or phone orders. By requesting the CVC, the merchant creates an additional layer of verification, decreasing the likelihood of fraud.

Instituted by major card networks to protect against increasing card information theft, the CVC is recognized differently across various networks:

  • CVV2 for Visa
  • CVC2 for MasterCard
  • CID for American Express

The integration of the CVC into card security infrastructure enhances consumer trust in digital transactions, reinforcing the safety and reliability of electronic payment systems.