Truncated Card Data

Truncated Card Data refers to credit or debit card information that has been shortened to display only a portion of the full card number. Typically, all but the last four digits are replaced with placeholders, such as asterisks or Xs.

Truncation is a measure used to protect sensitive cardholder data. This approach helps to minimize the risk of cardholder data being exposed or misused. By limiting the amount of information that is visible, it becomes much harder for fraudsters to piece together the complete card number.

Truncation is often used in conjunction with other security measures — such as encryption and tokenization — to provide multiple layers of protection.

For example, a point-of-sale terminal might truncate the card number on the printed receipt, while also encrypting the full card number for transmission to the payment processor. This approach ensures that the sensitive data is protected at all stages of the transaction process.

Truncation is not only a security best practice but also a requirement under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which sets the security standards for businesses that store, process, or transmit credit card data.