In 2017, the International Organization for Standardization announced that Bank Identification Numbers (BINs) would change from six to eight digits—effective April 2022. The time has arrived. Are you ready?
What is a BIN and why does the standard need to change at all?
BIN stands for Bank Identification Number—you know, the first six digits of your card number. And they are fundamental to the payments business. They ensure that issuers and their cardholders are uniquely identified. And with all the innovation driving unprecedented growth in payments, the demand for these BINs has increased, leading to an overall industry concern: Are there going to be enough BINs to support future payment growth?
Five years ago, the Industry Standards Organization (ISO) along with other key payment stakeholders like Visa, agreed on a way to increase the supply of BINs. The easiest change—the one with the least impact to the ecosystem – was to increase the length of the BIN from six to eight digits.
So—what does this mean for the average merchant/seller? Well, if you read the first six digits of that card number to inform your business decisions or downstream processes, in April 2022, you’ll need to read those first eight digits to make those same business decisions.
That’s less than two months from now!
Prompt action is needed today. Necessary operational and technology changes may require extended timelines and coordination between and across all your partners and customers.
So—what should you be doing right now?
- Conduct an impact assessment. This is the single most important thing you can do.
- Create your plan. Internally, make sure you work across all business lines. Externally, work between and across your partners and clients.
- Implement and test.
What has Cybersource done to prepare and how can we help?
Cybersource (and Authorize.net) have actively analyzed the implications to our solutions and planned for necessary changes.
- All internal systems that are dependent on BIN data will be updated to support the new format—targeted for no later than the week of March 9, 2022.
- While Cybersource and Authorize.net may leverage BIN data for internal product operations, no impact is anticipated to standard payment transaction processing.
- Client-facing displays and interfaces (e.g., Business Center merchant reporting, transaction search, and Decision Manager fraud tools) will continue to operate on first six + last four formatting unless or until otherwise communicated.
We’re getting ready. And we want you to be ready too!
For additional resources regarding eight-digit BIN readiness, see:
Cybersource Fact Sheet: Preparing for Eight-Digit BINS, (including Eight BIN Testing recommendations and FAQ), cybersource.com
Preparing for the Eight-Digit BIN—Frequently Asked Questions, Visa Public, January 2020
Visa’s Numerics Initiative, visa.com