Introduction of 8-digit BIN

Introduction of 8-digit BIN

From 6 to 8 digits: What will change with the BIN extension by Visa and Mastercard

The card organizations Visa and Mastercard will extend the BIN (Bank Identification Number) of their cards from 6 to 8 digits globally on April 1st 2022. The change in BIN length is a regulatory change and mainly affects card issuers. But some merchants and payment service providers (PSPs) use the BIN for routing transactions, for loyalty programs, for fraud prevention or for reports, among other things. Whether you are in face-to-face business or e-commerce, as a merchant you need to be compliant next year. Find out below what can happen if you continue to use the 6-digit BIN in your day-to-day business.

The first 6 digits of the Primary Account Number (PAN) of credit, debit and prepaid cards are called Bank Identification Number (BIN). The BIN is generally used to identify the scheme and the issuers. Other payment information such as the issuing country or the card type can already now only be reliably determined via so-called "Account Ranges". These are the first 9 digits of the PAN for Visa and the first 11 digits for Mastercard.

The massive growth of credit card issuers in recent years has led to a shortage of Bank Identification Numbers available. Because of the increasing demand of BINs by issuers, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) introduced a new standard to extend the BIN from 6 to 8 digits. The general length of the card number (e.g. 16 and 19 digits for Visa and Mastercard in Europe) will not change.

Visa and Mastercard are implementing the new 8-digit standard from April 2022.

What will change for you?

For most merchants, this 8-digit extension will have no impact. For a small part of merchants, it could have an impact on their day-to-day operations if they have dedicated processing based on the BIN that they manage themselves: For example, this affects routing of transactions, identification of the issuer for fee calculation, fraud management and reports.

However, you as a merchant need to be compliant with the new BIN-system at the deadline. If this is not the case, a significant loss in sales due to e.g. rejected cards might result – depending on the implementation.

What do you have to do?

As a Worldline customer, you usually don't have to do anything. Worldline has started to update its products to recognize 8-digit BINs for a readiness in April 2022.

But if you use 3rd party acquirers, 3rd party PSPs or Integrated Software Solutions for your payments, please contact your online Payment Service Provider or your terminal supplier. They will inform you, if you are 8-digit BIN-ready, or if adjustments need to be made.

Be aware, that the change concerns only Visa and Mastercard at the moment. All other major schemes like American Express, Diners Club/Discover, UnionPay, etc. have not yet announced timetables for implementing the new 8-digit BIN, but it is expected to happen sooner or later.

Key facts at a glance:

  • Generally speaking, if you are not using any rules or processes based on BIN, no action is required from your side.
  • On the contrary, if you have access to the card number or if you apply specific rules based on BINs, you should check if these rules are still working with the new 8-digit system.
  • If you have an e-commerce contract with Worldline (formerly SIX Payment Services) but use a terminal provider or online Payment Service Provider other than Worldline, please contact your provider.
  • Solutions provided by Worldline will be fully compliant.

Q&A 8-digit BIN