Understand what is changing and why it is happening.
What is a BIN?
The Bank Identification Number (BIN) is currently the first six numbers of the Primary Account Number (PAN), which is the 16-digit code on the front of your payment card. The BIN is used to identify the issuer connected to the card and customer.
How is the BIN used?
The BIN is used to identify card specific details. The first digit of the BIN identifies the scheme, such as Visa or Mastercard. The following digits are used to identify the institution or bank, card type, account level, and issuing country.
This information is then used as part of the transaction process to allow merchants and acquirers to determine if a transaction will be accepted. This information also helps to identify security issues, and fraud.
Why are BIN numbers getting longer?
The BIN is currently six digits for Visa and Mastercard. Given that billions of cards have been issued over the years, the schemes are beginning to run out of unique six-digit numbers. This means that Visa and Mastercard will be expanding their BIN to the first eight digits. The PAN will remain 16 digits.
When is the change happening?
Both Visa and Mastercard will begin issuing new eight-digit BINs in April 2022. No other card scheme is making the change.
Will new cards be issued to customers?
No, all current BINs are used to identify the existing cards. The expansion is only required for newly issued cards.
What do I need to change or prepare for 8-digit BIN?
You may not need to do anything. We are building the capability to receive and report on 8-digit BIN.
However, if you use a third-party gateway, software, or terminal provider, you need to ensure they are going to be prepared to make necessary changes to receive and process 8-digit BIN.