Have you heard of a BIN or IIN number before and you want to know what it is? Or, do you wonder how when you swipe your credit card through a machine it knows that yours is a Visa, MasterCard, or other type of credit card? You may not have realized it before, but there is a system in place to make your purchases easy to track through your credit card network. A BIN is an acronym for Bank Identification number whereas the IIN is an acronym for Issuer Identifier Number. Each of these numbers is used to identify the bank or issuer of any credit card or card that uses the BIN or IIN system.




What most consumers do not realize is that the numbers that are on their credit cards are not truly random. In fact, all credit card numbers have a specific amount of structure to them and they share a common numbering scheme with all other credit cards. This structure allows for credit cards to be identified by bank or issuer when a payment is being processed. The identification is instant once the card is swiped because the BIN is different for each card, starting with the first digits.


The first six numbers of a credit card number are the BIN or Bank Identification Number. It is this prefix of numbers that allow for the card to be linked with the card network that it belongs with. The numbers following these six numbers are determined by the issuer of the card, but the prefix is generally the same for all cards from this issuer.


There are many different cards that use the BIN system for easy networking, with more and more industries choosing to use the system all the time. Some of these current systems include:


  • Credit Cards
  • Charge Cards
  • Debit Cards
  • Electronic Benefit Transfer Cards
  • Stored-Value Cards
  • Prescription Cards


Most insurance companies are finding that it makes sense to use the BIN system because it allows for the pharmacy to more accurately and more efficiently link the patient with the insurance network to which they belong, making claim verification much more straight forward for all involved. This is just one way in which BIN/IIN is making purchasing products and taking advantage of card systems easier for the average consumer as well as the merchant.


The term BIN is quickly being replaced by the term IIN or issuer identification number, though it generally means the same things and the two terms are interchangeable. More and more industries are starting to incorporate the BIN or IIN system as it makes real time purchases, claims, and transactions much more fluid for both the seller and the purchaser. The BIN is also a great way to prevent fraud and theft because each card is approved by its issuer based on BIN, making it simple to suspend the use of a card and track down its fraudulent usage.




Have you ever entered your credit card information incorrectly by mistake and then been told that your transaction had not been approved? This happens because of the BIN or Bank Identification Number that is associated with your card. Many people believe that credit card numbers are random, but they are not! Each issuer has a prefix that is unique to them, and if this prefix along with the rest of your number is not entered into the system the card will not be approved. The BIN system has worked wonders in helping to prevent fraud, identity theft, and has helped with the security of card programs the world over.




Bank Identification Numbers are being used by more and more industries all the time as they realize that this is a great way to differentiate one consumer from the next. Before the BIN database it was much more difficult to differentiate one card from the next, therefore theft and fraud was much easier to get away with it now. Now, the instant a card is swiped the card is instantly linked with the card network that it is connected to, and it is either approved or not, based on the account standing of the consumer as well as whether the card has been reported as stolen.


BIN is also seen with things as simple and as seemingly ordinary as store shopper's cards. You know the cards that you use to receive savings on the items that you buy every day? Many of these use a BIN system to help link the shoppers with their individual savings. The reason that many stores went to the BIN system is because the cards are linked to in store savings as well as savings on gasoline, all things that are individual to each shopper, and in some instances savings that are linked with credit cards. Stores utilize this service to ensure that each shopper gets the savings that they are entitled to.


Many insurance companies have used the BIN or IIN system because it helps them to track each of their clients, ensuring that no one is using the health benefits that shouldn't be. Through the BIN or IIN system healthcare providers or insurance companies are able to track the usage of the individual patient, allowing for claims to be approved right away whether the person is in the hospital or filling a prescription. If the premiums haven't been paid on the insurance plan or the card has been reported missing, the insurance company is able to control losses by simply denying the claim.


Online merchants are finding that the BIN databases are helpful for them. Online merchants are known to lose billions of dollars per year to fraudulent credit card claims. Now, online merchants can take the information that they can access from BIN databases and not approve certain transactions based on a history of fraudulent activity. There are steps being made to help online merchants control their losses to an even bigger extent that involves the BIN database.


As you can see, the BIN database can be used by all industries to help control losses as well as provide the consumer with the very best customer service. Through the BIN/IIN implementation much of the way that we do business in our every day life has become much more accurate and streamlined. Though the BIN/IIN database is not a friend of scammers, it is definitely a great tool for many different individuals and businesses.




Did you know that online merchants lose billions of dollars per year due to fraudulent purchases? Those that are not involved in this business do not think about the losses that this industry faces. When someone's credit card is used fraudulently online the consumer may only be responsible for $50 of the charge and the card company will refund the rest of the money, leaving the online merchant out in the cold. While the money is refunded the merchant usually won't get their product or service back, which is where the billions of dollars in losses come from.




Smart online merchants are now working with a BIN database when trying to control loss. There are a lot of different programs that can be used, but the BIN database allows for the merchant to cross check the credit card information that is given to them to be sure that it can be authorized. The way this works is that the BIN/IIN system is a system that is used to connect a card with the card network to which it belongs. The major credit and debt card companies use the BIN system so that they can better control their networks, approving and denying cards as they should be.


Using a BIN database to validate transactions simply makes the most sense because then you are sure that you are dealing with a legitimate card company. Through a BIN database the online merchant has access to some necessary information such as the country of origin for the card, the customers billing address, and other related information. This information allows for the online merchant to determine whether the transaction is worth approving or not.


When you use a BIN database as an online merchant much of the work is taken off of your shoulders. Tens of thousands of new BIN numbers are added to the database quarterly, so if the number is not in the database you can choose not to approve it, or you can simply take a closer look to make sure that it isn't fraudulent. Many online merchants use the BIN databases to determine what type of card it is, such as a credit, debt, or prepaid card. The reason for this is that prepaid cards have a higher rate of fraud. Many merchants use a prepaid flag that will alert them when the card is prepaid so they can either inspect it more closely or simply reject it to be safe.


Basically using a BIN database gives the online merchant the tools that they need to limit the losses that they experience due to fraud. With the BIN databases having up to 95% of the BIN numbers in them, this is simply a great way to protect the business. Many online merchants deny any transactions that are not listed in the database, while others are just more careful when selecting the transactions that they approve when the card number does not appear in the BIN database. Through these actions online merchants will likely be able to save themselves a lot of time, energy, and money.




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