Card Security Code (CSC) and Card Verification Value (CVV)

The Card Security Code (CSC), also known as Card Verification Value (CVV or CV2), Card Verification Value Code (CVVC), Card Verification Code (CVC), Verification Code (V-Code or V Code), or Card Code Verification (CCV) are a security enhancing features for credit or debit card transactions, providing increased protection against credit card fraud.

There are technical differences among the types of security codes:

  • The first code, called CVC1 or CVV1, is encoded on the magnetic stripe of the card and used for transactions in person.
  • The second code, and the most cited, is CVV2 or CVC2. This CSC (also known as a CCID or Credit Card ID) is often asked for by merchants for them to secure “card not present” transactions occurring online over the Internet, by mail, fax or over the phone. In many countries in Western Europe, due to increased attempts at card fraud, it is now mandatory to provide this code when the cardholder is not present in person.
  • Contactless card and chip cards may supply their own codes generated electronically, such as iCVV or Dynamic CVV.

Location of CVV2 or CVC2
The CVV2 or CVC2 is a three- or four-digit value printed on the card or signature strip, but not encoded on the magnetic stripe.

Generation of CVV, CVC CVC2 and CVV2 codes and values
CVV, CVC CVC2 and CVV2 values are generated when the card is issued. The values are calculated by encrypting the PAN, expiration date and service code with encryption keys. These encryption keys is known only by the issuing bank.