How to Identify a Credit Card based on your Account Number

When accepting credit card numbers over the phone from customers, you can easily identify the card type without asking the customer. Each credit card has a unique set of numbers, and the card issuer reveals the first or second digits of different lengths. You can also record other features of the number to prove the evidence.

Identification by first digit
Specifying the first digit of a credit card account number can help you narrow down or identify the issuer. Except for American Express, Diners Club and Cart Blanche, credit cards such as Mastercard, Visa and Discover can all be recognized as their first digits: Number 3. Mastercard’s unique first digit is 5 and the visa is always 4. The first digit of a Discover card is constantly 6 digits.

Identification by two or more digits
You can further identify credit cards that start with the same number by analyzing two or more digits. For example, American Express, Diners Club and Carte Blanche all start with the number 3, but you can confirm the American Express numbers if the first 3, 4 or 7 digits follow. However, if zero, follow 6 or 3, the credit card number belongs to the Diner’s Club or Carte Blanche account.

Length of account number
Some of the most common card issuers are 13 to 16 digits. Each type of account number has a specific length and can serve as a secondary way to identify a credit card type. For example, Visa account numbers can be 19 digits. If you see 19 credit numbers starting with a credit card number, you can assume that it is a visa. Mastercard and Discover account numbers contain 16 digits. American Express consists of 15 digits, Diners Club and Carte Blanche 14 digits.

Types of issuing entities
The first digit of each credit card serves as a key industry identifier or MII. For example, if the first 7 digits of a card number are issued, the card will be issued, such as a petrol brand, a company associated with the petroleum industry. Nos. 4 and 5 – Visa and MasterCard – apply to the banking and finance industry. Number 6 – Discover – represents trading and banking.

The account numbers starting with American Express, Diners Club and Carte Blanche 3 link their issuing agency to the travel and entertainment category. No. 1 and 2 are related to airlines or other industry assignments and No. 8 identifies telecommunications or other industry assignments. No. 9 represents a National Transfer Agency.

Although telephone companies, gas companies, and department stores have their own numbering systems, ANSI Standard X4.13-1983 is the system used by most national credit card systems.

Here are some numbers:

The first digit of your credit card symbolizes the system:

3 – Travel / Entertainment Cards (such as American Express and Diners Club)
4 – Visa
5 – Mastercard
6 – Discover Card
The structure of the card number varies by system. For example, American Express cards start with 37 numbers; Cart Blanche and Diners Club with 38s.

American Express – Three and four digits and cash, five to 11 account numbers, 12 to 14 numbers in the account, and 15 is a check number.
Visa – two to six digit bank number, seven to 12 or seven to 15 account number, and 13 or 16 is a check number.
Mastercard – two and three digits, two to four, two to five or two to six bank numbers (depending on whether the two digits are 1, 2, 3 or so). The digit next to the bank number through 15 is the account number and the 16 is the check number.