What Is Visa Card Issue Number?

A Visa card issue number is a special code that often goes by other names such as Card Security Code (CSC), Card Verification Value (CVV & CVV2), and Card Cord Verification (CVV). The purpose of the code is to provide an additional layer of security to protect all parties in a transaction. The location of the code is also important as it helps retailers that require the Visa card issuer number via point of sale systems as well as online systems provide the most secure transaction possible. In an era where credit card fraud and identity theft are very serious concerns, the Visa card issuer number is a necessity.
To understand why the Visa card issue number is so important it is probably easiest to look at the front of your own Visa credit card. This has pretty much all of the information that is required to make a purchase in person other than a working reader strip on the back: your card number, name, and expiration date. What would stop someone from making an easy copy of the front side of your credit card and then finding ways to use that information at vendors that do not have additional layers of security? Visa pondered the same question for years, and while the initial answer was to require a signature in the signature panel you should ask yourself when was the last time a retail cashier verified that at checkout. Online retailers obviously do not have access to inspect this element either.
Thus the concept of putting another piece of important security verification information on the rear of the card was born. The Visa card issue number is on the rear of any Visa card, typically in the right side of the signature panel. There are already a few standards in place but the most basic form of Visa card issue number involves checking the 3 digits furthest to the right. In some cases there will be other digits and/or the full credit card number printed along side of these digits. The proximity to the signature panel is not a coincidence but a reminder to retailer cashiers to check the signature panel for additional verification.
By adding 3 digits to the opposite side of a Visa card in close proximity to the signature panel, the Visa security team has added several benefits that protect end users against theft. Any protection of card holders protects the card issuers and retailers as well in a very direct way.

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