Credit Card Processing Blog provides articles about credit card processing, industry news, insights, and best practices from merchant services experts. All valid MasterCard credit and debit cards display a set of unique features that every merchant should be familiar with.
I will review these card identification features below and will explain how to verify their validity. Each card number, whether belonging to MasterCard or to some other payments company, begins with an issuer identification number (IIN), which is always six-digit long. IIN ranges are allocated to the issuing networks by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the networks then allocate them to their card issuers. So all MasterCard debit and credit card numbers start with 50, 51, 52, 53, 54 or 55 and are 16-digit long. The first four digits of the card number must be the same as those printed directly below (pre-printed BIN). The 16-digit card number must be clear and uniform in size and spacing and must appear on one line. The signature panel is located on the back of the cards, with the word “MasterCard” printed in multi-colors at a 45?? The last four digits of the account number must be printed in reverse italic letters on the signature panel. The Card Verification Code 2 (CVC 2) must be printed in reverse italics to the right of the last four digits of the account number within the signature panel.


The magnetic stripe must be present, located above the signature panel and appear smooth and straight with no signs of tampering.
There are different MasterCard designs in use today and some of the above identification features will not be present on some of the cards you accept. Now add up all the resulting digits, including the even digits, which you did not multiply by two. If the total you received ends in 0, the card number is valid according to the Luhn algorithm; otherwise it is not valid. Once the operator has collected the information he or she needs, they will instruct you how to proceed with the transaction. The ability to physically inspect the card presented for payment and to evaluate the behavior of the customer is what sets face-to-face transactions apart from non-face-to-face ones. Examining the identification features of a MasterCard card should only take a well-trained person a couple of seconds, which is about how long it takes to receive the authorization response.
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Every time you accept a MasterCard card for payment, while waiting for the authorization response, you should scan these features and make sure that they have not been altered or tampered with. Additionally, I will review the MasterCard number format and, for e-commerce merchants, I will show you how to validate the 16-digit account number of every MasterCard credit or debit card that is presented for payment on your website.
As its name implies, the IIN is used to identify the card issuer who is issuing its cards through a card network (e.g.


The table below lists the IIN ranges for MasterCard and Maestro, which is a debit card service owned by MasterCard and big in Europe.
It is a simple technique that is especially useful in e-commerce transactions, where, while you don’t have the luxury of physically inspecting the card itself, you do have the time to validate its account number. Of course, the fact that a card number is valid does not eliminate the possibility that something else may be wrong and the card may still be counterfeit, so you will need to follow best card acceptance practices. There is no better way to use this time and you should make it a routine part of the card acceptance process.
You can build your own program to utilize this technique or just buy one that is already available, but either way it is a great way to authenticate card numbers.
Furthermore, as I have explained below, each MasterCard and Maestro card number can be easily validated using a simple algorithm. You can design your own program that does it for you or simply buy one that is already available.



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