Do you wonder what all your credit card number means? Read this article to find more about the number on your credit card!


Credit Card Numbers

Have you wonder about what your credit card digits mean? Probably you are using credit card for so long that you rarely notice each number on the back of your credit card actually has its own numbering system.


Knowing Credit Card Number Is Important

Know the meaning of credit card number can save us from serious problems. It helps protect us from fraudulent cases, and to increase the security of using a credit card.

Many mistakes can happen because the owner fails to keep the privacy of his/her credit card information. For example, giving the copy of a credit card. If not careful, the information can be used to hack your credit card PIN code.

So, what the numbers in credit card stand for? Let’s see the third following part.


Credit Card Features

In Indonesia, all credit cards have similar features with different design. Generally, they are security chip, logo, and information of card identity, and the card holder.  


#1 Security Chip

It is a security system of credit card that could change the data that will be sent during transaction into a secret message (cryptogram) to protect your transaction.


#2 Card Identity

Card identity is shown in its digit that makes it different from other credit cards.


#3 Card Holder

It consists of the complete name of a card holder.


#4 Active Period

It shows month, and year of the active period for using the credit card.


#5 Logo

This represents the network of a credit card such as Union Pay, BCA, JCB, MasterCard, or Visa.


#6 Signature Column

A column for card owner signature to improve the security in using the credit card.


#7 Magnetic Stripe

Magnetic stripe is a place to contain important data for authorization process.


#8 Bank Logo

A logo bank of credit card issuer. Not all credit cards show the logo.


#9 CVV (Card Verification Value)

CVV is three digit of verification number to do transaction.


Numbering System

Numbering system in a credit card follows the pattern standards set by International Organization for Standardization/ISO. It is an independent non-governmental international organization.

Credit card number aren’t just randomly organized. They present identifying information about the credit card that follow the rules of ISO.

Each number in a credit card has embossed printing in front of the card. These numbers are encrypted combination of algorithm as a safe card identity. The algorithm is Luhn algorithm developed by Hans Peter Luhn.

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This algorithm allows all credit cards to have different numbers. The purpose is to prevent a forgery or counterfeiting of a credit card.

Not only that, your credit card numbers also carry important information such as identity of the issuer, currency that is used, and identity of the holder. These information will be identified through the credit card numbers during the transaction.

Generally, in Indonesia the digit of a credit card is 16 numbers. Here is the explanation.


The First Digit

The first number in all credit cards in Indonesia begin with 4 or 5. That shows the institution that issues the card. It can be bank or other financial institution.

This first digit known also as MII or Major Industry Identifier. It represents the network, and the type industry.

Here is the list of MII number.

  1. Airlines
  2. Airline and other industry assignments
  3. Travel and entertainment
  4. Banking and financial
  5. Banking and financial
  6. Merchandising and banking
  7. Petroleum
  8. Telecommunications and other industry assignments
  9. National assignment


For Visa, and MasterCard they start with 4, and 5. But other cards begin with 2 digits, such as American Express card numbers that starts with 37, or Carte Blanche, and Diners Club with 38. This happens because the structure of the card number varies by system.


The Middle Digit

The middle numbers are from 2 or 3 to 6, and from 7 to the numbers before the last digit. Not all credit cards have the same amount of digit. Notice also that these numbers organization vary.

For Visa and MasterCard, the digits are 16, Maestro can reach 12 to 19 digits. While American Express has 15 digits. 

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The middle digit usually represents information such as identification numbers of credit card issuer such as bank or other financial institution. Besides, they also show user’s account number. But these numbers are not the same as the holder’ bank account number.


The Last Digit

It is the last number in your credit card. This last digit is a check digit that identifies mistakes when you mistyped your credit card number during online shopping, or when make payment at the cashier.

When you swipe a credit card, this digit is sent to the processor for verification to determine whether the digits are valid.


Security Code In A Credit Card, CVV (Card Verification Value)

CVV or Card Verification Value consists of 3 digits placed behind the card. CVV code is a security system that will protect you during an online transaction.

The online merchant or e-commerce where you shop will ask for CVV code as confirmation for the transaction. When you give the number, you’ll receive an authorization code from the bank or the institution that issues your credit card.


How To Protect Your Credit Card From Fraud Or Forgery 

After knowing you credit card numbers identity, and CVV, you can imagine how dangerous it will be if this information are used for forgery or fraudulent act.

So, here are 4 ways to protect your credit card, and prevent you from the risk of fraud or forgery.


#1 Use PIN

Instead of using signature, use PIN for a safer transaction. Bank Indonesia already required its credit card users to use PIN instead of signature since 2015.

All credit card users are required to use PIN no later than June 30th. The PIN consists of 6 digits.

So, if you still use signature go, and change it as soon as possible. PIN is considered safer for it is a secret digit that are known to its user only. While signature is easy to be faked.


#2 Keep Your Personal Information

Do not share your personal information in social media. It isn’t nice is it if your personal information can be used to hack your credit card?

It might seem okay to you to post one of your family member complete name such as posting their photo with their complete name.

Even your mother complete name can be used to verify personal information done by bank. This means that your parents name even can be used to do a financial crime.  


#3 Don’t Photocopy Your Personal Identity

Sometimes you are asked to give the copy of your personal information such as identity card, family card, or a tax card, NPWP. You can do that but not to your credit card. Never make the copy of your credit card.

As you already know a credit card contains important information such as credit card number, CVV, and its active period. When you give the copy, it has a risk to be misused by other people.

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Now that you have known how important the information in a credit card, always secure it whether when using or keeping it. On top of that never show or take any picture of your credit card and share it to other people.


#4 Block

When you lost your credit card, immediately block it so other people can’t hack it.


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Credit card numbers using numbering system, keep important information of its user. It enables him/her to use the card during a transaction.

Knowing how to protect your credit card can prevent you from forgery or fraudulent act.

Hopefully after reading this article, you don’t only understand the number, but also keep the credit card from being misused. But if you still have a question about credit card, feel free to ask us in the comment section.

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If you want more privacy answer, you can just use Finansialku Application. With Finansialku Application, you can not only ask about credit card but also all about Finance related topic.

In Finansialku Application, you will get a consultation feature with our certified financial planner. Go download Finansialku Application in Google Play Store or Apple App Store.


Hopefully, this article help you knows more about credit card number. Share this information also with those who are or will use a credit card.   



  • Admin. What Credit Card Numbers Mean. –
  • Beverly Harzog. February 26th, 2020. What Does Your Credit Card Number Mean? –
  • Gregory Karp. August 25th, 2017. How to decode your credit card numbers. –
  • Ulfa Langit. September 9th, 2019. Arti dan Fungsi Nomor Kartu Kredit, Wajib Tahu! –