13 Signs of a Valid Visa Card

Visa Card Security Features


13 Signs of a Valid Visa Card


1. Visa brand mark. The blue and gold Visa logo is usually displayed on a white background in the bottom right, top left or top right corner. The upper left placement is allowed only on chip cards.


2. Account number. Visa account numbers always start with the number “4” and are 16-digit long. The numbers must appear in one line and be clear and uniform in size and spacing.


3. BIN number. The first four digits of the account number must be printed directly below it. This is the issuer’s Bank Identification Number (BIN). These two numbers must be identical.


4. Member since. Some Visa cards display the month and year in which the account was open.


5. Expiration date. The expiration date should be located below the account number and be in the format “mm/yy.” Expired cards are invalid and should not be accepted.


6. Cardholder name. The cardholder name or a generic title may be printed or embossed on the card, however on some Visa cards the field may be blank.


7. Micro-chip. Some cards feature a chip, which is located above the account number.





8. Dove hologram. The Visa dove hologram can be placed anywhere on the front or back of the card. This three-dimensional image should appear to move as you rotate or tilt the card.


9. Vertical orientation. Some Visa cards are vertically oriented and the account information is laser-printed, not embossed. These cards have magnetic stripes and a card verification code on the back, just as their more conventional counterparts.


10. Mini-card. This is a miniature version of a standard Visa Card or Visa Electron Card.


11. Magnetic stripe. The magnetic stripe contains the card account’s identifying information.

When the card is swiped through a point-of-sale (POS) terminal, the encoded information is read and displayed on the terminal’s screen. The displayed information should match the one on the card itself.


12. Signature panel. The signature panel must appear on the back of the card, with the word “Visa” printed repeatedly within an ultraviolet element.

Depending on the card design, the panel may feature the full account number printed on it, only its last four digits or none at all. If the signature panel is scratched or erased, the word “void” appears underneath repeatedly.


13. Card Verification Value 2 (CVV2). The three-digit CVV2 number appears in a white box either to the right of the signature panel or within it.

CVV2 is used in card-not-present transactions to verify that the customer is in possession of the card.


If your inspection of the card leads you to suspect that it may have been altered or tampered with in some way, you will have to make a Code 10 authorization call.

You will be transferred to the issuer’s authorization center and be given instructions on how to proceed with the transaction.

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