Data on Payment Card

Payment Card have a standard format with the following information:


  • Issuer name (bank or institution that issued the card)
  • (Maybe) Contactless indicator (this card can use contactless payment)
  • EMV chip (secure transaction)
  • Primary account number (PAN, 15, 16 or 19-digit number)
  • Bank Identification Number (BIN, the first 6 or 8 numbers of the PAN)
  • Expiration date
  • Cardholder name
  • Card brand


  • Magnetic stripe (track data, Track 1 and Track2, all the data on the front of the card)
  • Signature strip (that nobody check)
  • Hologram (anti-forgery)

Magnetic Stripe

Track 1 is 80 characters long containing:

  • PAN
  • Card holder’s name
  • Expiration date
  • Service code (what sort of card it is)
  • Sensitive Authentication Data, it can be
    • a not printed secret called Card Verification Value (CVV) by Visa and Card Validation Code (CVC) by Mastercard 1
    • a number to validate the PINs, called a PIN Verification Value or PVV
  • The rest of the characters can be whatever the card issuer wants to add in there.

The first half up to the service code can be stored but after that you cannot store it according to PCI DSS.

Track 2 is 40 characters:

  • PAN
  • Expiration date
  • Service code
  • Same as Track 1: anything the card issuer want. Can’t be stored.
Note that this is different than the secret number on the back of the card which is confusingly called CVV2, CAV2, CVC2 or CVN2 depending on the card issuer. This is to not allow criminals to clone a card if they get hold of credit card information on Internet and vice versa.
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