Visa & MasterCard: 8 Digit BINs extension

These are the key information you need to know regarding the 8-digit BINs extension mandated by MasterCard & Visa.. 


Q1. What is BIN?

The first 6 digits of the Primary Account Number (PAN) of credit, debit and prepaid cards are called a Bank Identification Number (BIN). The BIN is generally used to identify the scheme, the issuers, and can easily retrieve other payment information like the card type or the used currency.


Q2. How does BIN work?

Every online purchase that requires a payment is completed through a two-step process: authorisation and clearance.

A BIN works to complete the first step in the payment process: authorisation.

The BIN identifies which issuer, typically a bank or credit card company, should receive the request for authorisation to determine if the account or card is valid and whether the amount of the purchase is within the available limits of the card.


Q2. Why is BIN being extended to 8 digits?

In recent years, there has been a massive growth of credit card issuers which has led to a shortage of Bank Identification Numbers (BINs) available. Because of the increasing demand of BINs by issuers, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) introduced a new standard to extend the BIN from 6 to 8 digits. The issuing BIN is currently the first six digits and will change to incorporate the first eight digits. The general length of the card number, however, will not change.

Even though all card schemes support this industry change, it is the two largest global brands- Mastercard and Visa, who have mandated their acquirers and processors to support the new issuing BIN length effective April 2022. This means, from 1st April 2022 onwards, any new BINs issued will be an 8-digit BIN. Other card providers are not moving to 8-digit BINs yet but will move sooner or later, when they face the scarcity of 6-digit BINs.




Q3. Will there be any change in the way Ezypay processes payments?

There’s no change in the way merchants/customers are submitting card account details and how Ezypay processes card payments.


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