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Credit Card Verification Values: The Basics

You may have heard the term before – CVV2, CVV, CV2, CCV – and chances are, you’ve had to use it. Whichever acronym you’re most familiar with, the concept is the same in each case. A credit card verification value is a useful security feature that helps prevent fraud during card-not-present transactions, such as payments made through online shopping. For a business accepting credit cards through the Web, CVV is a necessary option.

Where to Find It
The location of the three- or four-digit card verification value varies according to the type of credit card the customer is using, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express. On most cards, the CVV is located to the right of the signature strip on the back of the card. For others, the CVV is printed on the front of the credit card.

How to Use It
The CVV process is simple: The customer places an order with the merchant and is then requested to provide the CVV along with other standard information, such as name, billing address and credit card number. The merchant sends the code to the card issuer to authorize. The CVV is checked for validity and sent back to the merchant, either authorized or denied.

The Benefits
Using CVV to process credit cards is a smart choice for any card-not-present merchants. When used with a combination of other fraud detection capabilities, such as address verification systems, CVV adds an extra layer of protection against fraudulent transactions. By making it difficult for hackers and thieves to use stolen account numbers for online purchases, you can reduce fraud and thereby reduce chargebacks. With card verification values, you can keep your customers safe while saving your business money.

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