Eight-Digit BINs, Are You Ready?

New BINs to be introduced April 2022
March 24, 2022 | Expertise

As of April 1, 2022 BINs will be eight-digits long, replacing the previous six-digit figure. This article will look at the reasons behind the change and the effects it will have on merchants and consumers. 

In payment terms, what is a BIN?

First things first, what exactly is a BIN (Bank Identification Number), also known as IIN (Issuer Identification Number)? A credit card has a personal account number on the front. This is the PAN, and it is normally 16-digits long. Until April 2022, the first six digits of this number make up the BIN. The BIN is important, as it is used to identify several things, such as the card issuing bank; the card brand, eg. Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, etc.; type of card, eg. credit card, debit card, prepaid, corporate, and so on; as well as the geographic location of the card issuer. 

Acquirers (the card processors) are given a list of available BINs which is updated daily, so when you shop online or in a brick and mortar store, the terminals or integrated point of sale automatically registers the type of card being presented.

Why increase the BIN to eight digits?

To put it simply, there are too many cards and the industry is running out of BIN ranges up to six digits. Therefore, the number needs to be increased to allow for more ranges, so that card issuers can issue more cards. The International Standards Organization (ISO) issued guidance and plans for the introduction of eight-digit card BINs back in 2015. 

Will eight-digit BINs be mandatory from April 2022? 

All new products being issued from April 2022, will include the eight-digit BIN and international card schemes will only issue 8-digit BIN ranges. From 1 April 2022 both six-digit and eight-digit BINs will be supported. 

Merchants should coordinate with their acquirer(s) to figure out the best solution for accepting and vaulting both BIN lengths.

BIN numbers to increase to 8 digits

What should merchants consider?

  • Update point-of-sale (POS) hardware and software
  • Check routing and refund processes, make sure they are able to read both six- and eight-digit BINs
  • Chargeback handling
  • Fraud management: Security tools need to be updated so they can detect specific data, such as country of issue, card type and so on.

What practical step should Merchants take in order to accept the new BINs?

Merchants should consult with their acquirer(s)/ card processor(s) and check what measures they have introduced to help ease the changes. Depending on your business and what jurisdictions you sell or wish to sell in, you may need to update your processes. 

Those working in highly restricted verticals, such as iGaming, or adult entertainment, will need to make sure that their setup can accurately detect the card scheme and the country of origin on both eight- and six-digit BINs. 

Merchants who operate in certain markets will need to make sure they are blocking the correct cards and not restricting those they can accept by not being able to correctly read the new BINs.

Will this affect PCI DSS Compliance and 3DS?

The PCI rules regarding the new BINs have been updated. You can read about it here. However, the number of digits that must be removed when storing card data has not changed. 

8-digit BINs will not be supported by 3DS 1.0. To allow customers with the new 8-digit BINs to make payments, you will need to have 3DSv2. Find out more about 3DSv2 here.

How can payment orchestration help?

A payment orchestration platform is a technical layer that sits between the merchants and their payment service providers/acquirers. The platform layer can connect to multiple PSPs through just one API and users have access to PCI-DSS secure vaulting, transaction routing, and risk checks. This ensures the best processing fees, improved conversion rates, and reduced fraudulent transactions. 

IXOPAY, a leading payment orchestration platform, is ensuring that all clients using its service are ready for the new changes. All routing rules, vaulting capabilities, and risk checks have been adjusted to consider the new changes that will come in when accepting both six- and eight-digit BINs. Taking the pressure off the merchant and giving them the security they need whenever new updates and payment regulations are announced. 

Learn more about payment orchestration here and give your business the opportunity to grow.

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IXOPAY is a payments orchestration platform enabling independent, flexible and global payment processing. As a highly scalable and PCI-DSS certified “fintech enabler”, IXOPAY fulfills the needs of large merchants as well as those of “white label” clients: payment service providers (PSPs), acquirers and independent sales organizations (ISOs). The modern, easily extendable architecture offers smart transaction routing & cascading, state-of-the-art risk & fraud management, fully automated reconciliation and settlements processing, comprehensive reporting as well as plugin-based integration of acquirers, payment service providers and alternative payment methods (APMs).

IXOPAY is part of the IXOLIT Group, founded in Vienna, Austria in 2001. With local entities in Austria and the USA, IXOLIT supports national and international customers across various industry verticals. The owner-led and -financed company has grown from 2 to more than 80 employees and is focused on building innovative solutions for eCommerce.

Please find more information about IXOPAY here: https://www.ixopay.com

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