Security Features Of A MasterCard Credit Card

Information verified correct on September 29th, 2016

There are a lot of MasterCard security features built into every MasterCard, and knowing what they are can help you prevent fraud. This article will explain these features and what you should look for.

Credit card fraud is a concern for everyone, but MasterCard security is working hard, on your behalf to help prevent it every day. You have a responsibility, however, to help make sure that all of these security features are working and in place to help keep your protected.

All merchants need to check MasterCard security features during a transaction. Here is a list of the features you should be familiar with on your own MasterCard.

MasterCard security checklist:

1. All MasterCard accounts begin with the number 5, and the 4 digits on the printed BIN must match the first 4 digits of the number of the account.

2. The cardholder receipt has 4 digits that appear and these must match the last 4 digits of the number on the account.

3. Although the security feature with the stylised “MC” is discontinued, it may still appear on some cards until June 1, 2010.

4. The global hologram that appears on the card that has MasterCard repeated in the background and is three dimensional, will appear to move and reflect light when rotated.

5. On the back of the card you will see 4 digits that are printed right on the signature panel. These 4 digits must exactly match the last 4 digits of the number of the account. Following these 4 digits you will see a CVC2, 3 digit number indent printed on the card.

6. The signature panel should have the word MasterCard repeatedly printed in multiple Colours that appear at a 45° angle. This makes the panel tamper evident. The signature on the purchase receipt will be compared to the signature on this panel by the merchant whenever a magnetically swiped transaction occurs.

7. PayPass(R) is an optional MasterCard security feature on some cards, and a signature is not required for transactions that are below a limit that has been specified. This is a form of payment technology that is requires no contact.

8. Another optional feature may be a chip on the MasterCard. If this is present, the cardholder will need to enter a PIN (personal identification number) if the card is used at a payment terminal that is chip capable.

Other MasterCard designs

Banks issuing MasterCards are allowed to put the MasterCard hologram on the back or the front of the MasterCard. This MasterCard security feature may also be presented vertically and use holographic magnetic tape.

If the global hologram appears on the back of the MasterCard that has a chip, the signature panel may be shortened in order to accommodate the chip on the back.

In many countries a debit MasterCard must have a debit hologram appear on it, and it can appear on the back of the card as well.

In some cases holographic magnetic tape is used instead of the hologram or along with it. A card that has a holographic magnetic tape will have a signature panel that is longer than traditional cards with a magnetic strip.

You can help prevent credit card fraud by knowing these MasterCard security features and looking for them on your own card. Your first line of defense in fraud is always knowing what to look for.

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4 Responses to Security Features Of A MasterCard Credit Card

  1. Default Gravatar
    fakrul | August 21, 2016

    Could i transection from foreign country by a mastercard?

    • Staff
      Anndy | August 22, 2016

      Hi Fakrul,

      Thanks for your comment.

      MasterCard credit cards find acceptance in most countries around the world. You can use a MasterCard credit card at any ATM or EFTPOS terminal that displays the MasterCard logo. Please note that international transaction fees may apply.


  2. Default Gravatar
    chidiebere | May 2, 2016

    please, what is CSC on master card?
    How can i validate my master card

    • Staff
      Ysa | May 3, 2016

      Hi Chidiebere,

      MasterCard credit card numbers usually begin with an issuer identification number (IIN). This IIN, ranging from 50-55, is also used to determine the financial institution who is issuing its cards through a card network, such as MasterCard.

      On the side note, you’ll be able to find the three-digit card security code (CSC) on the back of the card, typically printed on the signature panel and after the card number.

      I hope this helps.


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