Prepare your business for eight-digit Bank Identification Numbers (BINs).

Payment innovation is growing at a rapid pace. This means that as an industry we're facing a shortage of available BINs. In response to this issue, the International Organisation of Standards (ISO) is expanding the length of the issuing BIN from six to eight digits. This global industry standard change will take effect from April 2022.

Why are BINs important?

BINs - the first six digits that appear on credit or debit cards - are used by merchants to match transactions to the issuer of the card. They are crucial for the payment process because they allow merchants to accept multiple forms of payments quickly and assess their card transactions.

ISO is already assigning eight-digit BINs to new requestors, which means eight-digit BINs in the payment ecosystem will continue to increase over time. By April 2022, it will no longer be possible to rely on the first six digits of credit or debit cards for authorisation, routing and transaction clearing.

Start planning for this change now.

If you're using six-digit BINs in your business, you'll need to consider how the change will impact your back-end systems. Any logic specific to the six-digit issuing BIN that has been implemented in your processing or downstream systems must be changed, particularly if you:

  • Manage your own POS environment
  • Share BIN information with any third parties
  • Use proprietary BIN tables in transaction processing or supplied via third parties
  • Use hard-coded BIN logic in your POS terminals.

And if you are using BINs for:

  • Identifying prepaid cards
  • Fraud and/or chargeback analytics
  • Fraud or chargeback prevention
  • Issuer identification
  • Routing
  • Unique BIN identification e.g. fleet cards, GSA Cards, others
  • Optimising approval rates/authorisation analysis
  • Loyalty solutions
  • Cash back qualification
  • Instalment payment qualification
  • Limited acceptance (credit, debit)
  • Surcharging
  • Strong customer authentication (PSD2 related products)
  • Back office processing: i.e. reconciliation.

What to do next.

1

If you manage your own POS environment, detail out how the issuing BIN is used and replace any logic that is based on the first six digits.
2

Assess downstream system impacts such as billing, reporting or key management and make the necessary changes to accommodate for the longer BIN length.
3

Start engaging with your processors, vendors, service providers and other partners now to coordinate planning and schedules.
4

Conduct testing to confirm seamless operations and downstream processes.

Consider your PCI DSS compliance requirements.

The expansion of BINs from six to eight digits could affect your PCI DSS requirements. You should review any changes to how you plan to protect your data with a Qualified Security Assessor.

Things you should know.

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