Card security code

The card security code is the three-digit code printed on the back of Visa cards, either on or close to the signature panel, and offers effective protection against online, mail or telephone order card fraud.

When attempting to make illegal purchases, many card fraudsters will either have gained illicit access to the card number or expiry date, or they’ll have used a random card number generator. Neither of these methods provides fraudsters with the card security code.

When the card security code is included in the transaction authorisation message, it can be checked by the card issuing bank. This indicates that the person making the transaction has access to the genuine card.

We estimate that checking the card security code can cut your fraud losses by up to 70 per cent.

Visa’s technical term for the card security code is Card Verification Value 2 (CVV2).

More information

For more information about the card security code please contact your acquiring bank.