CVV2 is an important security feature for credit card transactions on the Internet and over the phone. "CVV" stands for "Card Verification Value" (Discover Card calls it the "Cardmember ID").
It is the three-digit number printed in the signature space on the back of most credit cards, such as Visa , Mastercard , and Discover cards. The CVV2 is NOT your PIN number. The CVV2 number is always the last group of numbers in the signature space on the back of the card. It is not part of your regular credit card number.
It is a four-digit number on the front of American Express cards. It is printed (flat), not embossed like the card number.
The CVV2 number enhances fraud protection and helps to validate two things:
- The customer has the credit card in their possession.
- The credit card number is legitimate
By helping to prevent credit card fraud, the CVV2 number keeps costs down for everyone.
In a card-not-present environment such as the Internet, CVV2 lets a merchant verify that the cardholder does in fact have the card in his or her possession.