After a long process of consideration you finally decided to buy what you’ve dreamed of for awhile now. Now it’s in your online cart, almost officially yours. After typing in your personal information and shipping address, you get to type in your bank information, which included CVV, aka security number.
But… What is this CVV? And where can you find your credit card security number?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, you’ll learn about the difference between debit card and credit card, find out what the security number is for and where it’s located. We’ll even throw in some useful information on how to protect your bank information as an additional bonus!
Let’s dive in!
The Difference Between Debit and Credit Card
Before we find where the security number is, it’s important to define which type of card you’re using – debit card or credit card. This information is needed because one of them helps you deal with the damage from fraud a little better than the other. Keep reading to find out which one!
If for any reason you’re not aware which type of card you’ve got in your possession, you can simply identify the nature of your card on the front of the card. If you have a debit card, that’s what it will say. Naturally, the same theory applies to credit cards.
However, it’s also possible that you don’t have a card just yet and perhaps you’re still preparing to get one. If that’s the case, we’re here to identify the main differences between a debit card and a credit card.
Available Funds vs. Borrowed Funds
Normally both debit cards and credit cards can be swiped when it comes to paying in retail, so no worries about that.
The biggest difference between debit cards and credit cards is that a debit card allows you to choose the money that you have already in your bank account. This means that if your bank balance is zero, you won’t be able to pay using a debit card.
A credit card, on the other hand, uses a credit line that is offered by the company that issued your card. This essentially means that an owner of a credit card can set the amount of money they wish to spend using the credit card.
Naturally, a credit card has different limits that the owner can choose and it depends on many different factors that determine a user’s worthiness to be able to set higher or lower limits.
Then, as it typically works with credit cards, the card’s owner is billed monthly. This allows a credit card used to pay the money back later and it essentially functions as a debt method.
Which One Is Better?
In this case, it’s completely impossible to give one certain answer but if you…
- Want to be able to spend more without being held back by your current balance
- Want to be able to pay back the whole thing once a month rather than paying for every transaction individually
- Need easier safety process if your card gets stolen or missing
…credit card may be a better option for you.
However, if you…
- Would like to have a safer budget
- Prefer to spend what you earn
- Would prefer to pay right away for everything you buy rather than pay for everything together at the end of the month
…we recommend choosing a debit card.
What Is a Debit or Credit Card Security Number (CVV)?
CVV, also known as Card Verification Value, is a 3 digit number on your personalized VISA, MasterCard, or other debit and credit card. A 3 digit code seems to be the most common. However, if you have a debit or credit card from American Express, you’re probably already ready to correct us, as it has 4 digits.
As the name itself implies, the whole purpose of CVV is to verify that you really do have the physical card when you type in your bank information for an online transaction. The CVV code basically works as a security measure that proves the validity of your card. Naturally, that is why the CVV code normally appears on *spoiler alert* the backside of your debit or credit card.
Finally, one thing worth knowing is that cards that are issued by different companies can be referred to differently, not CVV. For instance, other alternatives can be called CVV2, CVC, CVC2. Also, Discover may refer to is as CVD or CID, whereas American Express uses the CSC or, just like Discovery, CID.
Whichever of those shortened versions you may encounter, all of them refer to the same thing. For the sake of consistency, in this article, we’ll stick with CVV.
Where Can You Find Your Debit or Credit Card Security Number (CVV)?
It’s finally time to answer the question that brought you here – where is this security number we’ve been talking about for a while now?
It’s simple, really.
Most of the cards, be it a debit card or a credit card, have their security number on the back of the card where the signature box is or around it. This, however, applies only to the cards that were issued by MasterCard, Discover, and Visa.
Another company that issues cards would be American Express. Once again, this one decided to approach the security numbers slightly differently by placing them on the front side of the card, as seen in the picture below.
How to Protect Your Finances?
Now you know how and where to find the security code on your debit and credit card, but before you go, here’s a word of advice.
As you know, credit and debit cards are often targets of fraudulent activities, which was why we have CVV in the first place. While there’s only so much you can do to protect your finances, following a few simple steps will highly decrease the chances of scammers being able to get the advantage of you.
The first thing you should know is that while it’s okay to provide an online seller with your CVV number when making a purchase, you should never give anyone your PIN code unless it’s someone you know and trusts to handle your finances with care. In addition, it’s a good idea to avoid sharing any part of your card’s information on a daily basis.
Moreover, if you happened to lose sight of your card or even suspect it to be stolen, you must react fast and report it to the company that issued your card. The sooner the credit card company is informed, the sooner they can deactivate your lost card and get you a new one.
Digital Safety Measures
The other advice is more online-oriented, as a high percentage of scams happen through the internet using deceitful emails, tracking codes, etc.
The first thing you’ll want to do is activate your antivirus software and firewall on your computer. Then, as you browse a specific website, click on “http” or go to a website checker to see if it’s safe to navigate and especially buy goods and services there.
Finally, if possible, try not to make online transactions using public Wi-Fi, as it isn’t known for being very safe, meaning that shady figures can discover your personal and sensitive data and use it against you.
To Sum Up
Now you know the difference between a debit card and a credit card, what the security number is, and why it’s there. Also, as promised, you learned where to find the CVV number and how you can protect your finances.
We hope that you enjoyed this article and found it useful!