Bank identification number also known as issuer identification number normally comprises of 6 digits which are the first set of characters in the number of every plastic card. The number provides a lot of information about the card issuer. Today, many e-commerce businesses are using BIN checker services in order to validate transactions. It helps to discover orders made with stolen credit card details. With the recent review of ISO/IEC 7812-1, the number of digits that make up the issuer identification number would be increased to eight.
The change does not affect the number of digits that make up the PAN. It still remains within the range of 10 to 19. The newly proposed 8 digits issuer identification number has not come into effect. It is still in the form of draft which has been distributed to various members of ISO for evaluation. Unfortunately, many businesses are not aware of this proposed change and its implication. Here, I am going to examine this proposed change and its implication.
The reason for the proposed increase
Proposed expansion of IIN is necessitated by the expected exhaustion of the available BIN throughout the industry due to proliferation of tokenization caused by high demands for PANs. The problem of the underutilization of the capacity within BIN as well as that of the growth in the payment industry can be resolved if the IIN is expanded to 8 digits. The proposed increase will help to accommodate new products and functionalities as it will provide a healthier way of assigning opportunities, features and benefits to them.
Though the new change is not likely to happen soon, it is good for IIN users to start getting ready for it so that they will have smooth transition to 8 digits BIN. This is the time for them to identify potential system designed with the proposed changes in mind.
Challenges for the payment industry
The proposed increase in the number of digits of IIN poses some challenges to the payment industry. The change will require them to review their systems and platform in order to find ways of modifying it so that it will support the IIN 8 digits. The second major challenge of this expansion to the payment industry is the effect it will have on their current systems. Proper care should be taken to ensure that the upgrade does not affect the existing set up in anyway.
Impact on merchants
The proposed addition of two more digits to current 6 digits of IIN will also have some effect on the merchant in a number of ways. They should ensure that their payment systems and POS terminals support payment made with a card that has 8 digit IIN whether it is used for card-not present and card-present payment transaction. They will require the services of software suppliers who specialize in rectifying configuration tools in use. It is important for them to utilize systems and routines that meet the requirements of PCIDSS standard to enable them managed transactions with increased IINs correctly.