The CVV is one of the most essential security features to help an online merchant verify CNP, or Card Not Present, transactions. The initials CVV stand for Card Verification Value and serves as an extra security feature when accepting card not present transactions via phone or the internet.
The CVV appears on both debit and credit cards and is also known as CVV2, CSC, and CVC2. The CVV code can be found on the Mastercard, Discovery and Visa, and the American Express. In the first three card companies, the CVV code is usually three digits long and located next to the signature panel on the backside of a card. For American Express, it is four digits long and located on the card front.
As a merchant, you can’t ask for a client’s PIN when processing CNP debit transactions. As a result, asking for the CVV code can help verify that you are dealing with the rightful card owner. Thanks to CVV, should a person steal a credit card account number, it will be next to impossible for them to scam an online merchant that asks for CVV codes.
What is a CNP Transaction?
In defining CVV security codes, we have talked a lot about CNP transactions, and you might be wondering what they are. Here is a quick rundown! CNP stands for Credit Not Present. These payments are processed over the phone, internet, or mail. This kind of transaction occurs when neither the cardholder nor the credit card is present. In essence, the card is not swiped but keyed in.
Note that your business will typically pay a slightly higher fee for processing CNP payments. The reason for this is that when cards are not present, there is a higher chance of fraud and chargebacks. However, by working with a reputable merchant service provider, processing a CNP transaction can be kept affordable for your business.
Should CNP Merchant Require CVV for Processing Online Payments?
When defining CNP transactions, we touched on the aspect of how it is more susceptible to fraud. This is where CVV comes in. CVV codes are designed to prevent fraud when an online merchant is dealing with CNP transactions. When a client is about to make a purchase, asking them to provide you with CVV codes is a clear indication that they have the card.
At the rate at which identity theft is becoming rampant, CVV does a marvelous job of preventing scammers from making transactions. You should, however, understand that CVV numbers are not a requirement for card processing payments. It is only a security measure that online merchants can use to reduce fraud and prevent chargebacks.
How Does CVV Help Online Merchants Reduce Fraud and Chargebacks?
Chargebacks are one of the factors that can hinder the success of a business, especially if you are labeled as a high-risk merchant. Accepting Card Not Present transactions gives your customers the convenience of making payments without them having to be present. This is imperative for online businesses. However, it increases the risk of fraudulent activity. But through CVV, your company avoids both fraudulent activities and chargebacks. Here is how CVV helps you achieve this.
When accepting CNP payments, the merchant must require the CVV code input. Once in possession of the code, your payment processor instantly verifies the card number and corresponding CVV with the issuing bank. If all checks out and adequate funds are available, you will receive an approval for the transaction. Should the CVV not match the card, the bank will issue an immediate decline. This security measure eliminates fraud and helps combat chargebacks.
Why Can’t Merchants Store CVV Codes?
The storing of a client’s CVV is against PCI compliance. If you are setting your customer up with a recurring payment plan, it is only during the first payment where a CVV is passed to the processor. Remember, the entire assumption behind the effectiveness of CVV codes is someone using a stolen credit card is unlikely to have the code. Therefore storing the code its purpose. If you weren’t aware of this and do currently have CVV codes on file, then you should take action and delete them from your system immediately to ensure PCI compliance.
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