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What is a credit card? Parts of credit card.


What is a credit card? Front side and back side parts of credit card.


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Credit card is a financial instrument, thin rectangular slab usually made of plastic, used to pay for goods or services with a possibility to borrow the amount of money necessary for the purchase from the bank with a condition to pay it back within a certain period of time.

Credit cards are widely used to make "installment purchases with commissions". The client can choose whether he wants to pay the debt within 2 or more months and then the bank will charge him quite high commissions, or to authorize his financial entity to withdraw the necessary amount from his bank account in the end of the month and this way avoid the commissions. 

Cardholder credit card

Parts of credit card

90% of the credit cards are made of plastic material, but there are many banks that use more noble materials to create VIP cards, such as carbon or plastic polycarbonate. 

Each credit card has two sides, front side and back side:

Front side of a credit card

The front side of a credit card consists of the following parts:

  1. Card brand logo: Generally the credit card brand logo is placed in the upper right part of the card, although there are other issuing banks that choose to place the logo in the lower right corner. The most famous card brands that we can find in the market are: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, JCB, Union Pay, Cirrus, Diners Club, Discover etc
  2. EMV Chip: It is a security chip that stores the PIN and cardholder information. Thanks to the EMV chip we can withdraw money at ATMs or validate Contactless operations.
  3. Credit card number: It is the number issued by the card issuing bank to identify each customer. The first 6 numbers correspond to the BIN or IIN number and the rest of the numbers correspond to the account number with the card mark and random security numbers to avoid cloning.
  4. Identification number of the brand of the card and issuing bank: The first 5 or 6 digits identify the issuing bank and the brand of the card.  
  5. Expiration date of the card: It is the expiration date of a credit card, that is, once the card has expired it cannot be used either at ATMs or to make purchases at PIN Pads or online stores.
  6. Name of the cardholder: It is the responsible person who can make use of it. Credit cards are personal and non-transferable, that is, another person cannot make use of it. If the bank detects that another person is using the card you own they could cancel it. Credit cards can be issued for natural and legal persons. In case the card belongs to a legal person it shows both, the name of the company and the name of the cardholder.
  7. Amex CVC Number: It is the CVC number that Amex places on the front side of the card. The rest of the card brands usually place the CVC number on the back of the card.
  8. Contactless payment technology: It is an anti-cloning card security system invented by Visa, MasterCard and Amex with the aim to decrease the use of black magnetic line located on the back side of the card. The EMV security chip allows to pay at POS terminal by swiping the card next to the PIN Pad machine. 

Credit card front sideBack side of a credit card

The back side of a credit card consists of the following parts:

  1. CVC number for Visa, MasterCard and other cards:CVC numbers consist of 3 or 4 anti-fraud security control digits provided by Visa, MasterCard and other card brands.
  2. Magnetic band: It is the black magnetic line that contains all the information of the card. The use of the magnetic stripe encryption system decreases constantly due to security reasons. Its use is currently being replaced by the Contactless payment technology.
  3. Signature of the holder: When a card holder makes a face-to-face payment at PIN Pad, some merchants might oblige him to sign the invoice with the same signature as on the card. 
  4. Bank Hotline telephone number: This is a Hotline telephone number that the client can contact to report fraud or theft of his credit card. If you have seen any unauthorized charges on your card or your card has been stolen, we recommend that you urgently call the numbers indicated on the card to report it and recover your money.
    Credit card back side

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