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Credit Card Validation - Check Digits

This document outlines procedures and algorithms for Verifying the accuracy and validity of credit card numbers. Most credit card numbers are encoded with a "Check Digit". A check digit is a digit added to a number (either at the end or the beginning) that validates the authenticity of the number. A simple algorithm is applied to the other digits of the number which yields the check digit. By running the algorithm, and comparing the check digit you get from the algorithm with the check digit encoded with the credit card number, you can verify that you have correctly read all of the digits and that they make a valid combination.

Possible uses for this information:

1.Prefix, Length, and Check Digit Criteria

Here is a table outlining the major credit cards that you might want to validate.

CARD TYPE Prefix Length Check digit algorithm
MASTERCARD 51-55 16 mod 10
VISA 4 13, 16 mod 10
15 mod 10
Diners Club/
Carte Blanche
14 mod 10
Discover 6011 16 mod 10
enRoute 2014
15 any
JCB 3 16 mod 10
JCB 2131
15 mod 10

2. LUHN Formula (Mod 10) for Validation of Primary Account Number

The following steps are required to validate the primary account number:

Step 1: Double the value of alternate digits of the primary account number beginning with the second digit from the right (the first right--hand digit is the check digit.)

Step 2: Add the individual digits comprising the products obtained in Step 1 to each of the unaffected digits in the original number.

Step 3: The total obtained in Step 2 must be a number ending in zero (30, 40, 50, etc.) for the account number to be validated.

For example, to validate the primary account number 49927398716:

Step 1:

        4 9 9 2 7 3 9 8 7 1 6
         x2  x2  x2  x2  x2 
         18   4   6  16   2

Step 2: 4 +(1+8)+ 9 + (4) + 7 + (6) + 9 +(1+6) + 7 + (2) + 6

Step 3: Sum = 70 : Card number is validated

Note: Card is valid because the 70/10 yields no remainder.


See also:

file: /Techref/ecommerce/cc/csverify.htm, 3KB, , updated: 2007/8/25 13:25, local time: 2019/6/18 09:48,

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