Frequently Asked Question

Are merchants allowed to request card-verification codes/values from cardholders?

Yes.  These values are typically used for card-not-present (CNP) transactions, where the card is not physically present at the merchant location (for example, during e-commerce or mail order/telephone order transactions). In many cases, it is necessary for the merchant to request this information in order to conduct a CNP transaction.

The card verification code or value (also referred to as CVV2, CVC2, CID, or CAV2) is the three- or four- digit code printed on the front or back of a payment card which provides additional assurance that the card is in the possession of the authorized cardholder.  Card verification codes/values are considered to be sensitive authentication data (SAD) and merchants and other entities involved in payment card processing are required to strictly protect this data and securely delete it after authorization in accordance with PCI DSS Requirement 3.2.
January 2015
Article Number: 1319

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