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Commercial BINs Detection

Regardless of what credit card you use for your personal or commercial purchases, they share some specific physical characteristics that have considerable significance. Some of those features are not only important for your card identification, but also for merchants to process your transactions. In general, the features common in several credit cards currently in circulation are the appearance, size and, most importantly, a particular number emblazoned in front of the card.

It’s not only the size that is common in credit cards, but they also share a common numbering scheme. If you are a credit card holder, your card must contain three sets of digits. It has an issuer identifier number (INN) with six digits, (formerly called Commercial BIN), industry identifier (MII) with a single major digit, and your account number with a single -digit checksum.

Bank identification number comprises few digits and has a great functional significance to the issuer and its network provider. A lot of people do not understand this as the payment industry is full of confusing acronyms and terms. For example, bank industry typically uses the term BIN to refer to issuer identification number (INN).

Whether you call this number sequence INN or BIN, there is no denying that they are of paramount importance when it comes to identifying card issuers. Plus, the number sequence helps merchants identify if the card is being used for private and corporate purposes. That is what makes distinguishing between private/consumer bank identification numbers (BINs) vs. commercial BINs important for merchants.

Before we plunge into the discussion of why knowing the difference between commercial and private BINs is important, let’s understand what a BIN is and how it works.

What is a Bank Identification Number (BIN)?

Commonly abbreviated as BIN, bank identification number refers to the first six-digit sequence on your credit card. Typically, merchants use this number to identify the financial institution that has issued the card. As mentioned earlier, the number sequence is also referred to as an Issuer Identification Number (INN) in banking terminology. INN is a more generalized terminology used in non-banking institutions; for example, American Express uses INN for BIN network.

The listed six-digits INN or BIN on credit cards is specific to the financial institution or bank that issued it. BINs are really helpful for merchants in identifying the issuing bank of a cardholder.

How Do BINs Work?

Commercial or private BINs first establish the location of the financial institution or bank that issued the card. The specific number scheme then recognizes the name of the institution which payment industry participants use as an organizing root or category that cluster cards issue with BIN portfolio.

For example, when a purchase is made using a Visa Card, the payment processor or vendor receives a six-digit number. These numbers identify the type of credit cards used, such as Discover, Visa Card or MasterCard. Then it identifies the issuing bank. Once the transaction is validated by an electronic system, the database of BINs is checked.

The Americana Bankers Association that assigns BINs to credit cards keeps these number schemes secure in a non-public database. However, this data and configuration secured in the database may vary from country to country as some states have only four-digit BINs.

How Online Merchants Use Commercial BINs?

Apart from identification, a number of online merchants use bank identification numbers to detect fraud. A BIN helps online merchants locate the geographic location of a cardholder. With a BIN, it becomes easy to compare the geographic location where a credit card is used. The term BIN is often interchangeably used for Interbank Card Association Number (ICA) and helps find personal identification numbers.

To put it simply, BINs help online merchants track the location of transactions or where they are being executed. Using BINs, merchants have increased their debit and credit card transactions in recent decades. They have become a fundamental part of accepting and declining a transaction made via a credit or debit card.

Why the Distinction between Private and Corporate BINs is Important?

If you run a business that requires big purchases, using a commercial card is always beneficial. However, one of the differences between private and corporate BINs is the type of card one is using. As commercial credit cards are not covered by the Credit Card Act 2009, they do not get the benefits that users of a personal card have. Plus, interest rates on business credit cards are frequently changed.

Moreover, detecting commercial BINs has become even more important for merchants since the Directive on Payment Services (PSD2)  has made a few significant amendments. That means surcharges on private credit card payments have been banned by PSD2. The prohibition on these payments has significant implications for consumers as well as merchants.

It has increased the need to detect commercial BINs. Now no private cards can be marked as commercial or have levy fees on purchases.

However, few corporate cards can be marked as personal as well. Merchants have to pay a percentage of fees when using personal cards for corporate purchases.

Implications of PSD2 and How BIN is Used to Identify Corporate Cards

Since surcharging customers for credit or debit card payments is now out of question, it has created problems for most merchants. Many merchants have agreed to levy across-the-board cost increase to cover their lost revenue.

Many of them stopped accepting debit and credit cards in the hope that consumers will find their services enticing enough to choose an easy payment method.

One of the best ways is to earn surcharge payment with a commercial credit card since it’s not prohibited, but you have to avoid it for private cards.

Here, we provide you a comprehensive list of BINs database to help you identify commercial and personal cards accurately and quickly:

  • 432733″ – BIN
  • “VISA” – Card Brand
  • “MetaBank” – Issuing Organization
  • “DEBIT” – Card Type (DEBIT, CREDIT, or CHARGE CARD),
  • “BUSINESS” – Category of Card
  • “UNITED STATES” – ISO name of the issuing country
  • “US” – ISO A2 code of the issuing country
  • “USA” – ISO A3 code of the issuing country
  • “840” – ISO number of the issuing country

With this BINs database, identifying corporate cards is very easy and you can enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you didn’t breach any laws.