As more consumers rely on credit, debit and prepaid cards as their primary method of payment, the supply of new primary account numbers (PANs) has become limited. Recognizing that their supply could not keep up with future demand, Mastercard announced in 2014 that they would be utilizing a new BIN (Bank Identification Number) range for Mastercard-issued credit cards starting in 2017. While historically all Mastercards started with a “5,” new cards will be issued soon that begin with a “2.” These cards will work the same as cards starting with a “5”, though it’s important for CNP merchants to verify that their systems and processes are ready for this change.
Acquirers, ISOs, and all entities responsible for processing payments from merchants to the card brand were required to be ready to accept these cards as of Oct. 2016. However, merchants should run a test transaction through their Web or mobile sites to ensure that their shopping carts and gateways are functioning with the change. Additionally, any backend processes or systems that rely on or factor in BIN data should also be updated.
The addition of numbers ranging from 222100 to 272099 will enable Mastercard to issue millions of additional accounts. The Purchase, N.Y.-based network said the change will make new ways of paying for products—smartwatch, selfie, etc.—easier. And, ultimately, more card numbers in circulation means more opportunity for sales for merchants.
To request testing materials, e-mail: BIN_inquiries@Mastercard.com. CardNotPresent.com will be publishing more best-practice information to help your CNP company be prepared for this new change in the coming weeks.