3-Digit Security Code

3-Digit Security Code

Proof that your card is in the right hands

The 3-digit security code shown on the back of your Visa card lets merchants know that you're physically holding the card when you make a purchase online or over the phone. It's yet another layer of protection Visa implements to prevent fraud before it happens.

How it works

1.

Shop online or by phone

The three-digit code authenticates your identity.





Details

2.

Provide your 3-digit security code

This assures the merchant that you have your card in hand.




Details

3.

Card issuer validates your code

The code is validated automatically during authorization. Merchants are not allowed to save codes.


Details

Shop online or by phone

Shopping online or by phone – where a merchant can't verify your identity in person – always involves an element of risk. The 3-digit security code on your Visa card assures both merchants and consumers that the card is in the hands of an authorized user. If someone obtains your account number, he or she can't make a purchase without the security code.

Provide your 3-digit security code

You can find the 3-digit code on the back of your Visa card, next to your signature. You may see other numerals there, but only the last three digits make up the security code, which is also sometimes referred to as the "CVV2 code."

Card issuer validates your code

When you give a merchant your CVV2 code at checkout, that information is sent electronically to the card-issuing bank for verification and authorization. If a person attempts to use your card number but cannot provide a 3-digit security code, or if the number is returned as invalid, the merchant will cancel the transaction. For security purposes, merchants are prohibited from storing this number.

Quick Tip

Never write down your PIN. Memorize it and keep it safe
More tips >


 
Questions?

Call the Visa Global Customer Assistance Center at (800) 847-2911