In 2015, the payment industry started to work to increase the length of the Issuer Identification Number (IIN), or BIN as it’s called in the industry, from 6 to 8 digits. The 2017 revision of ISO7812 defined the new eight-digit IIN and set up a timeline for the migration.
On the card surface, the cardholder will not identify this change. The card number remains the same length. The only difference is how many digits identify the issuer and how many the card itself. A usual cardholder doesn’t take care of this change. What about the card issuer?
The impact on the chip data
On the chip, all card data is stored in tags. The IIN is personalized in tag ’42’. According to EMV v4.3, Book 1, this tag is a numeric six digits long item. So, does EMVCo extend the maximum length of the tag ’42’ to cover the requirements of the eight-digit IIN? No, it doesn’t seem to do so.
Unfortunately, in the industry, some players use this tag for identifying loyalty schemes or for offering other services. There are terminals on the market, configured to raise az error in case IIN tag is not precisely six digits long. So, in case the standard extended the length of this tag, many terminals would mishandle it.
Consequently, EMVCo announced a new tag for the extended IIN. The new tag (IINE) has the identifier of ‘9F0C’. This tag is personalized on the card beside the IIN. IINE can be either 6 or 8 digits long.
What can industry players do with this new tag? Operations relied on IIN, may lead to unexpected results in some cases, as acquirers may think that a card belongs to a particular issuer while it belongs to another one.
It will take time for terminal vendors to update their kernels to read the new tag. EMVCo does, however, expect that the Terminal Type approval process will be updated once the specification becomes effective to ensure that terminals can recognize tags that support both six and eight-digit IINs. However, it seems that acquirers may need to plan a workaround until the kernel updates are widely available.
- EMV ® Specification Bulletin No. 220
- ISO/IEC 7812