Less than one year remained until the payment industry replaces the six digits length of the Issuer Identification Number with an eight digits long version. 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 in 2015. The 2017 revision of ISO7812 defined the new eight-digit IIN and set up a timeline for the migration.
Ready to what?
BIN (Bank Identification Number) and IIN (Issuer Identification Number) mean the same thing. IIN is generally used in standards, and BIN is instead used in the banking industry. This article uses IIN because it better covers the meaning. After all, there are many payment card issuers whose business isn’t in the traditional banking domain.
Players of the payment industry should be compliant with the change of the length of IIN by April 2022. Compliance in this term means the continuous capability to process the transactions, even if the IIN is eight digits long. Companies that will not have verified their processes by the time may face surprising situations.
What may happen if not?
The numbering system aims to identify a card issuing institution uniquely. The terminal receives the PAN from the card. Then the terminal or the background system verifies the IIN and decides how to proceed with this card.
A PAN looks like this: “1234 4578 9012 3456”. In the current example, the IIN is 123445. This value tells the acquirer system what it should do with this card. For example, an acquirer, issuing cards too, may decide that it offers ATM deposit functionality for its customers. Let’s assume that this acquirer owns the IIN of 123445. So, if the ATM reads the card and identifies that the card PAN begins with 123455, a deposit menu item is displayed. There might be several different logic based on IIN.
Let’s imagine that the issuer in the example above doesn’t need any more IINs, but 12344578. So this issuer gets rid of 12344500, 12344501, 12344502, etc., from its BIN table, keeping only 12344578. Other issuers may begin to use 12344500, 12344501, 12344502, and so on. So, without changes in the ATM logic, the ATM will still offer the deposit menu for all cards where the card number begins with 123445, but many of them are not issued by the same organization.
What if doing nothing?
A logical lazy solution may be to keep all the IINs, even when 99% of them aren’t used for any card. So, no change is needed in the payment system. The problem is that costs are associated with IINs. 123445 was one IIN until now. 12344500, 12344501, 12344502, etc., are individual IINs. Having one IIN or having one hundred of them may be charged differently.
So in the remaining one year, issuers and acquirers should place focus on the IIN extension. The above example and analysis are only a tiny part of the impacts the IIN extension may cause. We have already discussed how the terminals will evolve to handle the longer IINs in the article ‘BIN Extension, new data on the cards‘.
If you are interested in more impacts, card brands have issued many documents on this topic. Should you need to locate them, contact us, and we can help you understand the issuer‘s or acquirer‘s details.
- ISO Announces Updates to the Issuer Identification Number (IIN) Standard
- 8-Digit BIN Expansion Mandate and PCI DSS Impact
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