The Change to 8-Digit BINs

The way we pay for items is always evolving and changing, and Bank Identification Numbers (BINs) are no different. As more and more people sign up to the payment ecosystem, the industry is running out of numbers to send out to customers. Addressing the BIN shortage, the length of them is being expanded from six to eight digits. The length of the Primary Account Number (PAN) will remain the same.


What is a Bank Identification Number?

If you own a credit or debit card, you will have a BIN. This is included in the 16-digit PAN on the face of the card, and it will likely be the first 6 digits of this number. These digits make it easy to trace the cards and transactions back to the user. As well as this, BINs can also do the following:

  • Determining and preventing fraud
  • Detailed data reporting and analytics
  • Identifying transactions involved in disputes
  • Administering discounts
  • Validating buyers using geolocation technology


Why are BINs changing to 8 digits, and what does it mean for merchants?

Initially announced by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) in 2015, this change became effective in April this year, and all merchants and payment processors must be able to support the 8-digit BIN length.

If the changes aren’t made that are needed to support 8-digit BINs, this will have a substantial and significant disruption to your business. These could include:

  • API failures
  • Misrouted payment transactions
  • Inaccurate data queries
  • Incorrect init validation logic
  • Non-compliance with data security and privacy standards

It is important that you are assessing your own business and ensuring that you are compliant with accepting 8-digit BINs to avoid any unwanted interference with your company.

If you are still looking for support on the change to 8 digit BINs, or just want to know more about what payments solutions are best for you, contact the Axcess Merchant team and get in touch and speak to our experts today!  

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