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EMVCo to support expanding issuer identification number as defined by ISO, IEC

Friday 16 August 2019 | 07:03 AM CET

EMVCo has announced that it is working to evolve the EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications for payment systems to support future IIN and the existing six-digit format.

As the change may have implications for merchant and processor systems beyond payments.

The Issuer Identification Numbers (IIN) forms part of the primary account number (PAN) that links a card to an individual account. Merchants sometimes use PANs or IINs as a basis to identify a customer and offer relevant services outside of payments, such as loyalty programmes.

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) published a new version of the ISO/IEC 7812-1 standard in which IINs can be expanded to eight-digits. EMVCo is updating its relevant specifications to support both existing and longer IINs, changing the IIN from a fixed length of six digits to a variable length of six or eight digits.

Point of sale terminals may need to be updated to ensure they recognise and have the ability to process both existing and longer IINs, or transactions may be terminated or processed incorrectly. Merchants using IINs for additional services may also need to update other elements of their backend systems.

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