Do You Need CVV To Pay Online?

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A phone and a credit card on a woman's hands - Do You Need CVV To Pay Online?

When trying to shop online, many stores will require some extra information. First, of course, they will ask for a credit card number, expiry date, and the card’s name. However, some online shops will also require a CVV number. What to do if a website asks for a CVV, and what to do if it doesn’t? Read below to find out more.


Why Is CVV Usually Needed for Online Payments?

A CVV or a card verification value is a three-digit code found on the back of Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards. On an American Express card, it’s a four-digit code also found on the back of the card. A CVV will usually be required to finalize an online payment.

A CVV number is required since it proves to the online merchant that the physical card is in your hands. In addition, this somewhat proves that the credit or debit card is yours since you can just look on the back to find the CVV code. It’s a measure taken to reduce fraud and prevent theft of card numbers.


Why Do Some Websites Not Ask for a CVV Code?

In most cases, websites will surely ask for a CVV code in order to finalize payment with a credit or debit card. However, in some rare cases, you will not be asked to provide a CVV code. Instead, in these cases, they will ask you for other information that will confirm that you are the owner of the card, for example, the billing address or just a zip code.

A CVV code is not a number that’s required but is used as an extra security measure to prove that the card owner is the one making a purchase. The merchant isn’t incentivized to ask for your CVV code. It’s just to prevent fraud.


Does it Mean It’s Not a Safe Website?

A CVV code is meant to protect the buyer from fraud. This is because your credit card numbers from the front of your card can be stolen, but a CVV code is found on the back of your card, so unless the buyer has the actual card in their possession, they won’t have a CVV code.

A website will only ask for your CVV if they wish to go the extra step to stop fraud. If they do not wish to protect their buyers, then they just won’t ask for a CVV. For example, Amazon doesn’t ask for a CVV code, so not asking for it does not equal an unsafe website.


How is CVV calculated?

Your CVV or card verification value is not just a random four-digit number. In fact, banks use specific numbers to calculate this value. The value is generated using four specific numbers and information. It involves using your primary account number, a specific four-digit expiration date, a pair of data encryption standard keys, as well as a three-digit service code.

Of course, banks won’t let you know how their algorithm calculates a CVV number since this would be unsafe. However, they do confirm that these four pieces of information are used. There is a lot that goes into generating a CVV number.

Can You Send Money Without CVV?

This depends on the platform you are planning to use to send money. Some platforms will require you to input a CVV number, while others won’t. A CVV isn’t a requirement to send money or purchase something on the merchant’s side; however, it’s an added layer of protection.

If you are able to input your CVV code, this means that the physical card is most likely in your hands. So, it means that it’s your card, and you are the one sending the money. It’s a security measure to prevent fraud and the usage of stolen card numbers.


Final Thoughts

A CVV or a credit verification value is an important number that aims to prevent fraud and provide you with security. Some online stores will ask for the number once you make a purchase, and some won’t. This does not imply that a website is safe or unsafe, so use other measures to make sure the website you are shopping from is reliable.