HomeCredit CardsComponents of a Credit Card

Components of a Credit Card

A credit card has become an important financial component. It allows the cardholders to make purchases using the card and pay later. The card provided by banks and financial institutions is a thin rectangular-shaped plastic card which allows the card owner to use it whenever he wants to make a purchase. The importance of a credit card is well aware to everyone hence making UAE one of the countries in the world with the highest number of credit card users. 

Along with knowing the importance and usage of a credit card, the cardholders must also note the parts and details of the physical card provided. 

Credit Card Components

A credit card has several details printed on it which plays an important role in the right functioning of the card. 

  1. Credit Card Issuer name 
  2. Credit card variant
  3. Credit Card Network
  4. Credit Card number 
  5. Card validity 
  6. Cardholder name
  7. EMV security
  8. Magnetic Strip 
  9. CVV code 
  10. Hologram Security  
  11. Customer care contact 
  12. Signature of the cardholder

1. Credit Card Issuer name 

The provider of the card that is the bank or financial institution name is printed on the top of the card as the first detail of the card. 

2. Credit Card Variant 

There are different variants of a credit card provided by different banks. Each credit card variant has different features and benefits. According to the features and benefits, the card is given a particular name which is printed on the top of the card.

Example: Platinum, Shopper, Titanium, Silver, Gold, Black, etc.  

3. Credit Card Network

A credit cardholder must be aware of the card network he is using. While making a payment online or purchasing something using a credit card, there is a question asked about the card network whether it is VISA or Mastercard or American Express, etc. The logo of the card network which helps in processing the payment on the card is provided on the card. 

Check: Visa & Mastercard – All you need to know

4. Credit Card number 

A unique card number is assigned to each cardholder. The same number is stored on the magnetic stripe of the card which will be read while swiping the card. Usually, the first few digits are the same for every cardholder according to the card network, the rest of the digits are unique for the customer. Mostly, the card number is up to 16 digits. 

5. Card validity 

Every credit card comes with validity. The expiry date of the card is printed on it. Post the expiry date the card will not be valid and the cardholder needs to get a new card from the provider. The new card will have a different card number, with different CVV, and new expiration date. 

A card comes with validity for many reasons like security, wear and tear of the card.  

Note: The card expiry has nothing to do with the credit card account. The cardholder needs to apply for a new credit card not credit card account. 

6. Cardholder name

The credit card applicant will be the card owner and the same name will be printed on the card. 

7. EMV Security  

The EMV Security chip is an important component of the credit card. It has the information about the card that is the card number, validity and cardholder name stored in it. It is a modern way to store information about the card. It gives high protection from fraud. When the card is swiped the card reader reads the information and further transaction is processed. 

EMV stands for Eurpay, Mastercard, Visa. It acts with a chip technology which determines the working of the card either by Chip and Signature way or Chip and PIN. 

Chip and Signature: When a purchase is made using the credit card, then the credit card user needs to sign the purchase receipt. 

Chip and PIN: When a purchase is made using the credit card, the credit card user uses a security PIN to complete the transaction. The PIN should not be shared with anyone.    

8. Magnetic Stripe  

On the backside of a credit card, a black stripe is present which is called the Magnetic Stripe. Along with the EMV chip, the card details are stored on the Magnetic stripe as well. If the Magnetic stripe is completely worn away or dirty, then the card reader or ATM will not be able to read the card. In this case, you can apply for a new credit card. 

9. CVV code 

The CVV of a credit card stands for “Card Verification Value” is a very important component of a card along with the security PIN. Every cardholder is given a unique CVV. Whenever you use a credit card online for purchases or any transactions, then the transaction will not be processed without the CVV code. In simpler terms, it acts as a fraud prevention tool while using the card for online transactions in the absence of usage of the physical card where the magnetic stripe is not read. 

Many people mistake the CVV code with the PIN. CVV and card PIN are completely different.  

The CVV code is of 3-4 digits printed on the backside of the card. It is important to note that along with the security PIN, the CVV code must not be shared with anyone. 

You don’t need to use CVV when you are presenting the physical card to swipe at any merchant. While making a purchase online or using the credit card online, entering CVV code along with other details like Card number, Cardholder name and card validity is important. Though CVV is entered on a merchant site, it cannot be stored by the merchant. Hence it is impossible for anyone to misuse the card. 

Though additional security paths like OTP or entering a PIN is needed to complete the transaction after entering CVV code, it is necessary to be smart and alert.

 Also, check: The best credit cards for beginners in UAE

10. Hologram Security 

The Hologram provides security to the card without being copied by fraudsters. The hologram shows different images at different angles. The hologram can have different layers with multiple images hence making it hard to copy. 

11. Customer care contact 

The customer care contact of the provider is printed as well on the backside of the card just in case of any emergency with the usage of the card or regarding the card. 

12. Signature of the cardholder 

Once the cardholder gets a credit card, he can sign on the backside of the card at the assigned column. If the card is not signed then it is not considered valid. Usually, the signature on the credit card and driver’s licence are compared before a merchant swipes your card. But it is very rare for a merchant to check the availability of the signature on the card and double-check it with the driver’s licence. 

These are the parts on a physical credit card. It is necessary for a cardholder to understand the details printed on the card to prevent themselves from fraudulent activities. 
Important Note: Never share your credit card details like card number, CVV, PIN with anyone.  

About the author

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Nikitha is a Senior Analyst at MyMoneySouq.com. She has been writing about personal finance, credit cards, mortgage, and other personal finance products in the UAE. Her work on Mortgage loans has been featured by the GulfNews and other popular Financial Blogs in the UAE.

Nikitha is a Senior Analyst at MyMoneySouq.com. She has been writing about personal finance, credit cards, mortgage, and other personal finance products in the UAE. Her work on Mortgage loans has been featured by the GulfNews and other popular Financial Blogs in the UAE.


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