Credit Cards

Credit cards work in mysterious ways. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Watch as we expose all the secrets of credit cards right before your eyes.

Credit Cards – How They Work

Do you know what the ANSI Standard X4.13-1983 is? The ANSI Standard is the number system used by all credit cards, unless it’s some shady tiny card not accepted anywhere except Guatemala or something. Look at your card if you have one. See those numbers? The first digit is the system number. This tells you which company the credit card is with. 3 stands for American Express. 4 is Visa. 5 is MasterCard, 6 is Discover. As for the rest of the numbers on any one of your credit cards, they vary by company. American Express, digits three and four are type and currency, digits five through 11 are the account number, digits 12 through 14 are the card number within the account and digit 15 is a check digit. With Visa, digits two through six are the bank number, digits seven through 12 or seven through 15 are the account number and digit 13 or 16 is a check digit. With MasterCard, digits two and three, two through four, two through five or two through six are the bank number (depending on whether digit two is a 1, 2, 3 or other). The digits after the bank number up through digit 15 are the account number, and digit 16 is a check digit.

What About The Stripe on Credit Cards?

The magnetic stripe. All credit cards have one, and they are the most important part of the card. If credit cards didn’t have the stripe, they wouldn’t work. Because when swiped, they would not do anything–swiping plastic is meaningless. Something has to be read. Reading is fundamental. It is made up of iron-based magnetic particles in a plastic-like film. It works the same way a cassette tape works. If your credit cards don’t work, it is probably either the stripe or because you have been financially killed by your creditors. Looks like you’ll be in debt hell, huh? But better check the stripe first before you panic and get involved with secured credit cards in order to rebuild your credit. It can be a dirty or scratched stripe, or an erased magstripe. The most common causes for erased magstripes are exposure to magnets, like the small ones used to hold notes and pictures on the refrigerator, and exposure to a store’s electronic article surveillance (EAS) tag demagnetizer.

Do All Credit Cards Have A Stripe?

Yes, all credit cards have the stripe, evenVisa credit cards. This is how they get approved or disapproved and know which account you’re charging to. The stripe is very important when it comes to credit cards.

How Do Credit Cards Get Authenticated?

After you or the cashier swipes your credit card through a reader, the EDC software at the point-of-sale (POS) terminal dials a stored telephone number in its modem to call an acquirer. In other words, black magic. The devil himself is responsible for credit cards being authenticated.

Did you learn a lot about Citibank credit cards and Chase credit cards on this page? We hope you did.


All material copyright © 2008 About Secured Cards. All rights reserved.

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