You have just selected your online purchase, you have entered your card number and you are about to pay. But the website asks you for something more. One such CVV code, and you have no idea what it is. If you are lucky, you will be in one of the many electronic stores that, at least, tell you where you can find this key. But what is the CVV code?
This is numbering security for transactions where the card is not physically use . Therefore, it is a code that you will have to use every time you buy online. Its function is simple: prevent someone who gets your credit or debit card number from using it.
You can usually find it on the back of any credit or debit card. It is a figure composed of three or four digits separate from the identification number of the plastic and which is generally located within the signature strip . However, there are exceptions, such as American Express, which have their CVV code on the front. Its particularity is that it only appears on the physical card, so only the owner will have access to it.
However, with the advent of digital banking, there are banks that offer the possibility of consulting it in their mobile application. The logic is the same. Only the cardholder, who has the access codes to his account, the digital signature and his mobile phone number associated with the account, will be able to access it . In general, all banks send an SMS with a validation code to the holder's mobile in order to access the CVV code.
How does the CVV code protect your card?
Its effectiveness as a security measure is that only the user can access it. Both in the card and in the bank's application, the holder is the only one who can freely view it. Unless otherwise directed by someone else or someone sees an oversight, the owner is the only one who knows the combination of digits . In this way, if someone intercepts the identification number of the card, they will not be able to use it to steal your money. It is, in short, a way of knowing that the buyer has the plastic in their possession.
But none of this would be of use if the selling company did not also do its part. In principle, e-shops cannot store the CVV code . In this way, not even employees can access this information. However, there are online stores that, to facilitate quick purchase, save all the card data, including the CVV code.
In this case, the web security systems come into play. All e-commerce must have a secure port layer, which encrypts browsing data. This technology protects all the data that is provided to the website when buying. Thus, the same logic is followed as with digital banking. That is, even if the data is registered, only the user, who knows his password, can access them . To make sure your connection is protected, check that in the URL box, on the left side, there is a green bar that specifies ”˜Is safe” ™.
For these reasons, you should never provide the CVV code unless you are in a protected web environment . As in the case of e-commerce with layers of secure ports. And never provide it to an individual. It is important to remember, to avoid scams, that your bank will never ask you for these digits.
What if your credit card is stolen?
The physical theft of the credit card can compromise this method of security. Therefore, the first thing you should do when it is stolen or lost is to cancel it. Once you have done this, you need not worry anymore. The reason is that, despite the thief having the identification number of the plastic, the CVV code is not fixed, but changes with each new card . In this way, the security of your money will never be exposed.
How to check the CVV code online?
It is important that you bear in mind that not all banks offer this possibility . In ING Direct , for example, you can only consult it if you have the card at hand. However, most of the Spanish banks offer the possibility of consulting the CVV code electronically.
If you are a Banco Santander customer , you can view it through its mobile application . To do this you must access ”˜My products” ™, click on ”˜Cards” ™ and, finally, on ”˜Consult CVV” ™. In order to view the CVV code, you will have to overcome a series of security protocols, which include entering the service access code and your electronic signature. This option is exclusive for your app, you will not be able to consult it from your computer's browser.
In BBVA you can consult it both in the browser and in the mobile application . To view it on the web, go to ”˜Accounts and Cards” ™ and hover over the card. Then the message ”˜click on the card to view CVV code” ™ and then “˜View CVV” ™ will appear. The bank will then send an SMS to the cardholder's mobile with the confirmation key. After entering it, you will be able to see all the data of your card on the screen of your computer. In the app the process is similar. Find your card at the bottom of the main screen, in the ”˜Cards” ™ section, click on the image and slide with your finger to see the security key. In the same way, you will receive an SMS with the code to view it.
Bankia is another of the banks that only allows you to view the CVV code through its application . To do this, the customer will have to download Bankia Wallet, enter their passwords and click on the card they wish to consult. You will then receive an SMS with a code that will allow you to access all your data.
La Caixa, for its part, also offers the possibility of consulting it through its application . To do this, you must go to the "My cards" section of the main menu, click on the card you wish to consult, slide it to the left with your finger and wait to receive the verification SMS code.