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What is CVV CID?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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CVV CID is a security feature on many credit cards in the form of a three- to four-digit verification number. CVV and CID are two different terms for the same concept, known as card verification value or card identification. Other terms include card security code or card code verification. In certain types of transactions, people may be asked to provide the CVV CID to confirm that they are holding the physical card, as this reduces the risk of fraud.

There are several places on a card where a CVV CID may be printed. A common location is on the back of the card, just above the signature panel. The code will be located in the far right corner, separated from the credit card number, and may be enclosed in a small box marked with CVV or CID. Another place is the front of the card, where it will be printed above the credit card number. Certain types of cards do not use this security feature.

A major concern with credit card fraud is the risk of people acquiring card numbers and expiration dates and using them to make purchases remotely, online or over the phone. Asking for the CVV CID requires someone to have the card in hand to relay the code, although people interested in fraud could also try to harvest the security codes for the cards they intend to use. Requesting this code can provide an extra layer of security for transactions, as it requires another step on the part of people committing fraud.

In cases where a card does not have a CVV CID, people can leave the field requesting the verification number blank, or fill it in with 000 or 999. Usually companies requesting this code will provide information about what customers should do if they are using cards that do not have a CVV code, and in some cases, things like Internet checkout carts may be designed to dynamically update this field depending on the type of card involved, changing the number of spaces from three to four for different cards or blanking it out entirely if the customer is using a card without a CVV.

It is advisable for people to make copies of the fronts and backs of their credit cards so they can refer to these copies in the event of a theft or loss. Any suspected compromise to a credit card should be reported immediately so the credit card company can watch the account more closely.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a SmartCapitalMind researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By hamje32 — On Jul 15, 2011

@miriam98 - Frankly, I’ve never understood the CCV credit card number serving as some so-called means of protection. You’re just adding an additional number to the number that already exists – there doesn’t seem to be any added protection.

This reminds me of people who steal software and engage in piracy. Most software will ask for a serial key to ensure that you’re authorized to use it.

However, people who distribute pirated software will not only give you the software, but they also give you the key. What kind of a deterrent is a serial key against people who are fundamentally dishonest?

The criminals who are committing identity theft with credit cards are hawking credit card information, with numbers, CCV and all, on Internet forums.

I agree that the best defense is just to stay alert. Maybe one day we’ll all go to biometric scanners and that will be the real game changer.

By miriam98 — On Jul 14, 2011

@indemnifyme - I worked as a customer service representative once where I took orders for accounting software.

I took the information over the phone and people often paid by credit card. It never ceased to amaze me how that, after every order, I now had all the information I needed to steal that person’s identity and make unauthorized purchases on the credit card.

However, even with that information practically handed to me, I never did that – and none of the other customer service representatives did that, either.

My point is that no matter the protections against credit card fraud, whether it’s a CCV code or whatever, honest people will not commit fraud when absolutely no protection exists, whereas dishonest people will get that information regardless of the protections.

The only answer is to stay alert at all times. Fortunately, credit card companies are cooperative when it comes to reports of unauthorized merchandise.

By indemnifyme — On Jul 13, 2011

@Azuza - I guess CVV CIDs do provide a little bit of extra protection. However, like the article said, it's not going to help if the thief has the actual credit card.

The only way to really protect yourself from credit card fraud is to make sure you have the proper coverage. A lot of credit cards offer fraud protections for a fairly low cost. Also, identity theft protection is available as an additional coverage on many homeowners and renters policies. It's a good idea to take advantage of one of these options so you're protected in the event your card is stolen.

By Azuza — On Jul 12, 2011

I've been really curious about these CVV codes for a little while now. I always enter them when I'm making an online payment but I've never known why! Finally I decided to just do a search and find out once and for all.

I'm glad to know that there is an extra layer of security involved in credit cards. I've always thought it sounded disturbingly easy to steal a credit card number and use it to steal someones identity. At least you would also need this code to make certain transactions.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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