Why is the CVV Number Printed on Credit Cards?

The CVV number is a 3 or 4 digit number (associated with a credit card) that is used for verification in case of Card Not Present (CNP) transactions. CVV stands for Card Verification Value and is also called Card Security Code (CSC), Card Verification Code (CVC), Verification code (V-code or V code), and Signature Panel Code (SPC).

Card CVV Number

CVV numbers are used to authenticate the card, as an additional security measure when the card is used in online transactions. It is like an ATM pin.

I am unable to understand why the CVV number is printed on the card, whereas the ATM pin is provided to the card holder separately.

Every time the credit card is used (for swiping), the staff at the outlet have access to the card. They can copy/ remember all the details on the card and later the same details can be used to place online orders. Also, if the card is stolen, the thief has most of the details necessary to place online orders on many shopping sites.

Printing the CVV number on the card is like printing the ATM Pin on the card.

So, can someone please throw some light on why the CVV numbers are still being printed on credit cards, while the same card companies are resorting to sophisticated security systems to prevent fraud?

In the meantime, all of us may be safer if we smudge the CVV numbers from our credit cards.

By the way, the cards shown in this post are not mine :-).

Please feel free to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature.

Author: Rajesh Naik

I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me, I am also available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite.

2 thoughts on “Why is the CVV Number Printed on Credit Cards?”

  1. A very pertinent observation, Rajesh.

    I have also wondered how safe it is to declare the CVV number for any online transaction. The Economic Times article referred to by you also raises this but does not provide answers.

    Thankfully, I never have had to submit a copy of my card; except after the same was blocked for a complaint purpose. As pointed out by you, credit card companies could do well to share the CVV number by post as they do with PIN rather than print on the back of the card.

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