BIN / IIN Data

The Card Brands

The payment systems that process our bank and card payments today evolved as a part of the modern shift away from physical forms of payment towards digital. To facilitate these new payment experiences, the big card brands have had to solve many problems involving technology and business models, and bring multiple partners together, including cardholders, merchants, issuing banks, and acquiring banks.

A cardholder receives a card from an issuing bank to use when making purchases from merchants anywhere in the world. Credit cards are linked to the cardholder's bank account or credit line at the bank. Each card has 16-19 digits on the physical (or virtual) card, which acts as a unique identifier for the cardholder and includes information about the card's issuing bank. The first set of digits in that number is called the BIN.

Bank Identification Numbers (BINs)

A bank identification number (BIN) is the first 6-10 digits on a credit, debit, prepaid, or commercial card which identifies the bank that issued the card. It is also commonly referred to as the issuer identification number (IIN).

Issuing banks request BINs as part of their agreements with the card brands and use those numbers when issuing cards to cardholders. When a cardholder then makes a purchase, the merchant sends the transaction through the card brand, which uses the BIN to route the transaction to the right issuing bank for processing. Ultimately, the BIN is a critical part of the card number which enables transactions to flow globally.

BINs contain a lot of information about the associated payment card, including:

  • Issuing bank name
  • Card brand
  • Category level (e.g. corporate, signature)
  • Card type (i.e. credit, debit, prepaid)
  • Prepaid (reloadable/non-reloadable)
  • Issuer country
  • Account updater status (e.g. enabled/disabled)

Using BIN data

You can use the valuable information stored in a card's BIN to optimize your payment processing, reduce overall costs, and improve customer experiences.

Optimize Your Processing Capabilities

Using BIN data, you can adapt your payment processing strategy in real time according to the exact card a customer uses. Doing so ensures you always have the best possible outcomes. For example, you can:

  • Identify the exact card type (e.g. credit vs debit) and only apply surcharges to purchases made with credit cards
  • Route BINs issued in particular regions or countries to the most favorable payment service provider (PSP) to ensure higher approval rates
  • Restrict non-reloadable prepaid cards from purchasing subscription services/products to avoid non-sufficient fund (NSF) declines
  • Identify and block BINs associated with fraudulent activity
  • Identify trends in declined BINs (e.g. all from the same issuing bank or issuing country) and establish rules to block those BINs

Reduce Payment Processing Costs

  • Identify when customers are using debit cards you can then route through EFT networks at a lower cost
  • Identify when customer cards qualify for Level II and Level III data, so you can provide this data and face lower interchange costs
  • Block the cards you don't process (e.g. health care cards, fleet cards, cards for debt paying services) from even being sent to the processor

Improving Customer Experiences

The more you know about your customers, the better equipped you are to present them with positive or even customized shopping experiences. With BIN data, you can:

  • Cater your checkout flow to the card type or issuer preferred by the majority of your current customer base
  • Adjust the card brands and card types you accept to meet customer demand
  • Better help customers troubleshoot payment issues (because you know more about the card they're using)

Standard Versus Enhanced BIN Data in Parrot

Parrot by Pagos provides accurate, up-to-date BIN data for each payment card your business processes. Depending on your Parrot subscription, you can submit card BINs and receive both standard and enhanced data for these cards. Standard data includes basic information such as BIN number, card network, and card type, while enhanced data provides significantly more details about your customers and their payment methods. For a full list of the data fields provided in standard and enhanced data, see our Parrot Data Dictionary guide.

The Move from Six to Eight-Digit BINs

Modern payment networks follow the ISO/IEC 7812 standard for assigning BINs. In 2015, the industry began work on a change that would increase the length of BINs from six to eight digits, accounting for an increased issuer demand for more card numbers. The 2017 revision of the standard defined the new eight-digit BIN and outlined a timeline for converting existing six digits BINs to eight digits. As of April 2022, Visa and Mastercard now only assign BINs with eight digits.

In response to this industry-wide change, you will benefit from adjusting your workflows to consider full eight-digit BINs, especially when deciding how to manage fraud, customer payment experiences, chargeback and dispute management, routing, cost analysis, and customer service. With that additional information eight-digit BINs provide, your business can more clearly identify the card products your customers are using and manage your operations accordingly.



We know that getting accurate BIN/IIN data can mean the difference in how you manage customers, your risk, your costs, and ultimately how you process transactions. The team here knows that data quality matters. We are the only provider that is constantly monitoring changes in the wider industry as well as the underlying BIN/IIN numbers and then combining it into one data set.

We work directly with merchants, payment providers, and the networks to ensure that we provide the most accurate and up to date data and are always looking for feedback or corrections. Don’t hesitate to contact us!