Credit Card Processing, News

New Mastercard Bins – 2 Series

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In summer 2017, Mastercard will begin issuing cards with a new bank identification number (BIN.) Where previously Mastercards started with the number 5, some cards will now begin with the number 2. Find out what this means and get details on how to make sure your business is ready to accept these new 2 series cards.


What is a BIN?

A Bank Identification Number (or BIN) is the first 6 digits of a credit card number. BINs identify the bank that issued the card and help ensure that transactions are routed correctly. Though you might not give them much thought, BINs are an important part of the transaction process. Mastercard offers this short explanation video about BINs:

Mastercard’s New BINs

Previously, Mastercard BINs started with numbers from 51 – 55. Now, the company is adding a new BIN range, the 2-series, and valid Mastercards may start with numbers 2221 – 2720. Though preparation already started, 2-series BINs are expected to be issued in summer of 2017.

BINs by Card Brand

Each card brand has BINs that start with a specific number or set of numbers. The four most common credit cards in the US are Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. Their starting BINs are as follows:

  • Visa: 4
  • Mastercard: 51-55, 2221-2720 (New)
  • Discover: 6011, 622126-622925, 644-649, 65
  • American Express: 34, 37

You can configure online payment forms to auto-select the type of card based on the BIN when a customer enters their card details to make a purchase. Some businesses choose to implement card-type recognition to streamline the checkout process and skip the step of requiring the customer to manually choose the card brand. If you utilize card type recognition, you’ll need to update your program to reflect the new Mastercard BINs or else your payment form may reject the customer’s card details. This can frustrate your customer and potentially increase order abandonment.

What do I need to do to accept the new Mastercard?

The good news is that processors have been aware of this change for months and many businesses won’t need to do anything. A representative from payment processor First Data indicated that some updates will occur automatically, while a representative for GDPay referenced terminal manufacturer Dejavoo’s auto update feature for its machines. Both of these comments indicate that there can be situations where a business would not need to take additional steps to accept the 2 series Mastercards.

However, other businesses may require a manually-initiated update to their credit card terminal or online payment form. Businesses that use the following terminal brands may be more likely to need an update:

  • Equinox/Hypercom
  • Ingenico
  • PAX

Allen Friedman, VP of Payment Solutions at Ingenico, told CardFellow that businesses using an Ingenico model credit card machine may need to, “Get a download from their acquirer, processor, or software developer to add that card range from Mastercard in their device.”

Note that just because you use one of the machines listed above doesn’t guarantee you’ll need an update, but it’s worth contacting your processor to confirm. It’s also important to note that a machine not listed here may still require an update. Whether you need one depends on your processor and the machine itself.

Older machines that are no longer sold/supported by the manufacturer may not be update-eligible.

Ecommerce Businesses

Payment gateways and virtual terminals are less likely to require an update. Nick Starai, VP of Product Development at NMI, says that, “Much of the preparation for the new BINs will be done through payment gateways. Many merchants, particularly those who use hosted payment forms, will not need to make updates, as they will be covered by the changes made by their payment gateway provider.”

However, as stated previously, if you utilize card-type recognition using the first digit(s) of a card to identify and auto-select the brand in a payment form, you’ll need to update that payment form. Starai notes, “The odds are that some merchants, most likely larger merchants who have their own card type detection logic implemented in their own systems, will have to make changes on their end.” If your forms ask customers to choose their card type manually, you likely will not need to update.

Notification of Affected Businesses

If your business will need to take steps to update equipment to accept the new BINs, your processor will notify you. Be sure to keep a close eye on the “messages” section of your merchant processing statement. Many processors have already sent notifications, and may send an additional notice in May or June.

If you’re a current CardFellow.com client and need assistance, you can contact us with questions. Please have your equipment brand and model information ready.

Need a new terminal? Read reviews in our credit card machine directory.

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Ellen Cunningham

BY Ellen Cunningham

Ellen has a degree in English, which she puts to work every day researching and writing articles, processor reviews, and social media posts. She enjoys the challenge of explaining complex topics - making her a perfect fit for credit card processing - and strongly believes in CardFellow's mission of empowering business owners through education.When she's not busy following the latest industry news, Ellen can be found cycling the beautiful trails of southern New England, narrowly losing at pub quizzes, or practicing her trapeze skills in aerial circus class.

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