Chargebacks911® COO Says Cardholders Need to Be CVV-Savvy

US News and World Report Feature

Keeping Your CVV Safe Helps Prevent Fraud, Says Monica Eaton-Cardone

Chargebacks911 COO Monica Eaton-Cardone recently spoke with John Egan of US News & World Report about the importance of the CVV: that little code that helps keep cardholders safe.

US News & World Report is one of the world’s leading resources for news on a wide range of topics. Civic news, health, education, travel, and business all fall within their scope of reporting. And, with online fraud an ever-mounting threat, it’s vital consumers understand the importance of CVV technology.

What is the CVV?

The CVV (or “card verification value”) is the three-digit card security code printed on the backs of all Visa-branded cards. All major card brands operating in the US employ a card security code like the CVV. Mastercard and Discover position their code in the same place on the card back as Visa, while American Express uses a four-digit code on the card’s face.

Regardless of the card brand, though, the CVV fulfills the same important role in eCommerce. With a “card-not-present” transaction, there’s no way that a seller can check the signature on the card or see the cardholder’s ID. By asking users for the card code, though, the merchant has a useful tool to verify that the person using a card has physical possession of the card itself.

As a leading expert on eCommerce fraud prevention, Monica was happy to provide some insight. "The CVV was first devised as an anti-fraud mechanism," Monica explains. "The idea was to target card-not-present fraud by asking for a simple code that should be easy for legitimate cardholders to provide, but is unknown to a fraudster."

Asking for the CVV makes it harder for fraudsters to use stolen cardholder information. The code is not stored alongside the card number, so even if thieves steals your cardholder data, they won’t get the CVV. As Monica explains, "If a buyer can correctly enter the card's CVV during checkout, it's likely the person at least has the card in her physical possession. That makes it harder for criminals to use stolen cardholder information to make fraudulent purchases."