Bank Identification Number - BIN

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Bank Identification Number - BIN'

The first four to six digits of a credit card. The bank identification number identifies the institution issuing the card. It is critical to the correct matching of transactions to the issuer of the charge card.

This prefix system also applies to debit cards, charge cards and electronic benefit cards.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bank Identification Number - BIN'

Although it is called a bank identification number, BINs are also used by other institutions, such as American Express. As increasing numbers of issuers are opting into the BIN network, the term issuer identification number (IIN) is increasingly used interchangeably with BIN.

The prefix system is also used to help identify potential security breaches or identity theft, by comparing such things as the location of the issuing institution and the address of the cardholder.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Identity Theft

    The crime of obtaining the personal or financial information ...
  2. Charge Card

    A card that charges no interest but requires the user to pay ...
  3. Credit Card

    A card issued by a financial company giving the holder an option ...
  4. Offline Debit Card

    A card that combines characteristics of both a traditional (online) ...
  5. Account Number

    The primary identifier for ownership of an account, whether a ...
  6. Credit Limit

    The amount of credit that a financial institution extends to ...
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    Identity Theft: How To Avoid It

    Don't be a victim of this disturbing crime. Get insight into how perpetrators commit this form of fraud.
  2. Credit & Loans

    Credit, Debit And Charge: Sizing Up The Cards In Your Wallet

    Not all plastic is equal! Learn the difference between the three kinds, and how each can affect your finances.
  3. Credit & Loans

    Take Control Of Your Credit Cards

    The plastic in your wallet doesn't have to hurt your finances. Learn how to manage it responsibly.
  4. Budgeting

    Should You Pay In Cash?

    Avoiding all forms of plastic payment can do wonders for your stress level and pocket book.
  5. Credit & Loans

    How Credit Cards Built A Plastic Empire

    A decade before Mastercard or Visa existed, the first credit card company was introduced.
  6. Options & Futures

    6 Major Credit Card Mistakes

    Avoid these pitfalls to keep your credit score healthy and your debt under control.
  7. Economics

    What Happens in a Default?

    Borrowers are in default when they don’t honor a debt, whether their failure is intentional or not.
  8. Budgeting

    The 7 Best Ways to Get Out of Debt

    Obtain information on how to put together and execute a plan to get out of debt, including the various steps and methods people use to become debt-free.
  9. Credit & Loans

    Don't Get Burned by High Credit Card Rates

    The average card charges 11.8%, and some rates top 20%. Experts warn that credit card interest may remain steep.
  10. Savings

    How Volatile Exchange Rates Affect Your Vacation

    Those ever-changing fluctuations can make a difference in anything from your hotel room to an ATM transaction.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the difference between "closed end credit" and a "line of credit?"

    Depending on the need, an individual or business may take out a form of credit that is either open- or closed-ended. While ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the best way to start to rebuild your credit after a bankruptcy?

    Bankruptcies can be devastating to your credit score. Even worse, a bankruptcy will be listed on your credit report for between ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What were the primary financial crimes involved in the ZZZZ Best case?

    ZZZZ Best was a company started by Barry Jay Minkow that claimed to be a carpet cleaning business. In fact, it was a Ponzi ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can a creditor sue me for a delinquent account?

    If a credit card account becomes delinquent, the creditor can sue the debtor for the balance as soon as the delinquency occurs. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do I transfer my credit card history from one country to another?

    It is currently not possible to transfer your credit history to another country if you relocate. The credit metrics used ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are some examples of simple interest loans?

    Two good examples of simple interest loans are simple interest car loans and the interest owed on lines of credit such as ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Depreciation

    1. A method of allocating the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life. Businesses depreciate long-term assets for both ...
  2. Recession

    A significant decline in activity across the economy, lasting longer than a few months. It is visible in industrial production, ...
  3. Bubble Theory

    A school of thought that believes that the prices of assets can temporarily rise far above their true values and that these ...
  4. Stock Market Crash

    A rapid and often unanticipated drop in stock prices. A stock market crash can be the result of major catastrophic events, ...
  5. Financial Crisis

    A situation in which the value of financial institutions or assets drops rapidly. A financial crisis is often associated ...
  6. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!