Mastercard BIN Ranges Expand to a 2 series

Credit card giant Mastercard has recently received approval to use a 2 series BIN number. Mastercard has traditionally used a 5 series BIN, and this will be their first expanse into a new BIN range.  Cards issued as early as this year will come with the new 2 series BIN.

But what is a BIN range?

A BIN range, or a “Bank Identification Number” is part of the series of numbers on your credit card. It’s the first 6 numbers that Mastercard, Visa, and others use to identify the who issued your card.
Having worked in retail during my younger years, I learned pretty quickly. Amex starts with a 3, Visa starts with a 4, Mastercard with a 5, Discover with a 6. The number of total digits of the credit card change depending on the card itself. But are generally 16 digits.
This is all about to change with the new Mastercard BIN ranges. Now they’ll be starting with a 2 and a 5.

What impact will this actually have?

It seems the only impact this will have, is in processing gift and loyalty cards. If you use a gift or loyalty card that starts with a 2, and it’s the same number of digits, it could read as a Mastercard. But odds are good that it won’t be a problem.  In fact, the biggest impact is going to be seen by merchants with antiquated equipment.  Many merchants are still using ancient technology to process credit cards.  And these devices might not even be capable of reading a credit card that starts with a 2.  And very soon, if you can’t process the card, there’s a $2,500 fine.  So if you’re using outdated tech, it’s time to upgrade. 
Gift cards are not generally tracked via the credit card merchant anyway. Their data is stored within the POS itself. So that should solve most problems. The real issue will be with people using credit card terminals. If you process gift cards using a standard terminal, you may have some problems.
But in actuality, this will effect very few people. It’s just a new set of numbers for something you already use. Get used to seeing a 2 on your credit and debit cards!  Read more from Mastercard here:
Cole Goebel
Cole Goebel is a POS Industry insider. He's an expert in encoding and barcode data, and has a great knowledge of POS integrations. Cole currently works at Plastic Printers in Minnesota, where he's the Channel Manager. He works directly with POS providers to deliver gift, and loyalty cards to their clients.

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