How to differentiate the numbers from a Visa card and a Mastercard

We'll explain to you how to differentiate the numbers from the two most common bank cards on the market
At first glance all credit and debit cards may appear identical. They all contain similar information, which includes the name of the account holder, the expiration date, and the CVC security code.
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However, when it comes to a card's main number, the one that identifies the credit or debit card, there are a wide range of codes and numbering systems that can help us identify the company that has issued the card.

The user simply has to look at the first digit on the card, which is reserved for identifying the company or the sector it belongs to:

  • Visa card numbers always begin with a 4.
  • Mastercard numbers begin with a 5.
This arrangement is due to the fact that each company that issues credit or debit cards has a specific digit assigned to it. For example, a Discovery card's number will begin with a 6, while American Express card numbers always start with a 3.

Other credit card numbering differences

Although the numbers from most credit and debit cards on the market have 16 digits, this may also range from 14 to 19 digits depending upon the issuing company.
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Also, on an American Express credit card the CVC security code – also known as CVV – is on the front of the card, unlike cards from the rest of the companies where this code appears on the back.
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