Ready for New Mastercard® 2-Series Cards?

Ready for New Mastercard® 2-Series Cards?

By In Uncategorized On July 26, 2017


Everything You Need to Know About 2-Series BIN Cards

Mastercard 2-series cards are now in circulation, and merchant auditing by the company is in effect. This change could potentially cost you thousands if you’re not already prepared to accept these new cards.

What are 2-Series Cards?

To understand the 2-series cards, it’s helpful to first understand the idea of a major industry identifier, or MII. This is the first digit of a payment card number, and is used to identify the issuer’s industry in accordance with ISO regulations:

MII Assigned Use
0 ISO/TC 68 and other industry assignments
1 Airlines
2 Airlines, other future assignments
3 Travel & entertainment
4 Banking & financial
5 Banking & financial
6 Merchandising, banking & financial
7 Petroleum, other future assignments
8 Healthcare, telecom, other future assignment
9 National standards organizations

Mastercard payment card numbers began with digits in the range between 51 and 55 for decades. The ever-expanding number of cards in circulation, however, means that Mastercard is now expanding into a new series of numbers.

Back in 2015, the company announced plans to start branding cards with numbers beginning in the 2221-2720 range—numbers traditionally reserved for airline cards.

Penalties for Failure to Comply

Because these are different from many traditional cards, some merchants’ systems will not be equipped to accept them.

On July 1, 2017, Mastercard started remote testing to verify that merchants have the infrastructure required to accept these cards. From the POS to all third-party vendors, merchants are required to be ready for the 2-series plastic. Failure to accept these new cards will result in a penalty set to compound over time:

Days Passed Penalty
Less than 30 days $2,500
31-60 days $5,000
61-90 days $10,000
91 days or more $20,000

This will impact both brick-and-mortar and eCommerce merchants alike. As an online seller, for example, you would experience many points of vulnerability:

  • Web Apps
  • Shopping Card & Checkout Software
  • Payment Gateways
  • Proprietary Systems
  • Internal & External Loyalty Programs
  • Data Analytics
  • Fraud Prevention

We recommend you check with your acquirer to see whether you are covered and ready for this change. Next, contact any vendors you employ for the above-mentioned services and make sure they can accept Mastercard’s new 2-series cards. Some services might require a simple plugin update, while others may need entire hardware upgrades.

What if I Need to Update or Replace My Hardware?

If you utilize a payment terminal in your business, it may require a software upgrade to handle the new 2-series payment cards. You may even have to replace the machine entirely depending on the model you use and its age.

Contact your acquirer if they provide your payment terminal, and they should be able to explain whether your equipment needs an update or upgrade. Otherwise, try contacting the service providing your technology or the device manufacturer for this information.

Most businesses cannot afford to replace their payment terminals every few years. Even after the 2015 EMV liability shift, many rely on older and out-of-date terminals. In this case, though, any costs of upgrading must be weighed against the potential losses from compliance fees if you fail to keep pace.

Have Other Questions About the New 2-Series Cards?

Our team of experts at Dispute Chargeback are well-versed in the challenges involved in accepting online payments. Contact us today to learn more.