Account range solutions and 8-digit Bank Identification Numbers (BINs)

Mastercard has identified a three-pillar approach to drive innovation and growth in payments, including the expansion to 2-series BINs, the wider adoption of account ranges and the industry’s move to 8-digit BINs. 

Account ranges use a single BIN across multiple products to allow for the management of portfolio segmentations. They're also the fastest way for issuers to bring new products to market and create greater BIN efficiency.

What the numbers mean

  • BIN - The first 6 digits - identifies the issuing institution for each customer account and enables transactions to be routed properly.
  • Account range - Using the 6-digit BIN and the next 1-5 digits - is how accounts are managed and segmented. Issuers use the account range to support ongoing innovation and safety and security.
  • The customer identification number makes up the remaining digits. It is unknown to Mastercard and is defined and managed by the issuer.
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How account ranges work

The future of payments starts with account ranges

Here's what you need to know

Account ranges allow issuers to bring products to market quickly, capture cost efficiencies and reduce reliance on BINs.  

Benefits for issuers include:

  • Moving products to market faster
  • Enhanced portfolio segmentation
  • Robust reporting and reconciliation capabilities
  • Enablement of new payment technologies
  • Card issuance efficiencies putting many products in a single BIN

Issuers and their processors are not required to move to 8-digit BIN, but they may adopt an 8-digit BIN standard if they choose. Mastercard will continue to support existing 6-digit BIN issuance and processing. This strategy has been made to provide issuers flexibility as these new standards are brought to the ecosystem.

Issuers and their processors are not mandated to support account ranges or move to 8-digit BINs, but it is strongly recommended. If you're ready to explore the full benefits of account ranges, you can get started by contacting Mastercard.

Readiness is critical for payment ecosystem compatibility and the future of payments. Acquirers should already be fully using the Member Parameter Extract (MPE) table for dual message transactions and the Financial Institution Table (FIT) for single message transactions.

Key points for acquirers and their processors include utilizing processor profiles to:

  • Identify valid, active account ranges
  • Build authorization capabilities
  • Ensure transactions use proper interchange calculation

Acquirers and their processors must manage transactions using 8-digit BINs and read all transactions to the 11th digit by 2022. Mastercard will begin testing in 2019, providing customers with guidance, specifications and testing capabilities. 

Partners may need to read transactions to the 11th digit to be aligned with their customers to process transactions. 

Downstream service providers, vendors and partners have an opportunity to collaborate with issuers and acquirers to define new programs and segmented offers. When account ranges identify the card product, loyalty solutions and customer service need to be aligned as well.

Key points for service providers and vendors include:

  • Ability to enhance issuer’s portfolio segmentation
  • Robust reporting and reconciliation capabilities
  • Enabling more targeted rewards and loyalty programs
  • Capturing account issuance efficiencies given BIN flexibility
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Account ranges are enabling token payments

Mastercard is making the future of payments flexible

Timing Who's affected? What's happening?
2017 Issuing customers Mastercard is adding capabilities to MC Connect allowing the set up of account ranges through a self-service portal. Issuers may choose whether to move to 8-digit BINs or continue to operate using 6-digit BINs. While not required, it's strongly encouraged that issuers enable account ranges.
2022 Acquirers and their processors Acquirers will need to be ready to operate on 8-digit BINs and 11-digit account ranges by 2022.