BIN is an acronym for Bank Identification Number which is appearing on your debit card, credit card, prepayment card, travel and entertainment cards, airline cards, etc. BIN is a numbering convention developed to identify which particular institution issued a given credit/debit or other cards, and what type of institution it is. BIN is also referred to as IIN (Issuer Identification Number/Industry Identification Number) in view of non-bank institutions who opt into the BIN network.
Each card-issuing bank has a unique BIN. The initial sequence of four to six numbers that appears on a credit card is used to identify the card’s issuing bank or other financial institution. The remainder of the 16 digits makes up the card holder’s account number, including one or more check digits, also called a “checksum.” A checksum represents the sum of a formula that helps determine if the credit card number is actually valid. The initial number ‘0’ to ‘9’ identifies the type of industry that issued the card. For example, the card number starting with 1 or 2 are issued by Airline Industry, the card number starting with No.3 means it is issued by ‘Travel and Entertainment Industry’ like Diner’s Club and American Express cards, as this was their primary function at the time they debuted. Card Numbers started with 4 and 5 refers to Banking and Finance cards. With the numbering combinations available, it is possible for each issuer to have about a trillion different account numbers for their cardholders.
The BIN also offers a lot of other information. The merchant can find out the bank details like from where the funds are transferred, type of card (debit/credit/PPI, etc.), a brand of the card (VISA/Master card/RuPay, etc.), whether the issuer in the same country of device used in the transaction, whether the address provided by the cardholder matches the one on file through the card number.