Banking and finance companies primarily use numbers to encode and store details and transaction records of their clients. Aside from the obvious issue of two clients having similar names, it helps them properly manage transactions by allocating unique transaction IDs tied to dealings within the account.
Among these numbers is the Primary Account Number (PAN), a unique number allocated to debit and credit cards. While its primary use is to identify details of the cardholder such as name, balance, and credit/debit limit, it can also be used to get other details like transaction history, and even account numbers.
What is Zenith Bank’s 6-digit Card PAN?
Zenith Bank’s 6-digit card PAN refers to the first 6 digits of the 16-digit number printed on the front surface of Zenith bank ATM cards. It serves as an identifier to approve transactions on the customer’s account. Aside from the 6-digit PAN, other digits (the first four or last four) can be used for authenticating transactions or troubleshooting failed ones.
Understanding Primary Account Numbers PAN
A simple way to understand PANs is to think of them as security keys that give one access to the card. The reason is that your PAN is the primary detail that’s required by online payment processors to execute transactions on your account.
Contrary to the popular conception that card pins are the basic digits needed to execute a transaction on an account, there are many payment processors that only require PANs on cards to successfully complete a transaction on your account with or without your card pin.
Furthermore, primary account numbers can also be called account numbers because, in the case of credit cards, it’s the only number that is associated with the account. Meanwhile, debit card users may have a different account number from the PAN written on the card. At any rate, a PAN is usually generated when you acquire a new card.
Types of PANs
Although the PANs on all Zenith bank cards are the same amount of digits (16), there are specific characteristics that can be used to identify the type of card you’re using. While that’s the case, remember that the PANs on all cards are unique to each bank customer.
- Visa Cards start with ‘4’
- Master cards start with the ‘5’
- Verve cards start with the ‘5’
- Airline credit cards start with either ‘1’ or ‘2’
- Petroleum company cards start with the ‘7’
In the case of master and verve cards that carry the same digit starters, you can confirm the type of card by knowing the first 6 digits (PAN).
Structure of PANs
- The first six digits denote the card network – which is either Verve, Visa, or Maser cards as in the case with Zenith Bank PLC.
- The last digit is a checksum number that prevents fraudsters from generating fake credit card numbers.
- The first six and last digit, when put together denotes a customer’s account number, thus, they’re always unique. In most cases, these digits represent a pseudo-account number and not the actual account number owned by the client.
- The first digit denotes the industry identifier or card type.
What is Zenith Bank Virtual Card?
The Zenith Bank Virtual Card is a type of debit card that’s designed for web transactions – from shopping online to paying for subscription plans, the card basically does everything else, other than withdrawing funds from ATMs or POS terminals.
Clients banking with Zenith Bank can self-generate a virtual card through their internet banking app, or dial *966*2273# and follow the subsequent prompts.
Primary Account Number Security
Companies like Visa and Mastercard advise merchants to use standard online security frameworks to protect the accounts and details of customers. Part of these security procedures is PAN truncation – which involves merchants refraining from storing the full account number and card numbers that their customers use for payments.
While that’s the case, a reasonable amount of work is also required from cardholders to ensure the optimal safety of their accounts. As a card owner, you should try your best not to disclose the full digits of your card (PAN) to anybody, not even the customer care of your bank. The most that is required by any company that wants to rectify a transaction for you is the first and last four digits on the card.