Preparing for 8-Digit BINs: A Checklist for Credit Unions

CO-OP Financial Services

Effective with their April 15, 2022 releases, Visa and MasterCard will begin supporting 8-digit issuing BINs in accordance with the forthcoming migration from 6-digit to 8-digit issuer identification numbers (IINs) as announced in 2015 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  

Visa and MasterCard have endorsed the migration to an 8-digit BIN to ensure an adequate global BIN supply for the industry and support future growth across the payments industry.   

  • Acquirers and Processors are MANDATED to make changes as of April 15, 2022, to allow for the acceptance and accurate processing of 8 Digit BINs.  This includes ATM Acquirers.  ATM Drivers will be responsible for making the appropriate changes prior to the mandated date. 
  • Issuers are NOT MANDATED to make any changes as of April 2022, and if no changes are made, your processing will not be affected, however, 6 Digit BIN Assignment, Management and Low-Utilization Fees will increase as of January 1, 2023. 

Credit Unions Should Continue Planning 

While credit unions are not required to move to 8-digit BINs, both Visa and Mastercard strongly suggest they begin the planning process in preparation for a migration prior to the fee structure increase beginning in 2023. Here are some things credit unions can do to continue preparing for the 8-digit BIN migration: 

 1. Initiate a Portfolio Assessment 

With the help of CO-OP, Mastercard and/or Visa, Credit Unions should review their current portfolio.  This should include a review of each 6 Digit BIN, the 8 Digit Extensions of that BIN in use today, the number of active accounts issued in each, as well as the transaction volume associated with each.  This information will help you decide which 8 Digit Extensions you’ll reserve as a part of your migration and which you’ll return to Mastercard and/or Visa. 

2. Develop a Plan for Portfolio Consolidation (If Needed) 

If consolidation of accounts will be required as a part of your migration, you’ll want to determine if you’ll perform a mass re-issue of cards, or if you’ll re-issue cards into another BIN as a part of the cards’ normal expiration date re-issue process.  Either option is acceptable.  The deciding factor will be the volume of cards you need to re-issue and your desired timeline to migrate to 8 Digit BINs.  Once these decisions are made you’ll want to review your plan with your Third Party and Core Processing Partners, most importantly, the Partner that issues your Cardholder Account Numbers.   

3. Initiate an Impact Assessment                                                                                                               

Continue with a high-level impact assessment to analyze the following key areas: billing, reporting, user interfaces, application interfaces, enrollment forms or anything that currently uses the 6-digit BIN. You’ll want to be able to estimate the cost and resources needed to manage any required changes and understand how these structural shifts will impact your systems and applications going forward. 

CO-OP Moves Forward 

CO-OP is currently in the final stages of completing its own internal impact assessment, on behalf of our credit union partners, and executing on any required infrastructure changes related to processing that is BIN driven.   

Finally, we continue to assess the impact of the changes that our Third-Party Platform Partners are making, executing those changes internally as needed and communicating to our credit unions any changes that may impact them. 

“We have worked closely with Mastercard and Visa, as well as having an internal team mobilized since early 2020 to ensure we were pro-active in our management of this initiative.” said Rebecca McCartney, Director of Industry Services for CO-OP.  “Working ahead will allow our credit unions the time they need to assess and plan their migration strategy, ensuring program continuity while minimizing both costs and any disruption to cardholders.” 

For more information on the 8-digit BIN Expansion, please contact us at solutions@coop.org 

As  you’re thinking about your credit union strategy, be sure to check out our CU PaymentsOutlook research study, which outlines how to capture more engaged members through Lifestyle banking.

The original article Preparing for 8-Digit BINs: A Checklist for Credit Unions can be found on Insight Vault.

 

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