Japan faces credit card number shortage as consumers stay indoors amid the pandemic

Tuesday 25 August 2020 13:54 CET | News

Mainichi Shimbun has reported that issuing companies are running out of 16-digit combinations for card numbers in Japan, as consumers are staying indoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Mainichi Shimbun, a large majority of credit companies issue cards with 16 digits as they partner with international brands such as Visa, Mastercard, and JCB. The first six digits represent the country, brand, the type of card issuer, and other elements, while the remaining digits are handled by credit card companies themselves, showing information such as the account number and type of membership of the cardholder.

Additionally, the number of credit cards issued in the country as of March 2019 was 283 million, and the total increases by about 2% each year, the Japan Consumer Credit Association reported. Therefore, the number of cardholders has increased due to indoor consumption after the COVID-19 outbreak and it is feared that there will be a shortage in digit combinations from the seventh digit onward.

A solution for this issue might be to increase the number of digits, however due to the high costs (about USD 94.5 million to USD 945 million) required to reform the system and conduct advance trials to prevent forgery, the problem is still in progress, Mainichi Shimbun stated. 

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Keywords: Japan, 16-digit, card numbers, cards, COVID-19, Visa, MasterCard, JCB, credit card, cardholder, Japan Consumer Credit Association
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: Japan
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce