Revenue Optimization

What Is a BIN?

Understand what a BIN is and how much data bank identification numbers can hold.

Written by
Donna Miller
Publication Date
October 24, 2023
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What’s in a BIN?

Product Managers working in merchant payments can sometimes get excited about things many others find hard to get. It comes with the job. However, this November Spreedly is rolling out Bank Identification Number (BIN) metadata - and once you see what it can unlock for your business, I promise you will get excited too. 

I know, it’s an unglamorous acronym (and it shares a name with the place you put your refuse), and it stands for “bank identification number”, something even more unglamorous. A BIN is the first 6-8 digits of your credit or debit card. It’s been sitting there unassumingly all the time, but what if I told you that by unlocking the data set contained in these digits you could:

  • Create a more customized checkout experience
  • Better understand your customers and shifts in their preferences and buying behavior
  • Tactically accept/reject certain payment methods pre-authorization
  • Tailor a more effective fraud and risk scoring solution
  • Save costs and improve customer lifetime value

The great part is you can build all of the above without changing a thing or asking your customers for any additional information; this robust data set is just waiting for you to unlock it. 

Unlocking BIN Data

BIN data contains a number of details about the payment methods your customers are using.  Spreedly includes these details in our response both when a card is vaulted and whenever that card is used in a transaction. 

The impacts this can make for your business range from creating compelling micro-interactions in real time for your customers at checkout, to driving long-term strategic business decisions based on a deeper understanding of your customers. Essentially you are capturing a robust data set that is already waiting for you to operate on.

Here are some examples of how businesses are putting BIN data to use today:

Managing Payment Methods in Real Time

  • Networks forbid paying down debt payments with credit cards. With BIN data a firm can detect and prompt a cardholder to change payment methods pre-authorization
  • A subscription business can use BIN to identify when a cardholder is using a gift card for recurring transactions and prevent or prompt them to use a more dependable payment method

Fraud Controls & Regulatory Compliance

  • Businesses operating in regions requiring 3DS checks or data portability requirements can identify cards issued and used in specific regions. This allows rules-based 3DS checks or data-portability functionality offered
  • BIN data can inform fraud models to flag accounts from certain regions or using certain payment methods. BIN data can also be used with existing fraud models. For example, if a card issued in a certain region is being used from a foreign geo it may warrant additional risk scoring

Strategic Business Intelligence

  • By accessing this enhanced data set, businesses can better understand their customers. Credit vs debit use and cash-back vs premium reward card status can link to demographic information or cost control opportunities for processing cost optimization
  • Shifts in preferred payment methods and customer regions can be assessed  and incorporated into overall strategic directions the business makes 

Enhanced Customer Experience & Interface

  • Design microinteractions and a custom interface for customers during checkout that are tailored to your cardholders.  BIN enables bespoke changes to your interface based on customer payment methods for a more personalized experience. 

BIN data can impact your business and customer experience in myriad ways. This is the  type of feature that we love at Spreedly, because it’s an area where our customers are consistently finding new, innovative ways to use it in their business. 

BIN Data is Standard in Spreedly’s Advanced Vault

BIN metadata is offered at no additional costs for users of Spreedly’s Advanced Vault. Our active approach to vaulting is designed to optimize the vaulting experience for businesses storing cards on file. Our vault combines card lifecycle management, network tokenization, active management, and now data enrichment through BIN metadata to maximize the value of your vault and stored payment methods. 

Get in touch with our team to find out more about how our product team is continuing to develop our capabilities or to see how BIN data and the Advanced Vault can level-up your business.

Download the Payments Orchestration eBook Below

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