What Is The Signature Panel Code On Credit Card?

By Bruce Boswell •  Updated: 12/14/21 •  6 min read
Filed under: Credit Cards

When you look at a credit card, you will see that there are many digits printed on its surface. As well as the main bank card number which is usually 15 or 16 digits long, there is the signature panel code.

Often referred to as security codes, these are three and four-digit numbers printed on the card. These provide another layer of security when the card owner is making transactions both digitally and over the phone.

What Is The Signature Panel Code On Credit Card

One credit card company will have different types of codes to another. However, these all work in the same manner.  

While you should memorize your personal identification number (PIN) that is associated with your bank card for security purposes, the security codes will always be available to you as long as you have your card on your person.

Although you do not need to memorize this number, most people tend to remember it due to only being three to four numbers. Nevertheless, the signature panel is important as you may have to refer to this code when making online transactions or purchasing various items over the phone with your card. 

Read on to find out more about credit card signature panels such as where they are printed on the card and what they are used for.

Types Of Signature Codes 

Signature panels or security codes differ in each bank and credit card company. But, they serve the same purpose every time. As well as being referred to as signature panels and security codes, they can also be called CVV numbers. You will usually be asked for this when making certain transactions online or via the phone. 

Below are the different types of codes that are used by credit card companies:

Although all of these names are slightly different, they all refer to the same three or four digits printed on your credit card next to where you sign and serve the same purpose. Let’s find out what their purpose is.

What Is The Signature Panel Used For? 

As you probably know, you can either swipe your credit card, insert it into a chip and PIN reader, or tap it for contactless payment when making a transaction. This simply provides the merchant with your card’s information.

This will then be sent to the card’s company, such as a bank, which then verifies if it’s okay to go ahead. Yes, this all happens in the blink of an eye and electronically.

On occasions, you may be asked to provide your PIN for certain transactions. For instance, when you’re withdrawing money from an ATM or when contactless payment is not supported. 

If you are using your phone or a website to make a credit card transaction, you will usually be asked to give your security code from the card. The reason behind this is that the merchant is unable to chip-read or swipe your card as they would in person.

Therefore, the signature panel (security code) allows the merchant to receive more information about you and your card

The signature panel that is printed on the back of your credit card also acts as an additional blanket of security and protection. Some criminals will take a quick photo of the front of a bank card or see it quickly to take down your information. However, they will only be able to see your card number and expiration date.

Because the security code is printed on the back of your credit card, they will find it hard to find without handling the card. They would generally need your PIN if they only have the front of the card’s information. This is why it’s important to memorize this and not have the number available anywhere to be seen. 

Signature panels are more widely known as security codes. This is because the three of four digits are just this – security codes. They offer another layer of protection in security against potential fraud as well as identity theft. This, of course, makes shopping both online and in stores a lot safer for you and the credit card companies. 

The signature panel may be a small code but it provides a significant benefit to everyone that is involved in transactions. 

Where Is The Signature Panel Located? 

In the majority of cases, the signature panel code is located on the back of a bank card. This includes Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards. These examples display three-digit security codes printed at the end of the signature panel or blank space where you sign your name on your credit or debit card.

American Express cards are different as the security code is found on the front and instead of three digits, the code is four digits long. This is printed next to the long embossed credit card number. 

You may not know this but credit card companies began ending the requirement of signatures in 2019. This is because of the sheer security and protection that PINs and security codes offer cardholders. 

Should You Share Your Signature Panel Code? 

Certain situations require you to share your signature panel code with a retailer. This includes when you are buying something online via a secure page or over the phone.

If a scammer retrieves your card information, they will usually have the full card number, name, and expiration date. However, they may find it more difficult to find the security code. 

You just have to be careful as scammers can call you and go through various methods to gain access to your security code. They do this by pretending to be your bank.

Nevertheless, it’s vital to know that your bank will never ask for your sensitive financial information over the phone. So, if you are asked to provide it in this manner, don’t. Keep your security code private. 

Of course, there are times when you may need to provide this code over the phone. This includes making a purchase. If so, sharing this code is acceptable.

The retailer will never store this information. However, if the retailer calls you and asks for your security code, know that this could be a spoof and scam call. 

Bruce BoswellBruce Boswell

Bruce Boswell

Bruce Boswell enjoys researching and writing about all things related to investing and saving money. Whenever he has a chance, Bruce loves travelling all around the world with his wife and trying new foods.