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Q&A Guide for 3-D Secure Activation

Learn more about the required merchant information needed to kick off the 3DS process. This Q&A guide will walk you through the required fields, what they mean, and what you’ll need to gather to make the process quicker, easier, and simpler for everyone.

What is the Acquirer BIN?

It is a 6-digit number assigned to the Acquirer, by the card schemes, so the Acquirer can process payments. Each merchant will have a unique acquirer BIN for Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, and Discover.

The first digit identifies the scheme:

  • Visa begins with 4xxxxx
  • Mastercard begins with 5xxxxx and recently added 2xxxxx-series BINs
  • AMEX begins with 3xxxxx
  • Discover begins with 6xxxxx

Acquiring banks/processors have a BIN assigned to them from each card network. This identifies the acquirer/processor to the networks and holds the acquirer/processor financially responsible for settlement and risk.

An Acquirer BIN IS NOT an ICA. An ICA is a 4 - 6-digit number assigned by MC but is a level (hierarchy) above the Acquirer BIN.

What does the merchant need to provide?

  • 3DS requires the merchant acquirer BIN for each card scheme used for 3DS.
  • Every merchant with a merchant account will use the ‘Acquiring BIN’ for each card scheme in order to transaction/process payments.
  • The merchant processor/gateway/ISO/Acquirer will assign the Merchant a Merchant ID and will assign the Acquirer BIN for that merchant to accept and process payments.
  • The gateway/processor most likely has direct access to the Acquirer. For that processor/gateway to process payments, the Acquirer would have to assign them an Acquirer BIN (assigned to that Acquirer by each card scheme).

Why is it important for 3DS/CCA?

During 3DS authentication, the Acquirers Bank Identification Number (Merchant.acqBINfield) is required in the Verify Enrollment Request (VEReq). This field must be the merchant’s acquiring BIN for each card network.

  • The Merchant Identifier (ID) Number (Merchant.merID field) must be the Merchant ID assigned by the acquirer to the merchant for use in Visa, MC, Discover, and AMEX transactions.
  • The Merchant BIN field validates the merchant as a participating member of 3DS. If the BIN field is incorrect, the merchant will NOT receive 3DS program benefits.
  • If this value is not known, merchants need to ask their acquirer or merchant processor representative.

 Who Can Help Find the Acquirer BINs?

  • The merchant can explain their relationship (direct or indirect) with their Merchant Acquirer.
  • The merchant uses a processor, ISO/MSP or gateway and this will help understand which service provider can furnish the Acquirer BINs.
  • An ISO/MSP is a 3rd party provider, NOT bank association members, and would be registered by the acquirer (using the acquirer’s assigned BINs from the networks). The ISO is often the service provider best known by the merchant. Reviewing the ISO’s web site should expose the actual acquirer and the ISO should have contacts at this bank.

Acquirer Examples

The merchant statement will have the processor/acquirer/MSP name and customer service number as a header on most statement pages. The merchant needs to contact their representative or the customer service number to ask for the acquiring BINs for each card network and Merchant ID.

Bank Statement

Bank Statement

Bank Statement

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