Credit card number in Canada

how many numbers in a credit card number

In the US, there is a law that prohibits your entire credit card number from being printed on receipts. Evidently there isn't such a law in Canada.

Here is some more information on the US laws.

I don't think that printing the full credit card number on receipts is common in Canada. Usually it is just the last four numbers or the first four and the last four. I think that those receipts around ATM machines have people's bank card numbers on them, not their credit card numbers.

I can't answer your question, but for another data point, card numbers are obscured on receipts here in Australia. but when I was in New Zealand I noticed that, at least sometimes, the whole number was printed. Which concerned me somewhat at the time.

I think most credit card systems that merchants use in the US and Canada give two copies of the receipt - the merchant copy (which has your full number on it in case they need to confirm to the credit card company that you really were there; merchants are meant to keep these secure) and the customer copy (which has most of the number obscured except the last few digits, so that while you're walking around town you don't drop a receipt on the pavement that compromises your card number). Maybe some stores gave you the merchant copy by mistake?

Having lived in Canada my whole life, I don't believe your experience is common. I also agree with ssg, the receipts around ATM machines usually show bank card numbers, which is less of a privacy risk because a PIN is required.

posted by pantheON at 12:44 AM on October 18, 2007

pantheON. Having lived in Canada my whole life, I don't believe your experience is common. I also agree with ssg, the receipts around ATM machines usually show bank card numbers, which is less of a privacy risk because a PIN is required.

Yeah. I've rarely seen a receipt with my entire credit card number on it. I actually don't even think most machines print your entire bank card number on them, but it does happen. Like Pantheon said that doesn't really matter.

I think your confusion comes from the difference between the US credit/debit terminology and ours. Our debit/bank/ATM cards have nothing to do with credit cards at all.

posted by loiseau at 1:57 AM on October 18, 2007

I've never, ever seen a receipt with my full credit card number on it.

For that matter, most receipts I get for debit are likewise obscured. Even my bank, if I recall correctly.

posted by splice at 4:06 AM on October 18, 2007

I have also rarely seen a receipt with my full credit card number on it. Perhaps they print the full number if you're doing an FX transaction, though. But that seems odd.

posted by acoutu at 4:23 AM on October 18, 2007

I've only lived here for 3 months, but I can't say I've seen any statements with my full number on them - pretty sure I'd notice.

posted by the dief at 4:40 AM on October 18, 2007

I see it all the time and I complain the vendors about it. It's a choice that the vendors can make (I know, because I've pushed for it where I work). They have to either make sure their receipt software doesn't do it or their payment processor (Global Payments, Moneris) is setup to obscure it.

It's not difficult, they

just haven't been forced to do it.

In the US, sometimes the full number is there.

I don't see it much, and when I do, it's only the customer copy that has the full number printed. The store copy pretty much always has all but the last 4 numbers obscured. Maybe that's what you're noticing?

To echo the others, receipts don't do that here. Maybe you're thinking of a debit card number. Or maybe it's just the places where you went. Can you give an example of where this happened?

posted by GuyZero at 6:27 AM on October 18, 2007

Yeah, in my experience, this happens more often with debit card numbers rather than credit cards.

I'm not sure how it works in the U.S. but in Canada, a debit card requires you to enter a PIN and also, the store can't manually punch in a card number into a machine to run a charge through.

With credit cards, if the card won't swipe, the store can simply punch in the number and run the charge through. If your debit card won't swipe. you're screwed. it can't be done manually.

posted by utsutsu at 7:18 AM on October 18, 2007

The only time the customer copy is permitted to have the full number on it in the U.S. is when it's actually a carbon[less] copy of the receipt. But most people don't have those anymore because they've switched to thermal printers.

To my knowledge, I have never had my full card number, credit or debit, printed on a receipt from a Canadian ATM or point of sale.

The really annoying thing is when they obscure too much of the credit card number. Sorry, guys, but ***************1 matches both of the cards I use regularly.

posted by oaf at 7:23 AM on October 18, 2007

I know at my store in the US, the merchant's copy doesn't have the full number on it. (We also aren't allowed to type in the number because the transaction fee goes up 3x. Fuckers.)

I've also never seen a reciept where the full number is present (in the US, Canada, or Europe).

posted by sperose at 7:58 AM on October 18, 2007

This isn't true all the time. I don't think it is true most of the time. Usually they list the first 4 digits of your card.

So to summarize: it is common practice but probably not law for retailers to blank out the credit card number on the receipt. But it is usually configurable by the transaction machine or service and some retailers have the settings such that no numbers are blocked out.

Suggestion to everyone: when you find a store that doesn't block the number, ask to see the manager and tell them to get the settings changed on their machine. Then take your receipt home and shred it.

Hmm. It's been a couple months since I've been in Canada, but I distinctly remember seeing my entire credit card number printed on restaurant and store receipts. It happened in Toronto, Montreal, and Kingston. I guess the numbers around ATMs would be bank cards.

posted by pravit at 11:18 AM on October 18, 2007

This does happen sometimes, but usually it is obfuscated.

I think it's a combination of the fact that the law doesn't require it and that people are on old equipment/software and see no need to upgrade. I'm just guessing but I imagine all the newer stuff does the obfuscation.

Source: ask.metafilter.com

Category: Credit

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