Migrating to 8-Digit BINs

As the timeline for 8-digit bank identification number (BIN) migration approaches, it is important to stay up to date on developments and next steps in preparation for the new industry standard.

Understanding and analyzing new BIN structures and how the migration will affect your card programs is optimal. Visa and Mastercard, ICBA Bancard’s partner card networks, have continuously released notices to assist in the transition from 6-digit to 8-digit BIN structures, set to become the new industry standard in April 2022.

Prepare for readiness now

The International Standards Organization (ISO) moved toward this change to ensure the availability of BINs in the growing payments industry. Although the new standard BIN will be 8-digits, 6-digit BINs will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future. Still, ICBA Bancard recommends card issuers to do an analysis and make appropriate preparations now.

Understanding the new BIN structure is imperative in identifying any existing 8-digit overlaps prior to migration. Doing so will aid in determining if a new 8-digit BIN is needed to uniquely distinguish between card programs and banks. Fee structure changes, materializing in April 2022, should be assessed in the BIN analyzation process as well. These fees will be unique to each card network and will also need to be assessed for impact.

Principal members are advised to continue to work with their card processors in determining the best decisions for their programs. Associate or affiliate members should continue to work with their network sponsor. ICBA Bancard, meanwhile, is working diligently to analyze BINs, determine financial impact, and maintain compliance with new industry standards. A key point to keep in mind is that the new standards do not require issuers to migrate all BINs by the conversion date.

Road to Migration

Card networks and processors are preparing to adopt the new standard and begin issuing 8-digits BINs at the start of April 2022. Bulletins and webinars are available in individual network portals and outline the plan to migration and necessary actions to take.

ICBA Bancard is prepared to assist along the way whether a member is principal or an associate. As previously communicated, final decisions have not been made as analysis is ongoing. Once a conclusion is made, client banks will be notified. Rest assured that ICBA Bancard is working to make the best decisions for our community banks.

Octavia Washington is assistant vice president and operations analyst at ICBA Bancard.