What Is the Mastercard Card Validation Code (CVC2) Fee?

Understanding all the processing fees can be challenging. Learn what the Mastercard Card Validation Code fee is and how it impacts your business.

As a business owner, there are many different measures you can take to authenticate transactions. One of the simplest is a Card Validation Code (CVC2) check for Mastercard. This is a basic security feature that should be used along with other authentication processes, especially for online transactions. 

In this guide, I’ll explain everything you need to know about CVC2 and the fees that may come with it.


What Is CVC2? Is It Important?

CVC2 is the card validation code that is printed on the back of Mastercard cards. Similar to a Card Verification Value (CVV2) that is found on Visa cards, it’s a 3-digit security code that is used for online or other card-not-present transactions to ensure the transaction is legitimate. 

The CVC2 is an important part of mitigating the risk of credit card fraud, as this number is a unique identifier found only on that card. It is not required for merchants to check, but it can help prevent costly chargebacks. To provide the best protection, merchants are prohibited from storing these codes once a transaction has been completed. 

What Is the Mastercard Card Validation Code (CVC2) Fee?

When a customer completes an online transaction and your payment processing system runs the card validation code, the credit card company will check whether the code entered matches the one in the system. The Mastercard CVC2 fee is the associated cost charged by Mastercard for running this check. 

While not a significant amount, these fees do all add up. However, not checking this could lead to more fraudulent transactions and chargebacks on your account. 

When Is the Mastercard CVC2 Fee Charged?

The Mastercard CVC2 fee is charged when you include the CVC2 as part of the card authorization process. CVC2 charges only happen during card-not-present transactions, such as online, over the phone, or by mail when the customer enters the three-digit code. 

When it is verified it will either come back as “M” for match or “N” for invalid/did not match. If it’s “invalid” or “did not match,” you should reject the card payment. The fee will not be administered in cases where the card is not charged. It is one of many Mastercard assessment fees and may be charged, alongside other fees like Address Verification Services. 

The Benefits of Using Pay.com as Your Payment Service Provider 

Pay.com is a payment service provider that offers a high level of security for online and other card-not-present transactions. It’s a great option for any small business owner that wants to accept credit cards or other digital payment methods. 

To protect you from fraud, Pay.com supports 3D Secure 2.0 (3DS2). This extra layer of authentication helps protect you from credit card fraud and builds trust with your customers paying online. 

In addition, Pay.com has the highest level of PCI DSS compliance (Level 1), which is independently audited and confirmed. This helps you build trust and confidence on your website with customers who might otherwise be wary of providing credit card information online. 

Pay.com makes it easy to get set up and start accepting credit cards and other payment methods in no time. In the easy-to-use dashboard, you can keep track of accepted and pending payments, as well as payment disputes. 

Click here to get started with Pay.com now!

The Bottom Line 

The Mastercard Card Validation Fee is a small fee to help you verify that Mastercard transactions are legitimate. It is part of your credit card processing fees and it’s good for ensuring Mastercard transactions are legitimate. 

Pay.com makes it easy to accept credit cards in a secure way. With 3D Secure 2.0, you get the piece of mind of an added layer of authentication. This helps you mitigate risk of fraudulent credit card transactions. 

Click here to open your Pay.com account now.


What's the most secure way to accept credit card payments?

Pay.com offers the most secure way to accept credit card payments. With Level 1 PCI DSS compliance and 3D Secure authentication, it’s a reliable system both for you and for your customers. Click here to find out more

Is CVC2 a security code?

Yes, CVC2 is a three-digit security code that is found on the back of all Mastercard credit and debit cards. Introduced in 1997, it is similar to CVV and CID which are the Visa and American Express security codes, respectively. It helps merchants determine if a transaction is fraudulent or not in card-not-present transactions.

What's the difference between CVC and CVV?

CVC is the card validation code used by Mastercard, whereas the CVV is the card verification value used by Visa. Both are three digit codes on the back that are used in the same way when making card-not-present transactions. It’s important for merchants to provide information about what the CVC/CVV is and where customers can find it when making online purchases

What's the difference between CVC1 and CVC2?

CVC1 is the card validation code that is encoded on the magnetic stripe and used for transactions where the card is physically present. CVC2 is the card validation code that is printed on the back of the card. It is often needed for card-not-present transactions.

Meet the author
Ashley Hague
Ashley Hague is a B2B writer based in New Zealand. Specializing in fintech, SaaS, and sustainability in business, she helps businesses achieve their goals. When not working, she can be found rock climbing or delving into a historical biography.
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