ISO 8583:2023—Financial Transaction Card Originated Message

A man paying bill with credit card contactless payment on smartphone in a café and hence the secure financial card transaction message is adhering to ISO 8583:2023.

In 1950, the Diners Club Card, became the first credit card. Although it could only be used at 28 restaurants and two hotels in New York, it became a status symbol among the city’s business elite, growing to 10,000 members within the first year. Today, roughly 191 million American adults have at least one credit card account, 50% of all Americans have at least two cards, and 13% have at least five cards. ISO 8583:2023—Financial-Transaction-Card-Originated Messages – Interchange Message Specifications specifies a common interface by which financial transaction card originated messages can be interchanged.

Financial Transaction Cards

With the proliferation of technology available to financial institutions to offer services to customers, a range of tokens like financial transaction cards (i.e., a card, code, or other means of access to a person’s account issued to a person that allows the person to obtain, purchase, or receive goods, services, money, or anything else of value) now exist for identifying account relationships. Examples of a financial transaction card are a credit card, credit plate, bank services card, banking card, check guarantee card, and debit card.

What Is ISO 8583?

ISO 8583:2023 specifies a common interface by which financial-transaction-card-originated messages can be interchanged between acquirers and card issuers. It details the message structure and format, including normalized data types.

  • Acquirer means a business organization, financial institution, or an agent of a business organization or financial institution that authorizes a merchant to accept payment by financial transaction card for money, goods, services, or anything else of value.
  • Card Issuer means the business organization or financial institution or its duly authorized agent which issues a financial transaction card.

The method by which messages are transported or settlement takes place is not within the scope of this standard.

Data Element Types

ISO 8583:2023 specifies that there are three types of data elements:

  1. A primitive data element is a data element where the content has no further part or sub-elements, e.g., approval code.
  2. A constructed data element is a data element where the content consists of a fixed number of sub-elements, all of which should be present, e.g., amounts original.
  3. A composite data element is a data element where the content consists of a large number of sub-elements. Most of these sub-elements fall into natural categories, e.g., purchase card data, auto rental data, airline data.

Why Do Credit Cards Have Expiration Dates?

The date listed on a credit or debit card is the expiration date, which is usually three or four years from the date the card was issued. Expiration dates apply only to the physical card, not the credit card account. That means the account remains open, and any credit card rewards you have accrued with that card are still valid. The 16-digit card number you have remains the same too. Here are three primary reasons why credit cards have expiration dates:

  1. Fraud protection: For transactions where the card is not present, such as purchases online, by phone or through the mail, the expiration date provides an additional data point that can be checked to make sure the card information is valid, helping keep the information secure.
  2. Card longevity: Credit cards get heavy use from consistently entering in and out of wallets and chip readers. The magnetic strip can get dirty or scratched, and the card can crack and split. Getting a fresh card from the issuer every few years prevents a card from being declined at checkout because of its old age.
  3. Card upgrades: Credit card issuers make periodic updates to the technology that enables purchases and strengthens the card’s security. Getting a new card gives the card holder access to that new technology. Also, credit card companies occasionally change their branding (logo, card design, name, etc.,) and expiration dates ensure those revamped elements reach every new card in the fleet.

ISO 8583:2023—Financial-Transaction-Card-Originated Messages – Interchange Message Specifications is available on the ANSI Webstore

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