We will not run out of credit card numbers – really?
Sometimes odd bits of news catch me by surprise. A recent CNBC report shared the scoop on why we’ll never run out of credit card numbers – it’s math! See Johnh Leonard’s response here as to how we will never run out of credit card numbers.
How many credit cards numbers exist?
Credit card digits 7-16 are for the specific card, of which 1 digit is a ‘check digit’; so there are 9 digits available. That means 1 billion cards. But there are 6 more digits: 1-6: of which 2-6 are for issuing banks… so there can be 100,000 issuing banks. So 100k * 1 billion = 100 Trillion cards. And the first digit is for different networks – there can be up to 10 networks. So, total number of cards possible is 1,000 Trillion.