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Announcing Major Changes to the Issuer Identification Number (IIN) Standard


07/28/2016

Issuer Identification Number (IIN) is a standardized global numbering scheme used for the purposes of identifying institutions who assign unique account numbers to their customers, most typically for example, to support the issuance of a payment card. The IIN structure is defined within the international standard ISO/IEC 7812-1, Identification cards - Identification of issuers - Part 1: Numbering system. The application and registration procedures are identified in ISO/IEC 7812-2. These standards are developed by the International Organization for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1, Information Technology, Subcommittee (SC) 17, Cards and personal identification, Working Group (WG) 5.

Within the current version of ISO/IEC 7812-1, an IIN is defined as a fixed-length numeric of 6 digits. ISO/IEC 7812-1 also defines the Primary Account Number (PAN), a number which is used to identify an individual account holder. The PAN is variable length, ranging from 8 to 19 digits.

ISO/IEC 7812-1 is currently undergoing revision to expand the IIN to an 8-digit numeric value from the current 6-digit numeric value. The PAN will continue to remain variable length, ranging from 10 to 19 digits. This change is being driven by an expected shortage in the available supply of IINs. The draft of this revised standard has currently been at the enquiry stage, and a Draft International Standard (DIS) has been distributed for voting by ISO member bodies since May 2016. The potential target for final publication of ISO/IEC 7812-1 by ISO is in early 2017.

In order to simplify implementation of the new standard and to minimize the impact on shared stakeholders across industry segments, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC17/WG5 is pre-announcing changes that applicants of new or additional IINs should be aware of. As of the publication date of the revised ISO/IEC 7812-1 (anticipated to be January 2017):

  • The Registration Authority (RA) will commence assigning 8-digit IINs to any institution applying for a single IIN or block of IINs
  • A process will be implemented for assigning IINs to new applicants once the revised version of ISO/IEC 7812 defining 8 digit IINs has been published.
  • Details of this process will be provided by the RA once the new 8 digit standard is in effect.
  • The RA will monitor progress of adoption of the 8-digit IIN within all impacted industries, and an end date for this interim process will be communicated at a later date.

All users of ISO/IEC 7812-1 are strongly advised to immediately begin planning and analysis to identify any potential system and process impacts associated with their plans to adopt the new standard.

Any queries should be directed to Michelle M. Deane, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC17/WG5 Secretary, at mdeane@ansi.org.

About ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC17/WG5

Working Group 5 is responsible for the development and maintenance of ISO/IEC 7812 Part 1 and 2, and is made up of experts appointed by 12 countries. The U.S. holds leadership of this WG, with Patrick Macy as convenor and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), U.S. member body to ISO, as secretariat. The U.S. also holds leadership of JTC 1, with Karen Higginbottom of HP Inc. serving her third term as chair, and ANSI as secretariat. The ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group administrator to ISO/IEC JTC 1 and its Subcommittees, including SC17, is the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS).

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