MasterCard® Card Security Features

Card-specific security features on MasterCard cards.

Every MasterCard card includes a variety of security features that are designed to effectively protect cardholders from payment card fraud. Security features on MasterCard cards include:

  • Magnetic stripe. The film stripe on the back of a MasterCard card stores account information. The magnetic stripe does not contain personal information such as birth date or mother’s maiden name.
  • Embossed numbers. Raised account numbers on the front of a MasterCard card extend into the hologram (if a hologram is on the card face).
  • Tamper-evident signature panel. The signature panel on the back of a MasterCard card guards against fraudulent use.
  • Personal Identification Number. The cardholder’s PIN protects ATM and debit transactions.
  • Card Validation Code 2. The three-digit code indent printed on the signature panel of a MasterCard card enables retailers to ensure that the cardholder has possession of the card during a phone or online transaction.
  • Hologram. A three-dimensional image with interlocking globes reflects light and appears to move when the card is rotated.
  • Holomag™. This feature combines the functionality of the magnetic stripe with the security of a hologram and helps prevent card counterfeiting.