Visa BIN Attribute Sharing Service

Visa BIN Attribute Sharing Service FAQs

1.    Who can participate in the BIN Attribute Sharing Service (VBASS)?

Acquirers, Issuers, Merchants and Third Parties are eligible to participate. Visa will require Acquirer or Issuer sponsorship and, in most cases, a business justification.

2.    What is the target audience for VBASS?

Although the service is available to a variety of entities, the service is targeted primarily to Merchants and entities such as Acquirers, Processor and Third Parties passing BIN Attributes to Merchants.

3.    Where is the service available?

The service is available globally.

4.    What are examples of BIN Attribute data?

BIN Attribute data is information such as Account Funding Source (credit, debit or prepaid), Product Platform (consumer vs. commercial), Issuer Country, Issuer Name and more that can help define an Issuer BIN or account range.

5.    How is BIN Attribute data used?

Common permissible uses include authorization improvement, fraud management, customer service support enhancements, point-of-sale checkout customization, acceptance troubleshooting and more.

6.    What are valid use cases to participate in the program?

Typical permitted use cases include the following below. Other use cases will be considered on a case-by-case basis

  • Authorization & Decline Management
  • Cashback at the Point of Sale
  • Customer Service Efficiency
  • Dynamic Currency Conversion
  • Fraud Decisioning
  • Loyalty & Offer Promotions
  • Prepaid Attributes for Customer Service
  • Prepaid Non-Reloadable Attributes for credential on file merchants
  • Prepaid Attributes - Other (please specify in Description)
  • Point of Sale Efficiency
  • Regulatory and Legal Compliance

7.    To participate in the program, is an API required?

No, the API delivery method is optional. A Merchant can work with a Visa approved Acquirer, Processor, or other registered Third Party to get the BIN data from them.  Registration and Visa approval are still required.

8.    Why is Visa using an API vs. SFTP file transfer?

The API solution is simpler to implement and has more ability to be customized.  SFTP files are more static and fields cannot be easily added and removed.

9.    Is there a cost associated with the program?

Yes. Visa requires that all recipients of the BIN attribute data, whether directly through Visa or through a Sponsor, are registered and billable for the service. Some exceptions do exist. Please contact your Acquirer for more information about pricing.

10.   For Merchants with more than one Acquirer or Processor, do the Merchants have to ask each Acquirer or Processor to register them?

No.  A Merchant needs only one approved Visa Sponsor or Sponsor Designate to register them for the program.

11.   For Merchants operating in multiple countries, is registration required for each country?

No.  When a Sponsor registers a Merchant, it applies to the Merchant’s access globally.

12.   What’s the difference between a BIN and an account range?

A BIN is the prefix of the Primary Account Number and may be either the first 6 or 8 digits.  It is not used for Visa processing.  An account range is the first 9 digits of the PAN.  Most Visa processing attributes such as Product type, and other functions are defined at the account range level.  Many different account ranges can be defined under a single BIN, so for more accurate information, participating entities should look for the processing attributes at the account range level rather than at the BIN level.

13.   Can Merchants register directly for the program?

No. Merchants can participate in the program, but they cannot register themselves.  Merchants can be enrolled only through registration by a Sponsor (Acquirer) or by a Sponsor Designate (Processor, Payment Facilitator or other Third Party) that has already been approved by a Sponsor and Visa.

14.   Are Merchants required to sign a contract with Visa for VBASS?

No. Merchants do not sign a contract with Visa. Only Sponsors or Sponsor Designates are eligible to fill out, sign and submit registration forms for VBASS.

15.   Why get a direct API from Visa?

A direct API can help ensure you are getting the most up-to-date BIN Attribute information that is available from Visa.  You could request BIN Attribute updates through the API on demand to meet your specific needs.

16.   What API options are available through Visa’s VBASS program?

Visa offers the below API options through VBASS:

  • Single BIN Lookup API: requestors can obtain BIN Attributes individually by account or a specific BIN range in JSON format
  • Full BIN List API: requestors can obtain a full list of all Issuer BINs and their associated BIN Attributes in JSON format
  • BIN Files Metadata and BIN File Transfer APIs: requestors can obtain a full list of all Issuer BINs and their associated BIN Attributes via file stream

17.   What BIN Attributes are available through the API?

Visa offers three levels of access through the API. Level 1 is free, except for a one-time Visa Developer Platform (VDP) implementation fee, and Levels 2 and 3 have an annual subscription fee, along with the one-time VDP implementation fee.

 VBASS | Levels of available BIN Attributes

Attribute Level 1 -   Basic Level 2 - Advanced Level 3 - Complete Description
Issuer BIN Yes Yes Yes Bank Identification Number (BIN) of the issuer of the account.
Account Range Minimum/Maximum Yes Yes Yes

Account/Token range min and max

Shared BIN Indicator Yes Yes Yes True if BIN shared by multiple issuers 
BIN Length Yes Yes Yes Provides BIN length - 6 or 8 digits 
POS Domestic Only Yes Yes Yes Domestic Only BIN or Account Ranges 
Online Gambling Block (Purchases) Yes Yes Yes Indicates whether Online Gambling is permitted or not 
PAN/Token Indicator   Yes Yes Indicates if  Pan or Token number
Issuer Billing Currency   Yes Yes Card issuance currency 
Issuer Country Code   Yes Yes Card issuance country
Product Platform   Yes Yes Indicates if  consumer BIN or commercial BIN
Product ID/Name   Yes Yes Indicates type of Visa product (e.g., Visa Signature, Visa Infinite, Visa Classic)
Account Funding Source   Yes Yes Indicates if credit, debit or prepaid
Settlement Match Indicator   Yes Yes Settlement Match 
Brand Indicator   Yes Yes Identifies if the brand or brands is associated with the account range. 
Commercial Card Level 2 Data Indicator   Yes Yes Indicates if transaction qualifies for Level 2 interchange rates
Commercial Card Level 3 Enhanced Data Indicator   Yes Yes Indicates if transaction qualifies for Level 3 interchange rates
Combo Card Indicator   Yes Yes Indicator for combo card
Exempt/Non-Exempt BINs (Regulated BINs)   Yes Yes Indicator for regulated BINs
Account Funding Source Subtype     Yes Indicates if reloadable or non-reloadable prepaid
Issuer Name     Yes Name of the Card Issuer
ALM Indicator     Yes Indicates if BIN or Account Range participate in Account Level Management 
VAU Indicator     Yes Visa Account Updater enabled indicator


19.   How often is the BIN list refreshed at Visa?

Visa updates the BIN list daily.

20.   Do the APIs provide results when the API call is made with a Visa Token?

Yes.  Both VBASS APIs can provide results for Visa Tokens.

21.  Do Token BIN Attributes match the underlying PAN BIN Attributes?

Yes. When Visa sets up account ranges in its system, the token ranges match the PAN ranges.  However, for BIN Attributes at the account level (e.g., Product ID), the attributes may not always match.

22.  Is PCI compliance required to participate in the VBASS APIs?

For the Single BIN Lookup API, yes, PCI compliance and message level encryption is required. For the Full BIN List API and file stream APIs, PCI compliance is not a requirement to participate in VBASS for purposes of receiving the results from the API call alone. Each participant needs to make its own assessment with regards to the legal and compliance requirements related to its specific use of the BIN Attributes.

23.  Do Visa’s VBASS APIs provide BIN Attributes associated with Visa’s affiliated networks (e.g., Interlink and Plus)?

Yes, Visa will respond with values for Visa, Interlink and Plus. Currently, Visa does not identify the associated network in the results, but it may be added as a future enhancement to the APIs.

24.  Is there a certification environment for the API?

No.  The APIs are available in Sandbox with test data and Production only.  The Sandbox provides Level 3 results for all requests, regardless of approval level.  The Production environment will only return the results for the access level that the entity is approved to receive.

25.  Can a client sign-up for all APIs?

Yes.  Separate fees apply, but clients can request access to all APIs.  Clients are not automatically provided with access to all APIs, unless requested and approved.

26.  If a client requests access to all APIs, does the implementation fee apply twice?

No. The implementation fee currently covers several VDP API implementations on the same agreement.

27.  What’s the typical turnaround time for an API implementation?

If clients have implemented the API(s) in the Sandbox environment, it can take up to two weeks to activate the credentials for the APIs in production.  Please note:  Visa evaluates new registrations around the 7th of each month.

28.  Are there multiple levels of access for the Single BIN Lookup API?

No.  Only Level 3 API access is provided for the Single BIN Lookup API.

29.  When submitting account numbers to call the Single BIN Lookup API, do I need to know in advance if it’s a PAN or Token?

Visa recommends identifying the account number as Pan or Token in the submission for optimal processing.

30.   Does the single BIN lookup API provide information at the account level?

Yes. If the requestor submits a full PAN number, Visa will provide any attributes at the account level (e.g., product ID).  This however does not apply to Token account requests, for which account level information is not available.

31.  If I submit a full Token account number into the single BIN lookup API, will it provide account level results that match the PAN?

No. If a user inputs a full token account number in the single BIN lookup API, the BIN attributes associated with the Token account arrange are provided.

32.  Does the single BIN Lookup API support 8 digit BINs?

The service is able to accept the full PAN numbers and designed to 6 digit and 8 digit BINs. 

33.  How often is the BIN list from the Full BIN List API distributed?

For registered clients that are connected to the API, the BIN list can be accessed at any time. Visa recommends that the BIN list be refreshed weekly, but in no case with intervals longer than two weeks between updates.  Based on the data refresh cadence of underlying systems, the recommended time for retrieving the attributes is any time after 5 am GMT.

34.  For the Full BIN List API, is it just one API request to get the BIN list?

Client application can retrieve the full BIN list by paginating through the Bin Range dataset using the combination of binRangeSearchIndex and binRangeCount fields in the API request. The Client Application starts with binRangeSearchIndex=0 and iteratively retrieve the number of records specified in binRangeCount (maximum allowed value for binRangeCount is 500) until the value returned for response field "areNextOffsetRecordsAvailable" is 'N', which indicates that there are no more results to retrieve. The value of binRangeSearchIndex for each current iteration would be binRangeSearchIndex of the previous request + binRangeCount. The API response field "areNextOffsetRecordsAvailable" will indicate if additional records are available. The response field “totalRecordsCount” along with the value of “binRangeCount” value can be leveraged to determine the number of iterations of API calls  that may be need be performed in order to fetch all the Bin Range Data.

35.  How does the file stream implementaion for full BIN data extract work?

Clients will need to call the BIN Files Metadata API first to get the list of the BIN File names and then pass each file name to the BIN File Transfer API to see the contents of that file displayed over file stream. The file contents is comma delimited.