Island in the Net

A personal blog by Khürt Williams, full of inchoate writing on photography, coffee, and geekery.

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The credit card code

Credit cards have a hash digit that is used to validate whether a credit card number is valid or not. The algorithm for calculating this digit is known as the LUHN formula, based on ANSI X4.13. To calculate whether a credit card number is valid, follow these three steps:
Starting with the second digit on the right, multiply every other digit by two. If the result of any doubling is greater than 10 (e.g., 8 + 8 = 16), add the digits of this result. Add all of the doubled digits.

Add all other digits, with the exception of the last digit (the checksum), to this total.

The difference between the sum and the next multiple of 10 is the check digit.

For example, the correct hash digit for credit card number 5012 3456 7890 123X is 6.

Note: Until recently all credit card companies were using the same algorithm. Recent advances in credit card fraud have caused the credit card companies to pursue further measures of validating credit cards such as the 3-digit number found on the back of your credit card.” — From CISSP course