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PAN truncation is an anti-fraud measure available on some credit-card-processing POS (point of sale) terminals as part of a merchant account service.

"PAN" is an acronym for Primary Account Number, i.e., the "card number" on either a debit or a credit card. PAN truncation simply replaces the card number printed on a customer receipt with a printout of only a few digits, the remainder being replaced usually by asterisks. This hides the card number from anyone who obtains the receipt when discarded, or by other means, while still allowing a card holder with multiple cards to identify which was used, and thus accurately record the transaction.

PAN truncation is a measure to combat credit and debit card fraud, which is increasing dramatically worldwide, flourishing particularly in a global market where CNP (customer not present) transactions are increasingly popular over the Internet, by mail, and by telephone.


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