Whether you’re sending your money to a family member or making an online payment to a merchant, there are certain processes that need to be followed to keep your money and your identity safe. A CVV code is a part of that, providing merchants and transfer providers with verification that you are in possession of the card you are making a payment with.
In this article, we’ll look at whether you can send money without a CVV code and potential alternatives if you don’t have access to your card.
The CVV (Card Verification Value) is the three-digit number on the back of your Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card. On American Express cards, it is a four-digit number. The CVV number may also be known as the CSC (Card Security Code) and some Canadian banks, such as Discover, refer to it as the CID code . This code is used to verify that you are in possession of the debit or credit card you are using and helps to protect your account if your card number should fall into the hands of hackers.
Around 53% of Canadians have been the victim of credit card fraud at least once and card-not-present transactions are the most prevalent type of credit card fraud, with only 5% of credit card fraud in Canada occurring as a result of lost or stolen cards. Card-not-present transactions occur when credit card details are stolen and then used to make fraudulent payments over the internet, telephone or by mail order. Since June 2022, all banks in Canada are required to send new electronic alerts to their customers when the balance of their savings account falls below $100 or where the credit available on their credit card falls below $100.
Two Factor Authentication (such as SMS OTP) isn’t yet common in Canada, but Royal Bank of Canada uses it to confirm unusual online payments or transactions, and BMO require it for investment transactions.
It’s important to note that a CVV is not your Personal Identification Number (PIN). You should never provide your PIN when paying for something online.
If you’re looking to send money or make an online payment with your card, then you will need your CVV code to process the payment. You can make a card payment without a CVV. You can learn more about making wire transfers with a credit card in our guide.
However, if you are using a money transfer service, there may be some equally secure alternatives that you can use instead of your card. These include:
Using a peer-to-peer service for online payments. If you are making a purchase online, you could use a peer-to-peer service such as PayPal, provided you have already linked your bank account to your PayPal account. Many online retailers offer PayPal as a payment option, meaning you simply need your email and password to login to your PayPal account to complete your transaction rather than entering your card details directly into the retailer’s website.
An alternative to sending money if you don’t have your CVV number to hand is to pay for your money transfer by bank transfer. This way, the funds will be drawn directly from your bank account rather than needing your card details. You will need to provide the following information to send money by bank transfer:
Another option is to send your money by cash. A few money transfer providers, such as Western Union and MoneyGram, provide the option of sending international transfers via cash, with your recipient either picking up the cash at the other end or receiving the funds directly into their bank account.
Of course, if you are looking to send money electronically, this isn’t going to be the best option for you.
When you are first linking your card details to your PayPal account, you will need to provide your CVV as well as the long card number on the front of your card and the expiration date.
Alternatively, you can link your bank account to your PayPal account, which will require your bank account number and sort code. Once you’ve linked these details, you won’t need to provide your CVV number for every online transaction when paying with your PayPal account, as these details will already be recorded.
CVV codes are an important layer of security to verify your identity when making payments online, adding another step of protection should your card details fall into the hands of the wrong people. As such, your CVV is an essential requirement when making an online payment and sending money.
For international money transfers, the best alternative is to send money directly via a bank transfer, which means you won’t need to provide your card details.
Yasmin Purnell is a Content Writer and Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. Having over 5 years’ experience writing across a range of industries including finance, insurance, and travel, Yasmin joined the team with a mission to make international money transfers and everything they encompass accessible to all.