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The 16 digits on a credit card are divided into groups that each serve a different purpose. The first digit identifies the industry the card belongs to (banking, airline, etc). The next five digits identify the issuer of the card. The next nine digits are the owner's account number, and the final digit is a failsafe that completes the code. The reason many locations only ask for the end of the card is that the magnetic strip on the card also contains the number, and this is a quick method of ensuring the number on the card and the number on the strip match up.

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Q: What is the purpose of the full CVV number if they only ever use the last three digits?
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