The first 6 digits of a credit card number are known as the Issuer Identification Number (IIN), previously known as Bank Identification Number (BIN). Merchants use the BIN or IIN information to identify the issuing institution, country of origin, card type and other details.

For many year I’ve been wondering where to get the best Binlists, but they are hard to get outside of the card scheme organizations, such as Visa or MasterCard. Mostly beacuse BINs are generally considered sensitive information and is normally provided by merchant service providers, who normally are able to supply monthly updated BIN number range tables for all cards (Visa, MasterCard etc.) except for AMEX, Diners, JCB and Discover.

There are a lot free available binlists around, and just to mention a few:

Most of the freely available binlist are outdated and got low accuracy.

Recently I’ve started to use a free Binlist webservice called, which is a simple webservice where I’m able to get BIN and IIN-information using a single HTTP request. I made a few tests over the last few days with and it seems to be quite up to date and fairly good accuracy. code example

It is really easy to use the webservice. They offer 3 return formats; XML, JSON and CSV.

$ curl -s | json_pp
   "card_category" : "ELECTRON",
   "card_type" : "",
   "bank" : "BARCLAYS BANK PLC",
   "country_name" : "UNITED KINGDOM",
   "bin" : "400115",
   "country_code" : "GB",
   "brand" : "VISA"

I’m usually very concerned regarding response times, but they seem to be quite good according to this simple test.

$ ab -c 50 -n 100 
This is ApacheBench, Version 2.3 <$Revision: 655654 $>
Copyright 1996 Adam Twiss, Zeus Technology Ltd,
Licensed to The Apache Software Foundation,

Benchmarking (be patient).....done

Server Software:
Server Hostname:
Server Port:            80

Document Path:          /json/400115
Document Length:        152 bytes

Concurrency Level:      50
Time taken for tests:   0.261 seconds
Complete requests:      100
Failed requests:        0
Write errors:           0
Total transferred:      31200 bytes
HTML transferred:       15200 bytes
Requests per second:    382.60 [#/sec] (mean)
Time per request:       130.685 [ms] (mean)
Time per request:       2.614 [ms] (mean, across all concurrent requests)
Transfer rate:          116.57 [Kbytes/sec] received

Connection Times (ms)
              min  mean[+/-sd] median   max
Connect:       41   52   5.3     53      62
Processing:    44   66  10.5     68      81
Waiting:       44   65  10.4     68      81
Total:         89  118  13.4    122     139

Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms)
  50%    122
  66%    127
  75%    128
  80%    131
  90%    132
  95%    132
  98%    139
  99%    139
 100%    139 (longest request)

Unfortunately there is no Ruby gem or PHP library available as of today.