ISO/IEC 7813

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ISO/IEC 7813 is an international standard codified by the International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission that defines properties of financial transaction cards, such as ATM or credit cards.


The standard defines:

Physical characteristics

ISO/IEC 7813 specifies the following physical characteristics of the card, mostly by reference to other standards:

Embossed characters by reference to ISO/IEC 7811 Embossing of expiration date the format (MM/YY or MM-YY) Magnetic stripe by reference to ISO/IEC 7811 Integrated circuit with contacts by reference to ISO/IEC 7816-1 Integrated circuit without contacts by reference to ISO/IEC 10536-1, ISO/IEC 14443-1, and ISO/IEC 15693-1

Magnetic tracks

Track 1

Track 1 can store up to 79 alphanumeric characters. ISO 7813 specifies the following structure for track 1 data:


%B4815881002867896^YATES/EUGENE JOHN         ^37829821000123456789?

%B4815881002861896^YATES/EUGENE L            ^^^356858      00998000000?

Track 2

Track 2 can store up to 40 numeric or special characters; it uses a lower density magnetic encoding than Track 1 but a more compact character encoding. ISO 7813 specifies the following structure for track 2 data:

Track 3

Track 3 uses the same density as track 1 but has the same character encoding as track 2, allowing it to store 107 numeric characters. It is virtually unused by the major worldwide networks and often isn't present on payment cards.

A notable exception to this is Germany, where Track 3 content was used nationally as the primary source of authorization and clearing information for debit card processing prior to the adoption of the "SECCOS" ICC standards. Track 3 is standardized nationally to contain both the cardholder's bank account number and branch sort code (BLZ).


Parsing Track 1 and Track 2 can be done with Regular Expressions.

Track 1


This Regex will capture all of the important fields into the following groups:

Track 2



  1. ^ ISO/IEC 7813:2006 Information technology -- Identification cards -- Financial transaction cards
  2. ^ a b c "Magnetic stripe card standards" (PDF). MagTek. 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2023.

External links