I'm considering to black out CVC2 (card security code) from all the bank cards I have. The reasons are:

  • in the country I live, debit cards are often taken away at restaurants, so they easily remain out of my sight for 5-10 minutes--so any waiter can easily steal CVC2 plus card number (and sell it to someone, or abuse himself)
  • I keep all the bank card details in password manager software, which is always with me
  • my bank officially allowed me to black out the codes if I wish to

So I wonder if there are any reasons I miss why blacking out the codes could give any problems for me in future?


2 Answers 2


Merchants might need to see the code as a condition of sale. It provides proof to the card issuer (i.e. your bank) that the card is present.

At least in the US, occasionaly the signature pad at a store says "please hand card to cashier." The cashier looks at the back and needs to type in the CVC2 code to verify the transaction. If it were blacked out, prepare yourself for a merchant to refuse the sale. Most won't bother looking.

But as long as Russia mostly follows EU standards, in card transaction processing, this isn't likely to happen for you.

Welcome to Money.SE.


Something else to consider. A waiter could just as easily swipe your card on their own device(many exist for smart phones) and charge your card or steal data this way. The act of giving your card to someone else makes you at risk even with this number covered. If you want to be protected completely i would carry cash.

  • Thanks. Sounds like one more reason for not giving card to a waiter at all, but not a reason against blacking out CVC2 code on a card :-)
    – yurkennis
    Feb 6, 2014 at 20:12
  • BTW, if the card is chipped ("smart"), will it help to only copy the magnetic stripe [if CVC2 is covered]?
    – yurkennis
    Feb 8, 2014 at 3:17

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