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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.[1]


The standard defines:[citation needed]

Physical characteristics

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

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:[2]


%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:[2]

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.[2] It is virtually unused by the major worldwide networks and often isn't present on payment cards.[citation needed]

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).[citation needed]


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:[citation needed]

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.