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I'm wondering if is it possible that the same VISA debit card numbers could ever be issued to different people by different banks or companies?

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this probably isn't dreadfully on topic for this site, however the answer is no. Each issuer has what's known as a BIN number which is the first six digits of the 15/16 digit card number. That BIN is unique to that bank/company, so no other company can use it to issue a card. As such there wouldn't be a circumstance where there's an overlap. –  Rоry McCune Nov 19 '13 at 14:37
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This question appears to be off-topic because it is about banking, not security. –  AJ Henderson Nov 19 '13 at 14:50
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closed as off-topic by AJ Henderson, Iszi, Adnan, Gilles, schroeder Nov 19 '13 at 16:43

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1 Answer

[edited]

whilst a card issuer may choose to reuse PAN (long number) to identity a card, a PAN cannot normally be reissued by a different card issuer. The reason for this is because the BIN (first 6 digits) is issued uniquely to a card issuer.

There is one exception: If card issuer is bought by another card issuer (e.g. bank 1 buys bank 2) then card number may be reissued under the new name of the card issuing organisation - but really this is an edge condition and in the spirit of the question the answer is largely no

Note: In the UK, Clydesdale reissued mastercard PANs, but eventually stopped after obvious problems occurred. see: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2003/may/10/creditcards.debt1

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That is a different scenario that the one the question is about, which is the issuance of a single card number by different banks. –  Xander Nov 19 '13 at 15:56
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