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The BIN is the six prefix number part of a full card number on any plastic payment card people use daily. Banks, financial institutes, "good" merchants, and users worldwide use the BIN system for various purposes.
Banks use them to verify submitted data. They are trying to see if card BIN info matches with other users' info going along with the submission. If it is too big of a mismatch, they will freeze that transaction, then contact the known owner of the card to make sure they are the one authorizing it.
Merchants use them in a very similar manner as banks do. They aim to turn down fraudulent transactions. However, merchants may need to buy the software for BIN checking. What most merchants do is they validate the data submitted by users before even turn around sending the user's data to merchant gateway for charging; such as: Authorize.net, Fatmerchant, Paypal, etc In the case that merchants do not have access to BIN software, they can pay extra fee to rely on gateway company for such checks.
Surprisingly, users worldwide look up BIN results for educational purposes, for fun, or for deeper understanding how the pieces of plastic they carrying around work