Primary Account Number (PAN)
PAN stands for Primary Account Number, and it is the most critical piece of cardholder data when it comes to PCI compliance. Since the PAN can be used in conjunction with other pieces of cardholder data, there are extra steps and regulatory compliance that must be met in order to ensure user data is properly secured.
The PCI DSS says, “The primary account number (PAN) is the defining factor for cardholder data. If cardholder name, service code, and/or expiration date are stored, processed or transmitted with the PAN, or are otherwise present in the cardholder data environment (CDE), they must be protected in accordance with applicable PCI DSS requirements.”