Credit card errors

The handout describes how the Luhn algorithm is used to provide a check digit that helps to indicate accidental errors made when inputting credit (or debit) card numbers.

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Overview of task

The handout describes how the Luhn algorithm is used to provide a check digit that helps to indicate accidental errors made when inputting credit (or debit) card numbers.

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Strand

Number and Measures

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Prior knowledge

No prior knowledge is required except for basic mathematical skills.

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Relevance to Core Maths qualifications

  • AQA
  • C&G
  • Eduqas
  • Pearson / Edexcel
  • OCR

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Suggested approaches

It is probably best to show how this algorithm works and then investigate whether it can detect single errors, two numbers transposed, etc

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Resources/documentation

In addition to this overview there are:

  • Handout with relevant data and questions posed
  • Guidance sheet

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Relevant digital technologies

None are needed for this activity, although a spreadsheet could be used for the calculations.

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Possible extensions

Checking whether two-digit errors can be detected would be a suitable extension.

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Acknowledgement

This is a resource based on a suggestion from Claire Beckett (Haydon Bridge School, Northumberland) and developed by David Burghes (CIMT, Plymouth University).