QuickTip Sundays: Not Allowing Dashes In Credit Card Numbers

Take the extra 15 minutes with the developers and write a regular expression to take out the dashes and spaces

Somewhere in America, there’s a product manager or client talking to a programmer, and the programmer is telling them, “Yo, it’s going to take an extra day or so to make it so the users can enter in credit card numbers with dashes. Let’s just put in a help message telling them they can’t do it.”

And that client is saying, “Uh, sure. It must be really hard.”

Developers say all sorts of things, and this has to be one of the most insane comments. That’s like saying at a cash register, “You can only use the card this way, and if you don’t, we won’t take your money.”

As bad as conversion rates are, this is one of the worst reasons to limit them. How prevalent is it? There’s a Hall of Shame dedicated to it.


Fifteen minutes.

Write the regular expression.

Anything that limits the user from completing a form means less revenue, and less revenue means less pay for anyone. Conversion is sometimes about the little details, and this is one of them.