What Is Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Data in Card Transactions

Feb 27, 2023
Highnote Team

When you decide to launch a card program, you might come across terms like “Level 2 data” but are not sure what it means. Different levels of transaction data could have a big impact on your business. If you’re a fleet operator planning to build a fleet card program, understanding the opportunities in each level of transaction data is crucial to comprehend your driver purchase behavior and managing cost. Dive in with Highnote to learn everything you need to know about credit card transaction data and what makes the most sense for your business.

What Is Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Data

In credit card processing, there are three levels of processing that decide the qualification of a transaction: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Each level has its requirement for the amount of information needed to complete a transaction. The higher the level, the more information is required.

Higher volumes of data transmitted through a transaction increase its security, reducing chargeback risks and associated costs. For merchants who provide Level 2 and Level 3 data elements, card processing can result in lower interchange rates.

Level 1 Card Data

Level 1 card data applies to all standard business-to-consumer transactions and provides the most basic purchasing card information required for clearing and settling including:

  • Merchant name
  • Merchant category code (MCC)
  • Billing zip code
  • Total purchase amount
  • Purchase date

Level 2 Card Data

Level 2 card data is more common in commercial B2B transactions. The specific additional data elements included varies across card program types and industry segments, but Level 2 data usually includes everything provided by Level 1 data plus the following examples:

  • Sales tax amount
  • Sales tax indicator
  • Purchase order number
  • Customer code
  • Destination ZIP code

Industry segment examples of Level 2 data include, but are not limited to, the following:


  • Fuel type
  • Fuel amount
  • Driver ID
  • Vehicle ID


  • Ticket number
  • Passenger name
  • Departure date

Other industry segments such as lodging/hotel, car rentals, and retail also have particular data elements that relate to their transactions.

Level 3 Card Data

Level 3 is most often utilized for large transactions. Level 3 data includes the same information captured at Levels 1 and 2 with supplemental information including fields such as:

  • Quantities
  • Product codes
  • Product descriptions
  • Order numbers
  • Unit of measures
  • Destination ZIP codes

Why Rich Data Matters for Your Business

Access to the enhanced Level 2 and 3 transaction data provides several opportunities for increasing the value of your card programs.

To highlight one such possibility, as a fleet company wanting to launch a card program, the lack of data available at Level 1 leaves you with few details about cardholder habits. Only with more data can you generate enough understanding and take actions to encourage or discourage certain behaviors to promote business growth.

With the best customer experience in mind, Highnote’s Fleet Card program now offers a superior richness of Level 2 data including the type of fuel, fuel quantity, fuel cost, and more. Our customers can design a variety of rebate and discount programs to incentivize any specific purchase behavior based on high-quality transaction data. Whether you’re launching a new program or hoping to upgrade your existing fleet card products, Highnote Fleet Card is the next-generation product that will take your company to the next level.

Read our Fleet Card Product API to learn more. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to talk to our team of experts.

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