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I'm now developing a web site at which users can purchase something. Users can also register their credit cards on the site. For security reasons, we show only last 4 digits of their registered cards.

Here is a problem. Our web site should support extremely small displays, so we cannot say "last four digits". Is there any good abbreviation for it?

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    State clearly what the space restriction is. How many characters are you allowing for this? Clearly it is less than 16, the number of characters in "last four digits". What about "last 4 digits" (13 chars)? Can you handle that? – Drew Oct 16 '14 at 2:38
  • @Drew Thanks for your good comment. Actually we can change font size, so "last 4 digits"(13 chars) may be accepted with very small size, which can cause poor user experience. The answer to your comment is "less is more" : less characters is better. – t_motooka Oct 16 '14 at 2:47
  • Sounds like you have a few tradeoffs to juggle: font size needs to be big enough to read; text needs to be short enough to fit; text needs to be long enough to make sense and be clear. Something like "last 4 #s" is short, but will your users think that # is a number size and means digit here? – Drew Oct 16 '14 at 2:50
  • @Drew I'm sure that most of our users can recognize "#" as "digit" or "number" and your suggestion also makes sense. (but X-X-X-1234 is shorter...) Thanks! – t_motooka Oct 16 '14 at 2:57
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Most of the time when I see this is says:

"xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-1234"

That may not be better than "last four digits".

So how about:

"X-X-X-1234" ?

The practice of doing this to give people the information that they are using the correct card is commonplace at the moment in industry - so, depending on your demographic, people should understand what is being conveyed.

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My first thought was that "last 4: 1234" would be obvious enough, but I thought I'd check some statements to see how else the problem has been approached. I particularly like the iTunes statement style, which uses:

Visa .... 1234

You could even replace the text with the logo of the card type.

These days, most anyone should be able to recognize it as corresponding to the last four digits. Other methods I have seen include "(***********1234)" and "Personal •••• 1234", preceded by a card icon.

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I agree with d'alar'cop in this approach. It may be possible to shorten this slightly more as "xxxx1234" "...1234" or "...####" - what ever seems clearest to your target audience.

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