Stripping Spaces and Dashes

The first step is to remove all non-digits from the card number entered by the customer. Physical credit cards have spaces within the card number to group the digits, making it easier for humans to read or type in. So your order form should accept card numbers with spaces or dashes in them.
To remove all non-digits from the card number, simply use the "replace all" function in your scripting language to search for the regex [^0-9]+ and replace it with nothing. If you only want to replace spaces and dashes, you could use [ -]+. If this regex looks odd, remember that in a character class, the hyphen is a literal when it occurs right before the closing bracket (or right after the opening bracket or negating caret).

If you're wondering what the plus is for: that's for performance. If the input has consecutive non-digits, e.g. 1===2, then the regex will match the three equals signs at once, and delete them in one replacement. Without the plus, three replacements would be required. In this case, the savings are only a few microseconds. But it's a good habit to keep regex efficiency in the back of your mind. Though the savings are minimal here, so is the effort of typing the extra plus

Post a Comment