Glossary

We know that the merchant services industry can sometimes be confusing so we have produced the glossary below to help you understand the meaning of some of the most commonly used phrases and terms in the credit card processing sector. As part of our commitment to providing world-class customer service we try not to use industry jargon and our payment experts are trained to help you in plain English.

For additional support or for any other enquiry you can speak to one of our payment experts now by calling 0845 643 6397 or why not send us a message?

Q. Acquirer

An acquirer is a financial services organisation, usually a bank, which forms and manages the account and relationship between a merchant (you) and the card schemes. Acquirers are licensed and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and authorise professional and reputable third party organisations to sell services and manage relationships. These are known as Independent Sales Organisations (ISO).

 

Q. AMEX

AMEX is the industry recognised abbreviation for 'American Express'. AMEX is a card scheme like Visa and MasterCard. All Retail Merchant Services credit card terminals can accept American Express to allow you even greater payment flexibility.

Q. UKPA

The UK Payments Administration (UKPA) is the responsible organisation for money transfers and payments within the UK. The scope of UKPA includes credit card and debit card payments as well as cheque cashing.

Q. ATV

Average Transaction Value - An average transaction value is the estimated price at which you expect most transactions to be processed through your credit card machine. You can estimate your ATV by looking at your credit card terminal transaction reports. If you do not already accept credit cards our experienced and friendly payment specialists can help you to calculate your average transaction value.

Q. Authorisation

Authorisation is the automatic process that a credit card terminal uses to process a credit card or debit card transaction. When a payment card is used in a credit card terminal the card terminal will dial a special authorisation number which will be received by your acquirer who will then confirm that the transaction can be authorised.

Q. Authorisation Call

A telephone call, usually prompted by the credit card terminal, from the point of sale to the merchant service provider to obtain authorisation for the transaction being carried out.

Q. Authorisation Code

Every sale transaction that is processed through a credit card terminal is given a unique authorisation code. This code ensures that you, as a retailer, have proof that the transaction was authorised by your acquirer at the time that it was processed. An authorisation code is printed on to your receipt and it can help you identify individual transactions.

Q. AVS

Address Verification Service is used, particularly in CNP or Customer Not Present transactions to ensure the person using the card details is the owner of the card. AVS, when active, will prompt you to collect details of the cardholders registered address. You can input this data directly into your terminal and this will help to prevent instances of fraud.

Q. Card Issuer

A card issuer is a financial institution that offers either banking services or credit services to an individual or business. Your local bank or building society may be a card issuer. Your own credit card company is a card issuer.

Q. CVV / CVV2

Cardholder Verification Value. Most credit and debit cards issued in the UK now have an additional three digit security number. The CVV/2 can usually be found on the rear of the card in the signature strip. The CVV/2 is usually denoted by being the final three digits on the signature strip. Also known as the Card Security Code or CSC.

Q. Terminal

A terminal is an electronic piece of hardware enabled to securely process payment information from plastic cards.

Q. VISA

An international credit card scheme recognised throughout the world. One of the most popular credit card schemes in the world.

Q. BACS

Bank Automated Clearing System. The payment from your merchant account to your normal business bank account uses the BACS method, releasing your funds in just 2/3 working days.

Q. CSC

Card Security Code. Most credit and debit cards issued in the UK now have an additional three digit security number. The CSC can usually be found on the rear of the card in the signature strip. The CSC is usually denoted by being the final three digits on the signature strip. Also known as the Cardholder Verification Value or CVV / CVV2.


Q. Card Scheme

Known as the card schemes; Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Diners Card (etc.) all operate worldwide operating systems to allow card issuers the ability to give plastic payment cards to their end customers.

Q. Cardholder

An individual or business can be a cardholder, in lawful possession of a payment card issued to them by their card issuer.

Q. CNP

Card Not Present. Any transaction where the retailer does not actually see the payment card is known as a CNP transaction. All Retail Merchant Services credit card terminals can perform CNP transactions securely. CNP transactions are most regularly used in telephone and mail order businesses though hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation may also use the function to reserve services.

Q. Chargeback

A chargeback is a dispute process available, as a last resort, to holders of credit cards. A credit card holder may request a refund from their card issuer of a transaction made lawfully if their purchase does not meet the conditions of sale. For example if you make a purchase in-store with your credit card and the item you order is never delivered you could be eligible to 'chargeback' the payment.

Q. Chip & PIN

Chip & PIN is the widely used card security system in the UK. Most payment cards issued in the UK now have an electronic chip and a PIN number associated with it. All Retail Merchant Services credit card terminals are Chip & PIN enabled.

Q. Credit Card

A credit card is a plastic payment card issued by a financial institution to allow the cardholder to make purchases from a pre-determined credit facility.

Q. Debit Card

A debit card is a plastic payment card issued by a financial institution to allow the cardholder to make purchases from a pre-determined bank account.

Q. DCC

Dynamic Currency Conversion is real-time facility that allows merchants to offer customers the ability to make plastic card payments in a wider range of currencies. All Retail Merchant Services credit card terminals are able to process DCC payments.


Q. e-Comms / E-commerce

A general term to indicate the ability to trade online. Business may trade exclusively on the internet or may use the internet in addition to other trading places. Retail Merchant Services offers great e-commerce account solutions.

Q. Maestro

An international debit card scheme and used widely throughout the UK.

Q. MasterCard

An international credit card scheme recognised throughout the world. One of the most popular credit card schemes in the world.

Q. PDQ

Process Data Quickly. PDQ is a trademarked brand name for a credit card terminal.

Q. POS Point of Sale

The location at which you conduct sales transactions. Normally the usual sitting point for your credit card terminal.

Q. VeriFone

Our terminal hardware provider. A multi-national company, specialising in the provision of payments hardware and software at the point of sale.

Q. MOTO Mail Order / Telephone Order

Businesses that trade either exclusively or extensively over the telephone or by mail order may be suitable for a MOTO account. A MOTO account in the payment card industry is designed particularly for Customer Not Present transactions.

Q. Merchant Account

A merchant account is a specialist bank account. Unlike your normal business account a merchant account is designed only to accept and process credit card and debit card transactions. A merchant account receives payments from your customers, through your credit card terminal, and then transfers the funds to your usual business bank account.

Q. MSP Merchant Services Provider

An MSP is an organisation that provides a way to accept payments. An MSP may or may not also introduce payment technology but almost always provides the appropriate accounts. Merchant service providers include acquirers to sell directly to merchant and third party Independent Sales Organisations (ISOs).

Q. MMSC or MSC

Minimum Monthly Service Charge or Monthly Service Charge. A minimum monthly service charge may be applied by an acquirer in the event of a guaranteed minimum number of transactions not being applied in order to maintain the account.

Q. NTC

New to Cards. If you do not currently accept credit cards or debit cards you will be recognised in the payment cards industry as, 'New to Cards'.


Q. Payment Card

A payment card is a non-specific term to mean a plastic card that can be used to make purchases. 'Payment card' may refer to; a credit card, a debit card or a store charge card.

Q. PSP

Payment Service Provider. A PSP is an organisation that provides a method for payments to be accepted. PSP can refer specifically to an online payment gateway.

Q. VX 520

A counter-top retail credit card terminal.

Q. VX 680

A portable credit card terminal, linked to a telephone connection via a Bluetooth receiver.

Q. VX 680 M

A mobile credit card terminal, linked to a satellite connection via a data SIM card. VX 680 M flexible counter-top retail credit card terminal with additional PIN pad and long-reach bungee cord.

Q. Merchant

Anyone or any organisation with the ability to accept credit card payments is known as a merchant. A merchant can only accept credit card and debit card transactions with a merchant account facility. All Retail Merchant Services accounts are offered with a low cost, international merchant account.

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