An A to Z glossary of merchant services terminology, all the jargon you’ll encounter in the world of card payment processing and merchant services comparisons. Terminology, acronyms, word and phrases used by merchant services providers, acquiring banks, financial institutions and the ubiquitous merchant comparison sites.
An acquirer or acquiring bank is a financial institution that performs card payment processing as a merchant service.
Authorisation with regard to card payment processing provides verification that the customer holds enough funds at the issuing bank to make the payment.
An AVS or Address Verification System is a fraud-prevention system used in phone, mail order and online payment processing for “Card Not Present” payments. Primarily performing data matching to identify the customer as the cardholder at the issuing bank.
Bluetooth is standard for a type of wireless connection between devices; when used in card machines, Bluetooth allows the card machine to take payments within range of a terminal.
Broadband is a high-speed internet connection used to transmit data to and from your merchant services provider from EPOS and other point-of-sale devices or terminals.
A card machine with regard to merchant services refers to any of a range of desktop, portable or mobile card readers used to process face to face payments where the cardholder is present.
A Card Scheme refers to an organisation like Visa and MasterCard that operate a network for payment transactions, giving banks and financial institutions the facility to issue cards and acquire card payments in the form of merchant services.
A chargeback is a reversed card transaction issued by a bank on behalf of the customer, this returns any amount credited to the merchant and returns it to the customer; typically due to disputed transactions, fraudulent transactions or in some cases simply processing errors.
Chip & Pin refers to an ICC or integrated circuit card, with embedded computer chip working in conjuction with a customer PIN used to authorize customer payments at point-of-sale.
CNP or Card Not Present transactions is a phrase used to describe card payments made by phone, often processed via virtual terminal.
A “comparison site” with regard to merchant services is a website belonging to a third-party company claiming to offer users the facility to compare merchant services from a range of merchant services providers and acquiring banks; often acting as a funnel for a provider or a small number of select providers with which they are affiliated.
Contactless is system using wireless technology used to scan a customer payment card within range of a card reader at point-of-sale, rather than inserting the card and entering a PIN.
Interchange fee are fees set by card schemes that acquiring banks pay the issuer or customer’s bank in payment for costs associated with processing each card transaction.
The issuer or issuing bank in merchant services terms refers to the financial institution that a customer’s card is issued and who they maintain a contract with for repayment of card transactions.