Quick Start

Credit Card Glossary


Banks in the case of MasterCard and Visa transactions or network acquirers in the case of Discover transactions that acquire Card sale transactions from merchants such as yourself.

Address Verification Service (AVS)

A service through which the merchant verifies the Cardholder’s address, in whole or in part. Primarily used by Mail/Telephone/ Internet order merchants. Address Verification is intended to deter fraudulent transactions but is not a guarantee that a transaction is valid.


The agreements among Client, Processor and Bank contained in the Application, the Program Guide and the Schedules thereto and documents incorporated therein, each as amended from time to time, which collectively constitute the Agreement among the parties.


See Merchant Processing Application.


Any entity formed to administer and promote Cards, including without limitation MasterCard International, Incorporated (“MasterCard”), Visa U.S.A., Inc. and Visa International (“Visa”), Discover Financial Services LLC (“Discover”) and any applicable debit networks.

Association Rules

The rules, regulations, releases, interpretations and other requirements (whether contractual or otherwise) imposed or adopted by any Association.


Approval by, or on behalf of, the Card Issuer to validate a transaction for a merchant or another affiliate bank. An Authorization indicates only the availability of the Cardholder

Authorization Approval Code

A number issued to a participating merchant by the Authorization Center confirming Authorization for a sale or service.

Authorization Center

A department that electronically communicates a merchant


The bank you identified on the application you signed.

Bankruptcy Code

Title 11 of the U.S. Code, as amended from time to time.


A single Submission of a group of transactions (Sales and Credits) for settlement. A Batch usually represents a day

Business Day

A day on which Bank is open for business (other than Saturday or Sunday).


See Credit Card or Debit Card.

Card Issuer

The bank or Association that issues a Card to an individual.

Card Not Present Sale/Transaction

A transaction that occurs when the Card is not present at the point-of-sale, including Internet, mail-order and telephone-order Card sales.

Card Validation Codes

A three-digit value printed in the signature panel of most Cards and a four-digit value printed on the front of an American Express Card. Visa


Means the individual whose name is embossed on a Card (or Debit Card) and any authorized user of such Card.

Cash Benefits

An EBT account maintained by an Issuer that represents prefunded or day-of-draw benefits, or both, administered by one or more Government entities, and for which the Issuer has agreed to provide access under the EBT program. Multiple benefits may be combined in a single cash benefit account.

Cash Over Transaction

Dispensing of cash by a merchant in connection with a Card sale, other than a PIN Debit Card transaction, for the purchase of goods or services.


The procedure by which a Sales Draft or other indicia of a Card transaction (or disputed portion) is returned to Bank, the Acquirer or the Issuer. Client is responsible for reimbursing us for all Chargebacks.

Check Verification

A service provided in which a merchant accesses a national negative file database through its terminal/register to verify or authorize that a person has no outstanding bad check complaints at any of the member merchants. This is not a guarantee of payment to the merchant.

Check Warranty

A service provided through a merchant


The party identified as “Client” on the Application. The words “you” and “your” refer to Client.


A refund or price adjustment given for a previous purchase transaction.

Credit Card

A valid Card bearing the service mark of Visa, MasterCard or Discover and, to the extent the Schedules so provide, a valid Card issued by any other Association specified on such Schedules.

Credit Draft

A document evidencing the return of merchandise by a Cardholder to a Client, or other refund made by the Client to the Cardholder.

Credit Limit

The credit line set by the Card Issuer for the Cardholder’s account.

Customer Activated Terminal (CAT)

A magnetic stripe terminal or chipreading device (such as an automatic dispensing machine, Limited Amount Terminal, or Self-Service Terminal) that is not an ATM.

Debit Card

See either PIN Debit Card or Non-PIN Debit Card.

Dial-Up Terminal

An Authorization device which, like a telephone, dials an Authorization Center for validation of transactions.

Discount Rate

An amount charged a merchant for processing its qualifying daily Credit Card transactions.

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)

An electronic system that allows a government benefit recipient to authorize the transfer of their benefits from a Federal, State or local government account to a merchant account to pay for products and services received.

Electronic Draft Capture (EDC)

A process which allows a merchant’s Dial-Up Terminal to receive Authorization and capture transactions, and electronically transmit them to a Card processor. This eliminates the need to submit paper for processing.


The submission of authorization requests and/or Sales Drafts by a merchant for Card sales or Cash Advances transacted by another business.

General Terms

Section of the Program Guide, including any amendments or modifications.


When referred to in connection with transaction amounts or fees, refers to the total amount of Card sales, without set-off for any refunds or Credits.


A manual or electric machine used to physically imprint the merchant


The bank or Association, which has issued a Card to an individual. MasterCard and Visa only issue Cards through banks (“Issuing Banks”) while Discover may issue Cards directly or issue Cards through an Issuing Bank.

Limited Amount Terminal

A Customer Activated Terminal that has data capture only capability, and accepts payment for items such as parking garage fees, road tolls, motion picture theater entrance, or magnetic-stripe telephones.

Magnetic Stripe

A stripe of magnetic information affixed to the back of a plastic Credit or Debit Card. The Magnetic Stripe contains essential Cardholder and account information.


The documentation of monetary transactions (i.e., Sales Drafts, Credit Drafts, computer printouts, etc.)

Merchant Account Number (Merchant Number)

A number that numerically identifies each merchant, outlet, or line of business to the Processor for accounting and billing purposes.

Merchant Identification Card

Used with a manual printer as a backup system when power fails or when systems are down this is a metal embossed Card supplied to each merchant to be used for imprinting information to be submitted with each Batch of paper Sales Drafts. Embossed data includes Merchant Account Number, name and sometimes merchant identification code and terminal number.

Merchant Processing Application

The application executed by Client, Processor and Bank, which is one of the documents comprising the Agreement.

Non-PIN Debit Card

A Debit Card with either a Visa, MasterCard or Discover mark that is tied to a Cardholder

Non-Qualified Interchange Fee

The difference between the interchange fee associated with the Anticipated Interchange Level and the interchange fee associated with the more costly interchange level at which the transaction actually processed.

Non-Qualified Surcharge

A surcharge applied to any transaction that fails to qualify for the Anticipated Interchange Level and is therefore downgraded to a more costly interchange level.

Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF)

A┬áterm used in the banking industry to indicate that a demand for payment a check cannot be honored because insufficient funds are available in the account on which the instrument was drawn. In simplified terms, a check has been presented for clearance, but the amount written on the check exceeds the available balance in the account. It is often colloquially referred to as a bad check, a “bounced” check, or a rubber check. Businesses frequently use the term dishonored check.

Operating Procedures

The then-current manual prepared by Processor, containing operational procedures, instructions and other directives relating to Card transactions. The current Operating Procedures are set forth in the Program Guide.

PAN Truncation

A procedure by which a Cardholder

Personal Identification Number (PIN)

A unique number entered by the Cardholder to submit a PIN Debit Card transaction.

PIN Debit Card

A debit Card used at a merchant location by means of a Cardholder-entered PIN in the merchant PIN Pad. PIN Debit Cards bear the marks of ATM networks (such as NYCE, Star).

Point-of-Sale (POS) Terminal

A device that can do transactions with a debit card or a credit card. It also may be used to buy telephone PINs.

A POS terminal manages the selling process by a salesperson accessible interface. The same system allows the creation and printing of the voucher.


The entity identified on this application (other than Bank) which provides certain services under this Agreement.

Program Guide

The booklet which contains Operating Procedures, General Terms, Third Party Agreements and Confirmation Page, which together with the Merchant Processing Application and the Schedules thereto and documents incorporated therein, constitute your Agreement with Processor and Bank.

Recurring Payment Indicator

A value used to identify transactions for which a consumer provides permission to a merchant to bill the consumer’s Card account at either a predetermined interval or as agreed by the Cardholder for recurring goods or services.


This message is received from an Issuer when an attempt for Authorization requires a call to the Voice Authorization Center or Voice Response Unit (VRU).

Reserve Account

A fund established and managed by us to protect against actual or contingent liability arising from Chargebacks, adjustments, fees and other charges due to or incurred by us.


A transaction that the merchant originally processed as a Store and Forward transaction but received a soft denial from the respective debit network or Association. The resubmission transaction allows the merchant to attempt to obtain an approval for the soft denial, in which case you assume the risk should the transaction fail.

Retrieval Request/Transaction Documentation Request

A request for documentation related to a Card transaction such as a copy of a Sales Draft or other transaction source documents.

Sales Draft

Evidence of a purchase of goods or services by a Cardholder from Client using a Card, regardless of whether the form of such evidence is in paper or electronic form or otherwise, all of which must conform to Association Rules.


The attachments, addenda and other documents, including revisions thereto, which may be incorporated into and made part of this Agreement.

Self-Service Terminal

A Customer Activated Terminal that accepts payment of goods or services such as prepaid cards or video rental, has electronic capability, and does not accept PINs.


The activities undertaken by Processor and Bank to authorize, process and settle all U.S. Dollar denominated Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card transactions undertaken by Cardholders at Client

Settlement Account

An account at a financial institution designated by Client as the account to be debited and credited by Processor or Bank for Card transactions, fees, Chargebacks and other amounts due under the Agreement or in connection with the Agreement.

Split Dial

A process which allows the Authorization terminal to dial directly to different Card processors (e.g., AmEx) for Authorization. In this instance, the merchant cannot be both EDC and Split Dial. Split Dial is also utilized for Check Guarantee companies.

Split Dial/Capture

Process which allows the Authorization terminal to dial directly to different Card processors (e.g., AmEx) for Authorization and Electronic Draft Capture.

Store and Forward

A transaction that has been authorized by a merchant when the merchant cannot obtain an Authorization while the customer is present, typically due to a communications failure. The merchant will store the transaction electronically in their host system and retransmit the transaction when communications have been restored.


The process of sending Batch deposits to Processor for processing. This may be done electronically or by mail.

Summary Adjustment

An adjustment to your Submission and/or Settlement Accounts in order to correct errors. (See Sections 10.3 and 10.4).

Telecommunication Card Sale

Individual local or long-distance telephone calls, for which the telephone service provider is paid directly by use of a Card. These do not include, however, calls paid for with pre-paid telephone service cards. Telecommunication Card Sales are considered Card Not Present sales.

Transaction Fees

Service costs charged to a merchant on a per transaction basis.