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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I K M N O P Q R S T V W

A 

acquirer 

A federally insured financial institution responsible for connecting merchants to Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide authorization and settlement systems. Also called an acquiring bank, merchant bank or sponsor bank.

Acquirers and merchants are the two signatories to merchant agreements. Acquirers can be thrifts, banks or credit unions. For example, First National Bank of Omaha is an acquirer and a bank. To sell bankcard services, it is necessary to have a signed agreement with an acquirer or be part of an ISO that is sponsored by an acquirer.

Among other things, an acquirer deposits daily card totals to merchant accounts and debits monthly processing fees from those accounts. The acquiring bank must handle all funds, deposits and settlements with merchants.

ISOs and other entities on the acquiring side of the bankcard business also refer to themselves informally as acquirers, as evidenced by several regional acquirers associations thriving throughout the United States, but strictly speaking, they are not acquirers.

Also known as: acquiring bank, merchant bank, sponsor bank

acquirers association 

A regional, independent and nonprofit organization that provides training, education and networking opportunities for professionals working in the acquiring side of the bankcard industry, including financial institutions, ISOs, MLSs, equipment vendors and providers of value-added services.

acquiring bank 

A federally insured financial institution responsible for connecting merchants to Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide authorization and settlement systems. Also called an acquiring bank, merchant bank or sponsor bank.

Acquirers and merchants are the two signatories to merchant agreements. Acquirers can be thrifts, banks or credit unions. For example, First National Bank of Omaha is an acquirer and a bank. To sell bankcard services, it is necessary to have a signed agreement with an acquirer or be part of an ISO that is sponsored by an acquirer.

Among other things, an acquirer deposits daily card totals to merchant accounts and debits monthly processing fees from those accounts. The acquiring bank must handle all funds, deposits and settlements with merchants.

ISOs and other entities on the acquiring side of the bankcard business also refer to themselves informally as acquirers, as evidenced by several regional acquirers associations thriving throughout the United States, but strictly speaking, they are not acquirers.

Also known as: acquirer, merchant bank, sponsor bank

address verification service (AVS) 

A fraud deterrent technique used in card-not-present situations. AVS offers various levels of address verification detail, including cardholder ZIP codes and street numbers.

agents 

People who sell bankcard services to merchants on behalf of ISOs, acquirers and processors. Also known as merchant level salespeople (MLSs) and independent sales agents (ISAs), most agents are independent contractors. Others are paid employees of ISOs, acquirers and processors.

Also known as: independent sales agent (ISA)

Related Terms: Member Service Provider (MSP)

aggregator 

A company that manages the commercial relationships, physical transactions and physical distribution of prepaid cards sold in a destination retailer through a gift card mall on behalf of issuers. Also called a distributor.

alternative payments 

Ways of making electronic payments without credit cards. Examples of common alternative payment methods in the United States include debit and prepaid cards, bank transfers, direct debit, and phone and mobile payments. Certain alternative payment methods, such as person-to-person electronic payments, were developed for e-commerce. Other methods not used in the United States were devised for the needs of specific countries' domestic economies.

approved scanning vendor (ASV) 

An organization that validates adherence to certain Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) requirements by performing vulnerability scans of Internet-facing environments of merchants and merchant service providers. Approved scanning vendors (ASVs) must qualify for approval by the PCI Security Standards Council annually.

authorization 

An electronic exchange between a card issuing bank and an acquiring bank, initiated through a POS terminal, confirming a cardholder has sufficient credit (or funds in a demand deposit account if it is a debit card) to cover a pending transaction.

automated clearing house (ACH) 

An electronic payment network most commonly associated with payroll direct deposit and recurring payments. The ACH can be used also to clear electronic checks and other demand deposit account (DDA) transactions.

B 

bank identification number (BIN) 

A numerical code assigned to each federally insured financial institution for the routing of transactions and other purposes. ISOs and MLSs board merchants using the BINs of their respective acquiring banks.

batch 

A collection of card receipts saved for submission, usually at the end of the business day. When the receipts are sent, the batch is "closed."

breakage 

The unredeemed or unspent funds on a gift or prepaid card.

business-to-business (B2B) 

The exchange of products, services or information between businesses, such as between ISOs and merchants.

buy rate 

The acquiring bank's fee; it is equal to interchange (which is paid to the issuing bank) plus the acquiring bank's markup. Think of it as the wholesale price of a transaction to which processing and other fees are added to come up with the cost to a merchant. Buy rates have not been widely used since the multitude of interchange rates came into being; many ISOs and acquirers now use pricing models that involve splits of net revenue.

 

C 

card laundering 

When a merchant processes sales through his or her merchant account on behalf of another merchant. Laundering violates the terms of merchant agreements. Also called draft laundering and factoring.

Also known as: draft laundering, factoring

card verification value (CVV) number 

The three-digit number on the back of Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide credit and debit cards. It is used as a security feature in card-not-present transactions. The CVV number helps guard against the use of data stolen from payment networks by hackers. Intercepted data will usually comprise the cardholder name, card number and card expiration date, but not the CVV, which is generally obtained only by viewing the physical card.

card-not-present 

Card transactions (Internet or MO/TO purchases, for example) for which the customer's card is not physically handled by the merchant. Interchange is set higher on these transactions because there is a greater likelihood of fraud.

certificate authority 

An e-commerce service that validates Internet parties to an online transaction.

chargeback 

When a cardholder's bank (issuer) reverses all or part of a card transaction back to the merchant bank (acquirer), which typically kicks the transaction back to the merchant's account, leaving the merchant financially liable for the payment and subject to fines. Chargebacks can be initiated by customers or by cardholders' banks (for example, due to procedural errors). Chargebacks that exceed 1 percent of monthly sales generally are considered excessive.

check scanner 

A counter-top device used to scan images of checks, according to legal specifications, for electronic clearing and settlement.

closed-loop 

Cards (such as retail gift cards) issued by a single corporate entity. Such cards can only be redeemed within that entity or within a series of entities that have agreed to take the cards.

cloud computing 

A delivery model for computing as a hosted service over the Internet that is available on-demand as a shared resource managed by a provider. Cloud computing is commonly divided into three categories: software as a service, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service.

credit cards 

Can be issued by banks and nonbanks and are associated with such brand names as AmEx, Discover Financial Services, MasterCard, JCB International Co. Ltd. and Visa.

 

D 

data breach 

The capture of sensitive payment card data by an untrusted party.

debit cards 

Issued by financial institutions and tied to cardholders' DDAs. Debit cards come in online/offline and offline-only versions. Online in this context means able to interface with the card brand networks for authorization at the POS. Debit cards can be co-branded with Discover, MasterCard or Visa. Online debit requires customers to enter PINs; offline debit card payments are authorized with cardholder signatures.

decryption 

Use of an algorithmic key to unscramble data that has been encrypted. The key is secret to all except the party authorized to use it and renders the data readable once again.

demand deposit account (DDA) 

A checking account with a financial institution.

discount rate 

The percentage of card sales acquirers collect from merchants for transaction authorization, settlement and so forth.

distributed denial of service (DDoS) 

A computer network attack whereby multiple compromised systems overload a single target with incoming requests in large enough volume that service to legitimate users is either slowed or interrupted completely.

draft laundering 

When a merchant processes sales through his or her merchant account on behalf of another merchant. Laundering violates the terms of merchant agreements. Also called draft laundering and factoring.

Also known as: card laundering, factoring

 

E 

electronic funds transfer (EFT) 

A way of performing financial transactions electronically. The Pulse and Star networks are examples of EFT systems.

encryption 

In its simplest form, encryption refers to the process of using special algorithms to scramble data into a format that's indecipherable to anyone without the proper decryption key.

end-to-end encryption (e2e) 

High-grade algorithmic schemes that protect data (like account numbers and PINs) from the moment a credit or debit card is swiped and throughout the processing cycle.

Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) 

A nearly global standard for chip and PIN cards, also known as smart cards, developed and backed by four of the major card brands. EMV has not yet achieved critical mass in the United States.

expiration date 

Date after which a card can no longer be used. Most network-branded cards have an expiration date. Some closed-loop cards expire after a certain period of inactivity or after a certain date, although this is becoming increasingly rare.

 

F 

factoring 

When a merchant processes sales through his or her merchant account on behalf of another merchant. Laundering violates the terms of merchant agreements. Also called draft laundering and factoring.

Also known as: card laundering, draft laundering

Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) 

A public-private collective that keeps tabs on financial fraud trends and analysis.

floor limit 

The payment amount above which credit and debit card transactions must be authorized; this amount is specified in each merchant's processing agreement.

 

G 

general purpose / general spend card 

An open-loop or network-branded card whose sole purpose is to facilitate normal spending transactions, with functionality similar to a debit card but without the need for a bank account.

gift card mall 

A physical or virtual rack or display unit that allows customers of a destination retailer to buy a prepaid card issued by a range of different prepaid card issuers. Also referred to as "gift card center" and "gift card shop."

H 

hold back 

The money set aside from a merchant's credit card receipts to cover potential chargebacks or other disputes. Typically, the amount is returned after a specified period. Also known as a hold back.

Also known as: reserve

 

I 

independent sales agent (ISA) 

People who sell bankcard services to merchants on behalf of ISOs, acquirers and processors. Also known as merchant level salespeople (MLSs) and independent sales agents (ISAs), most agents are independent contractors. Others are paid employees of ISOs, acquirers and processors.

Also known as: agents

Related Terms: Member Service Provider (MSP)

independent sales organization (ISO) 

An organization registered with Visa and sponsored by an acquiring bank to sell VISA card acceptance services; also refers to an organization that works with and does business under the name of such a registered ISO. ISOs may also service merchant accounts once they are registered, dependent upon the contract with the acquirer. MasterCard uses the term "member service provider" to describe ISOs. However, it is common within the payments industry to use the term "ISO" when referring to independent sales organizations registered with either or both card brands.

Related Terms: Member Service Provider (MSP)

integrated payment solutions  

Technology that enables the integration of payment processing and related services check verification, for example with such other business functions as customer relationship management and accounting. This type of integration can reduce errors, save merchants time and money, and provide them a better overall picture of their businesses.

interchange 

The fee paid to the card issuing bank by the card acquiring bank by way of the processor. Interchange is the base fee to which all other acquiring and processing fees are added to come up with the merchant discount rate. Interchange rates vary widely based on card type, transaction amount, risks and retail sector. It is assessed on all Visa- and MasterCard-branded cards, even PIN-based debit cards. In certain circumstances interchange flows in reverse, such as following a chargeback.

issuing bank 

A federally insured financial institution that issues credit and debit cards; this is the cardholder's financial institution.

 

K 

key (encryption) 

A key contains the necessary information to decrypt an encrypted transaction.

 

M 

magnetic ink character reader (MICR) 

A countertop device used to scan and recover information contained in magnetic ink characters printed on checks and documents. The magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) line, usually printed at the bottom of a check, is a sequence of digits that provides details about the bank and account on which the check is drawn. The MICR line supports authorization and clearing routines.

magnetic ink character recognition 

A security technology that encodes information into magnetic ink characters and numbers printed on checks and documents. To verify the legitimacy and originality of checks, the magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) line sequence that usually appears at the bottom of a check can be magnetized and read electronically by a MICR reader.

mail order/telephone order (MO/TO) 

A category of card-not-present transactions involving purchases made through mail order or telesales companies. In this type of transaction, the merchant typically has a card terminal and manually keys in required card information for transmission to the appropriate authorization network. Interchange rates for these transactions are among the highest.

malware  

Software that's designed to infiltrate and damage a computer without the user's knowledge. Think worms, Trojan horses and botnets. According to published reports, malware attacks increased by a factor of 10 between 2008 and 2009.

Member Service Provider (MSP) 

A MasterCard Worldwide term applied to entities that provide transaction and cardholder processing, as well as merchant and cardholder solicitation. Member Service Providers (MSPs) fall under two categories: ISOs and third party processors (TPPs). TPP services include electronic data capture and mobile remote payment, among others.

Related Terms: independent sales organization (ISO), Third Party Processor (TPP)

merchant bank 

A federally insured financial institution responsible for connecting merchants to Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide authorization and settlement systems. Also called an acquiring bank, merchant bank or sponsor bank.

Acquirers and merchants are the two signatories to merchant agreements. Acquirers can be thrifts, banks or credit unions. For example, First National Bank of Omaha is an acquirer and a bank. To sell bankcard services, it is necessary to have a signed agreement with an acquirer or be part of an ISO that is sponsored by an acquirer.

Among other things, an acquirer deposits daily card totals to merchant accounts and debits monthly processing fees from those accounts. The acquiring bank must handle all funds, deposits and settlements with merchants.

ISOs and other entities on the acquiring side of the bankcard business also refer to themselves informally as acquirers, as evidenced by several regional acquirers associations thriving throughout the United States, but strictly speaking, they are not acquirers.

Also known as: acquirer, acquiring bank, sponsor bank

merchant discount 

Consists of interchange fees charged to merchants by issuing banks for the ability to accept bankcard transactions combined with fees charged to merchants by acquirers to cover such services as processing, terminal installation, help desks and statement rendering. The merchant discount is set by the acquirer at a percentage of the purchase amount, typically between 1.5 percent and 3.5 percent. Sometimes the acquirer's portion of the merchant discount is referred to as the net merchant discount. Also referred to as a transaction fee.

merchant level salesperson (MLS) 

A person who sells bankcard services to merchants on behalf of ISOs, acquirers, and processors. Also known as independent sales agents (ISAs), as well as agents, most MLSs are independent contractors. Others are paid employees of ISOs, acquirers and processors.

N 

near field communication (NFC) 

Used primarily by mobile devices to conduct wireless transactions, this short-wave wireless communication technology transfers data between electronic devices when brought within close proximity of one another.

network-branded 

A prepaid product that can be accepted as payment by any merchant subscribing to that network's service. Also called open-loop.

non-reloadable  

A prepaid product with a fixed value. Additional funds cannot be added to the existing value.

 

O 

optical character recognition (OCR) 

The technology used to scan alpha-numeric information from paper checks or printed credit card receipts into character images which are digitally converted into character codes commonly used by data processors.

 

P 

Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA DSS) 

Established to help software vendors and others develop secure payment applications that do not store prohibited data and to ensure their compliance with the PCI DSS. Payment applications that are sold, distributed or licensed to third parties are subject to PA DSS requirements.

In-house payment applications developed by merchants or service providers that are not sold to a third party are not subject to PA DSS requirements but must still be secured in accordance with the PCI DSS.

Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) 

Established by the major payment brands, including American Express Co., Discover Financial Services, JCB International Co. Ltd., MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc., the PCI DSS is now managed by the PCI Security Standards Council.

The PCI DSS is designed to enhance payment account data security worldwide and consists of 12 requirements governing security management, policies, procedures, network architecture, software design and other areas critical to the protection of cardholder data.

Failure to adhere to the standard (by any party that handles card information, including merchants and ISOs) can result in hefty fines. Often shortened to PCI.

Payments Processing Information Sharing Council 

A private-sector organization that helps facilitate sharing of information among payment companies regarding data security. It operates under FS-ISAC.

payroll card 

A reloadable, network-branded prepaid card on which is deposited an employee's salary (usually through a bank transfer). Used as an alternative to cash or check where the employee does not have a bank account or prefers this method of payment.

PCI PIN Entry Device (PCI PED) 

Renamed PIN Transaction Security (PTS) by the PCI Security Standards Council, this is a special list of security requirements for PIN-enabled card acceptance modules.

PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) 

An agency responsible for the development, management and education of the PCI security standards, including the PCI DSS, PA DSS, and PCI PTS. The council was founded in 2006 by AmEx, Visa, MasterCard, JCB and Discover.

person-to-person (P2P) 

Transactions involving individuals buying directly from one another, such as through auction websites or mobile devices.

personal identification number (PIN) 

A number used by a cardholder to authorize card payments. It is often abbreviated as PIN.

phishing  

Phishers pose as trusted entities (such as banks or credit card companies) and, using e-mail and text messaging, con consumers (and increasingly businesses) into providing sensitive information, like user names and passwords, which are then used for fraudulent purposes.

Also known as: whaling

PIN debit 

A debit card transaction authorized by the cardholder using a personal identification number.

PIN entry device 

A device used for entry of personal identification numbers (PINs) designated by cardholders to authorize card payments. Such devices are regulated by the PCI Security Standards Council.

PIN Transaction Security (PTS) 

A special list of security requirements for PIN-enabled card acceptance modules promulgated and managed by the PCI Security Standards Council. This was formerly called the PCI PIN Entry Device (PCI PED) requirements.

point of sale (POS) 

The place where retail sales occur and payment transactions are initiated.

POS system 

A system for managing the sale of retail goods. Short for point of sale system, the term refers to the hardware and software that enable merchants to accept and process payments at checkout, as well as carry out a host of related tasks, such as inventory, accounting or loyalty program tracking. POS systems offer more functionality than stand-alone POS terminals and can be tailored to specific business types, such as restaurants or grocery stores.

prepaid card 

A payment card with a set amount of money that has been preloaded onto it for future use by the consumer. It is not a credit card or debit card. Prepaid cards can be used in an open-loop (branded by Visa, MasterCard and so forth) or closed-loop (merchant or mall-branded). The most common type of prepaid card in use today is the gift card.

processor 

A processor is any entity that is physically processing a credit card transaction from swipe to settlement. It is a front-end network that enables a dial terminal, POS or gateway to connect to the Visa and MasterCard systems for authorization from an issuing bank. Any back-end or settlement network that is receiving those authorizations and settling them to a sponsor bank is also a processor. This network would have either a front-end or back-end, or both, that is involved in the physical authorization or settlement of a transaction.

program manager  

The entity responsible for managing the core attributes of a prepaid card program. Program managers can either manage for other companies, or be responsible for issuing their own prepaid card products. For MasterCard Worldwide, entities are required to have an ISO/MSP license in order to become program managers.

 

Q 

QR code 

An abbreviation for quick response code. It is a type of two-dimensional code, also called a matrix bar code, that has large data storage capacity and can be decoded at high speed. QR codes are square, with black patterns on a white background and can be encoded to contain all types of data, for example information in alphanumeric or binary form.

Initially created for the automotive industry, QR codes have become an increasingly popular way for companies in a variety of industries to provide information and offers to their customers and prospects. Many of today's mobile phones are capable of reading QR codes.

Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) 

An auditor, certified by the PCI SSC, who assesses the PCI compliance of payment systems to ensure they are properly protecting card data. The PCI DSS requires that all Level 1 merchants (those that process over 6 million card transactions a year) be evaluated annually by a QSA.

R 

registration 

The steps ISOs and procesors take to become authorized by an acquiring bank and the major card brands to accept and process payments tendered with credit and debit cards issued by those brands.

remittance card 

A card that enables the user to transfer funds to another party, normally overseas, and often in another currency. No bank is required to transfer the money, and the recipient has instant access to the funds made available, either to spend in a retail outlet or to obtain cash through an ATM.

remote deposit capture (RDC) 

Electronic check services by which paper checks are converted into digital images for electronic clearing and settlement, through either electronic check or ACH systems.

reserve 

The money set aside from a merchant's credit card receipts to cover potential chargebacks or other disputes. Typically, the amount is returned after a specified period. Also known as a hold back.

Also known as: hold back

response code 

A number provided by a card issuing bank to a merchant either verifying that a particular transaction was accepted or explaining why it was declined

restricted authorization network 

Pertains to cards issued by a corporate entity, or group of corporate entities. They can only be redeemed within a restricted selection of corporate entities, defined by geography, type of business, type of terminal et cetera. Also known as restricted loop card or semi-open-loop cards.

reversal 

A method of recourse for merchants to counter chargeback claims. Cardholders can also set reversals in motion when they rescind chargeback claims.

 

S 

Secure POS Vendor Alliance (SPVA) 

Includes representatives from the major terminal manufacturers who collaborate on fraud intelligence and hardware protection standards.

secure sockets layer 

A protocol commonly used to help secure messages transmitted over the Internet.

Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) 

A document used as a validation tool by merchants and service providers to demonstrate compliance with the PCI DSS.

Updated in 2008, it is designed to simplify and streamline the assessment process and aid small and mid-sized merchants who are not required to have on-site PCI compliance assessments. The new SAQ comes in four versions with questions tailored specifically for different categories of card acceptors.

settlement 

The process by which the processor, working on behalf of the acquirer, debits the issuer for a transaction and credits the acquirer, and where the acquirer then credits the merchant. Settlement also involves payment to the card brands, calculating discount and qualifying a transaction for the appropriate interchange. Other aspects include exception processing, returns and disputes.

signature debit 

A Visa Debit or Debit MasterCard transaction authorized by a cardholder's signature; to the casual observer it looks just like a credit card transaction.

skimming 

Requires the use of small swipe devices (called skimmers) to capture unsuspecting customers' credit and debit card numbers at ATMs and POS devices.

smart cards 

Credit and debit cards featuring tiny silicon chips that contain information like account numbers and PINs that can be read only by compatible POS terminals.

sniffer 

Malware used by hackers to intercept payment card data traveling through merchant or processor networks.

software as a service (SaaS) 

A software delivery model in which applications and associated data are typically hosted by a vendor or service provider via the Internet "cloud" and accessed on-demand through a web browser.

special interest group (SIG) 

A group of people interested in advancing a given area of knowledge, technology or culture. SIGs function cooperatively and are solutions oriented. Members share ideas and may hold meetings and organize conferences. Some SIGs are also advocacy groups (political groups, for example) in which members have a common objective or agenda. SIGs formed by the PCI SSC provide an opportunity for member organizations and individual council members to share their business and technical expertise in the global effort to apply the PCI DSS and related standards to specific industries or technological issues.

sponsor bank 

A federally insured financial institution responsible for connecting merchants to Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide authorization and settlement systems. Also called an acquiring bank, merchant bank or sponsor bank.

Acquirers and merchants are the two signatories to merchant agreements. Acquirers can be thrifts, banks or credit unions. For example, First National Bank of Omaha is an acquirer and a bank. To sell bankcard services, it is necessary to have a signed agreement with an acquirer or be part of an ISO that is sponsored by an acquirer.

Among other things, an acquirer deposits daily card totals to merchant accounts and debits monthly processing fees from those accounts. The acquiring bank must handle all funds, deposits and settlements with merchants.

ISOs and other entities on the acquiring side of the bankcard business also refer to themselves informally as acquirers, as evidenced by several regional acquirers associations thriving throughout the United States, but strictly speaking, they are not acquirers.

Also known as: acquirer, acquiring bank, merchant bank

spyware 

A type of malware installed on computers that collects information about users without their knowledge. Difficult to detect, it can collect all types of data. Spyware is used by thieves for criminal purposes, but it can also be used in business, for example, to monitor employee Internet surfing habits.

structured query language (SQL) injections  

Computer language slipped into web forms in order to provide access to financial accounts where information can be modified or deleted.

super ISO 

A large, independent sales organization that supports multiple downstream ISOs and MLSs. Some super ISOs are also processors.

T 

tamper resistant security module 

A payment acceptance device with built-in physical protection to prevent tampering, such as the placement of a skimming device on the module.

taxpayer identification number (TIN) 

An identification number issued to business entities and individual taxpayers by the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. Social Security numbers are issued by the SSA; all other TINs are issued by the IRS.

terminal 

A POS device, usually with a small display monitor and keyboard, connecting to the Visa and MasterCard payment network and/or to a proprietary network that authorizes payment card transactions and transmits card data to a receiving institution.

Third Party Agent (TPA) 

A Visa Inc. term for an entity that provides payment-related services, directly or indirectly, to Visa clients or merchants within the United States and Canada. Third Party Agent (TPA) functions can include storing, processing or transmitting Visa account numbers. The term is inclusive of ISOs, merchant servicers and other entities that perform multiple functions on the issuing and acquiring sides of the bankcard business.

Related Terms: independent sales organization (ISO), Member Service Provider (MSP), Third Party Processor (TPP)

Third Party Processor (TPP) 

A MasterCard Worldwide term for a Member Service Provider that renders a third party program service. Third Party Processor (TPP) functions include but are not limited to authorization routing, cardholder and merchant statement preparation, chargeback processing, electronic data capture, mobile remote payment, terminal operation and voice authorization.

Related Terms: independent sales agent (ISA), Member Service Provider (MSP)

token 

A token is an alias representing an individual transaction or customer account. Transactions that are tokenized get stored in secure data servers (or vaults) following settlement and are accessible using only the correct tokens.

tokenization 

A process for protecting card information by which the data are replaced with an alpha-numeric substitute ("token") for their storage in a POS system. The token can be used to identify the purchaser for chargebacks or other post-transaction issues but is useless if stolen.

 

V 

virus 

Short for computer virus, a virus is a small, self-replicating software program that can easily spread from one computer to the next. It contains instructions that affect all infected computers and cause damage to computer hard drives or otherwise interfere with normal computer operation.

 

W 

whaling  

Phishers pose as trusted entities (such as banks or credit card companies) and, using e-mail and text messaging, con consumers (and increasingly businesses) into providing sensitive information, like user names and passwords, which are then used for fraudulent purposes.

Also known as: phishing

 

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