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Glossary

Account holder
The person or persons responsible for paying the amounts charged to the account. A person can be allowed to use a credit card as an authorized user but not be legally liable for the debt.
Account number
An Issuer-assigned number that identifies an account in order to post a transaction. Each different account has a unique number attached to it.
Acquirer
A bank or other financial institution having a business relationship with merchants, retailers and other service providers to process their plastic card transactions. Acquirers obtain financial settlement for the card issuers, typically via the card schemes that maintain the clearing systems, and pay the proceeds to the merchants, charging a fee.
Acquiring financial institution
A bank or financial institution that processes and settles a merchant's daily credit card transactions, and then in turn settles those transactions with the card issuer. The acquiring financial instution serves as an intermediary, to facilitate the credit transaction and pays the merchant,minus a discount fee for the service that they perform.
Acquisitions
Acquisitions are an industry's term for acquiring credit card consumers.
Additional cardholder
Most credit card and pre-paid card companies offer the ability to have additional cardholder(s) on an account. However, in the case of a credit card, remember that it is the main account holder who has signed the credit agreement with the credit card company, and who is therefore legally responsible for paying off the spending of all cardholders on the account.
Adjusted balance
This is a formula many card issuers use to calculate monthly payments. Issuers minus the payments made during the month on a credit card account, along with adding finance charges incurred.
Affinity cards
A payment card issued on the basis that the card issuer makes a donation to a particular organisation (often a charity).
Allocation of payments
The sequence in which different kinds of borrowing and different parts of outstanding balances on credit card accounts will be paid-off when repayments are made. Credit card issuers undertook that, from December 2010, the more expensive forms of borrowing will be repaid first. 
American Express
An international card scheme.
American Express SafePay
American Express brand name for its service that uses the 3D Secure standard (the technical standard developed to secure card transactions over the internet).
AMOP (Alternative methods of payment)
Alternative methods of payment (AMOP) is a term covers the spectrum of noncash payments, including: credit and debit cards; billing extensions (adding purchases to your telephone or cable TV bill, for example); value access services (frequent flier programs, credit card bonus programs, etc.)
Annual fee
A fee charged by some card issuers to cover costs incurred maintaining an account and supplementary services.
Anti-virus
Antivirus or anti-virus software is used to prevent, detect, and remove malware, including but not limited to computer viruses, computer worms, Trojan horses, spyware and adware.
APR (Annual percentage rate)
The interest charged on purchases over one year, expressed as a percentage of the amount borrowed. It includes the interest to be paid on the amount borrowed and other compulsory non-interest costs (for example annual fees). The APR does not include any avoidable charges such as late payment fees.
Assets
Anything that belongs to you that may be used to pay your debts.
ATM (Automated teller machine)
Also known as a cash machine or cash dispenser. A computerised self-service machine permitting the holders of an appropriate card and personal identification number (PIN) to withdraw cash from their account and access other banking services.
ATM card
This is a card that is issued by a bank or financial institution that can be used at an ATM to access your account information and your funds.
ATV (Average transaction value)
The average value for each card transaction calculated by dividing the total value of card transactions by the number of transactions. Normally the average is applied to a specific period of time such as a month or year.
Authentication
A process where a cardholder proves that they are the genuine cardholder.  In the case of a card present transaction, a cardholder will be authenticated by inputting their Personal Identification Number (PIN) which is checked against the one held in the chip on the card.  In the case of an internet transaction, the cardholder will be authenticated using either MasterCard’s SecureCode or Visa’s Verified by Visa.
Authorisation
Authorisations are provided by card issuers and confirm that the card number is valid, that the funds are available at the time the transaction takes place and the card had not been reported as lost or stolen at the time of the transaction.  Authorisations are not a guarantee of payment.
Authorisation call
A telephone call made by a merchant or service provider, having been prompted to do so by the terminal or point-of-sale, to obtain authorisation for a transaction.
Authorisation code
Generated by card issuers or acquirers on behalf of a card issuer when an authorisation request is approved.
Automatic payment
This is a process that authorizes regular withdrawals to be made from checking or other deposit account to pay credit card and other bills.
Available credit
The amount that is available to be charged to a credit card amount; the difference between the credit limit and outstanding charges on the account.
Average daily balance
This is determined by adding each day's balance and then dividing that total by the number of days in the billing cycle. This is how most credit card issuers calculate the payment due.
AVS (Address verification service)
Fraud prevention tool that verifies a cardholder’s address against the record held by the card issuer.
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