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Glossary

CAC (Card authorisation centre )
Merchants will call the CAC when their terminal has requested them to or they are suspicious about a card transaction they have been asked to accept.
Card
A general term for any payment card that is used to pay for goods and services or to withdraw cash. This includes credit cards, charge cards, debit cards, cheque guarantee cards and cash cards.
Card issuer
A bank, building society or other organisation issuing to its customers payment cards and cards for use in cash machines. The card issuer undertakes responsibility to settle transactions made with the card (except in some cases where fraud has occurred).
Card remotely present
A transaction where the merchant, retailer or other service provider does not have physical access to the payment card, but where the card is inserted in a device by the customer and the card details are verified by an electronic process.  Examples are transactions at unattended payment terminals, by telephones equipped with card readers, or via the internet when a card reader is in use.
Card scheme(s)
Card schemes set the business rules that govern the issue of the payment cards that carry their logo. Typically these rules apply throughout the world to ensure that cardholders’ cards can be used anywhere. Card schemes include American Express, MasterCard and Visa.
Card-remotely-present
A transaction where the merchant, retailer or other service provider does not have physical access to the payment card, but where the card is inserted in a device by the customer and the card details are verified by an electronic process. Examples are transaction at unattended payment terminals, by telephones equipped with card readers or via the Internet when a card reader is in use.
Cash advance
An advance that draws directly against a cardholder’s credit line, where the service is available. A fee is usually levied by card issuers for an advance, and interest is charged from the date of the advance. Some other transactions such as foreign currency purchases and using a credit card for gambling are treated as cash advances.
Cash machine
See ATM.
Charge card
A payment card that allows a cardholder to make purchases and to draw cash up to a pre-arranged credit limit. The terms include the obligation to pay the account in full at the end of a specified period, usually monthly. Cardholders are normally charged an annual fee.
Chargeback
A transaction that has been returned by an issuer to the acquirer because it has been disputed by the cardholder and/or found by the issuer to be improper.  The acquirer will deduct the value of the chargeback from the merchant’s account.
Chargeback reason codes
These are a set of prescribed codes used by the card schemes that give a reason why a transaction has been charged back.
Charging order
A Court Order placing restrictions on the disposal of certain assets, such as property or securities, given after judgement and gives priority of payment over other creditors.
Chip and PIN card
A payment card containing a chip that requires use of a PIN as the preferred method of cardholder verification at the point-of-sale and at cash machines.
Chip card
A chip card holds details on a secure computer chip that can store and process information.
Cirrus
A MasterCard brand enabling a cardholder to obtain cash at a cash machine.
Clearing
The third step in processing a credit card. After the acquirer receives the batch, it sends it through the card network, where each sale is routed to the appropriate issuing bank. The issuing bank then subtracts its interchange fees, which are shared with the card network, and transfers the remaining amount through the network back to the acquirer.
Cloning
Cloning is a technique criminals use to make counterfeit credit cards with working, stolen credit card numbers. The credit card numbers are often obtained through skimming.
Closed loop
A stored-value card that may be used only in designated shops which typically are part of the same group or chain of shops.
CNP (Card not present)
A transaction where the merchant, retailer or other service provider does not have physical access to the payment card; examples are transactions by telephone, mail order or internet.
Co-branded card
A payment card issued by an organisation in partnership with another, often non-financial, institution (usually one which has a well-known brand name) bearing the brand / logo of both. The non-financial institution offers certain benefits to cardholders, often using a points or other rewards-based system.
Commercial card
A generic term covering business, corporate and purchasing cards.
Computer worm
A worm is similar to a virus but is self-contained and so does not require a host to spread. A worm may destroy, modify or copy data to a third party. It may also install a backdoor in the system, for later use in spam emails, key logging or denial of service attacks.
Consumer Credit Act 1974
The legislation that regulates the consumer credit market in the UK, including credit cards.
Contactless
A new feature being introduced on payment cards in the UK to make low value purchases quicker and more convenient for both retailers and consumers. When making low value payments (currently £30 or less) - rather than inserting a card into the chip & PIN machine and typing in a PIN - those with a card featuring Contactless can simply hold it to the reader to pay.
Corporate card
A payment card typically issued to larger companies for staff to make business-related transactions, for example travel and entertainment (see also Business card).
CPA (Card protection agencies)
Businesses that provides cardholders with a card number registration service. In the event that cards are lost or stolen, cardholders can contact the CPA who will, on their behalf, advise the card issuer so that a 'stop' can be placed against that card number. CPAs may also provide a registration service for a wide range of other personal items and documents.
CRA (Credit reference agency)
An organisation licensed under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 that holds information about the borrowing habits of people. Financial institutions may contact these agencies for information to help them make various decisions, for example, whether or not to open an account or provide loans or grant credit. Financial institutions share information with the agencies to improve the overall quality of lending decisions.
Credit
A contractual agreement in which a borrower receives money with the agreement to repay the lender at some date in the future in accordance with agreed terms and conditions. Credit is also used to mean a positive balance on an account and to refer to an inward payment. For instance, an account in credit may be credited with interest.
Credit card
A payment card enabling the holder to make purchases and to draw cash up to a pre-arranged ceiling.  The credit granted can be settled in full by the end of a specified period or can be settled in part, in which case interest is normally charged.
Credit card cheque
A cheque drawn against a credit card account that gives cardholders another way of accessing funds - up to their credit limit - usually to make transactions where credit cards are not accepted. Interest is normally charged from the transaction date. Credit card cheques are available upon request up to a maximum of three at any one time.
Credit history
A partial profile of how an individual has paid credit accounts in the past, given within a particular time frame (usually measured in years). It is used as a guide to determine whether or not the applicant is likely to pay future accounts on time, and is used by credit card issuers to decide whether to provide customers with a credit card, and as a guide to set the credit limit on a credit card account (see also Credit record).
Credit limit
The maximum amount of credit issued by a lender. Under some circumstances, a credit card issuer may increase or decrease a credit limit. Where card issuers seek to increase cardholders’ limits cardholders have 30 days to consider the offer and decide whether to decline the increase.
Credit rating
A rating used by banks and other financial institutions making loans, which is used to judge an individual or company's creditworthiness. Credit reference agencies provide credit data to financial institutions that use these data, along with other information about customers, to give points based on how they compare to people who pay their bills and repay loans on time.
Credit record
The information held about a cardholder by a credit reference agency concerning that cardholder's financial status (see also Credit history).
Credit risk
The likelihood of a consumer to pay back an outstanding debt.
Credit score
This score calculates how well a person or business has handled debt. The higher the number (or score) the better. There are a variety of credit scores using different formulas; what they have in common is that they judge risk and try to predict future behaviour. Factors such as employment, income, credit lines outstanding, debt to income ratio, past payment behaviour factor in to a person's credit score.
Creditworthiness
A measure of a consumer's past credit behaviour that allows a potential lender to decide whether or not to extend credit to that consumer.
CSC (Card security code)
The last three digits of the number printed on the reverse of the card (usually found on the signature strip). In the case of an American Express card, it will be four digits on the front of the card.
CVM (Cardholder verification method)
The means by which the presenter of the card may be identified as the genuine holder.
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