Term Definition
Cancellation Code

A code issued by a merchant to confirm a cardholder’s cancellation of a hotel or car rental reservation Cancellation codes ensure the cardholder does not incur a charge on their account.


The systematized process of accepting and submitting real-time card transactions from merchants to credit card processors or merchant account providers Merchants use Point of Sale (POS) terminals or real-time software to initiate the process. Card Processors and merchant account providers process and settle the transactions.

Capture Only

A credit card transaction request to capture previously authorized funds that were not approved by the payment gateway Merchants typically use a telephone authorization to submit a previously assigned authorization code from an issuing bank.

Card Associations (The Brands)

The governance entities that oversee credit card activities on payment transactions The Card Associations include credit card issuers Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.

Card Code (Cardholder Verification Value or CVV2)

The three or four-digit security code that is not embossed on a credit card and validates the customer’s known information on file On a Visa or MasterCard card, the code is printed on the back of the card. On an American Express card, the code is printed on the front of the card.

Card Code Status

A process used by Card Processors to verify that the customer’s billing information matches the cardholder’s information The customer’s billing information must match the Card Association’s data for the cardholder. In addition to the billing address, other data that is verified includes the credit card number and the Card Code.

Card Not Present (CNP)

A card transaction made when the physical card is not being used to make the purchase CNP transactions typically apply to telephone orders, mail orders, and Internet transactions at e-Commerce websites. CNP also applies to telephone and mail orders at a merchant’s brick and mortar locations.

Card Present (CP)

A card transaction made when the physical card is being used to make the purchase CP transactions are usually made at a merchant’s brick and mortar locations. CP does not apply to e-Commerce transactions.

Card Reader (Magnetic Stripe Reader)

A terminal that permits the payment information stored on a card’s magnetic stripe or chip to be read and transmitted to the Card Processor A Card Reader is used to process transactions made by debit cards, credit cards, and stored-value cards.


The customer to whom the card was issued or an authorized user of the customer.

Cardholder Authentication Programs

Security processes that protect merchant transactions by verifying the cardholder’s identity Card Holder Authentication Programs were created by Visa and MasterCard to protect cardholders, issuing banks, and card processors. Bankcard Associations Visa and MasterCard offer merchants a Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode™ to help reduce losses due to chargebacks and returns.

Cardholder Dispute

A cardholder’s claim to their issuing bank of an unauthorized charge on their card Disputes apply to any claim made by a cardholder.

Cash Disbursement

Receiving cash from a debit or credit transaction at an ATM or branch Cash disbursements include cash receipts from a member financial institution or an approved agent of a member financial institution. Traveler’s checks are a cash equivalent.


An issuing bank’s claim when a cardholder challenges a transaction’s authorization or authenticity Typical cardholder disputes include denial of the purchase, issues with product delivery or product quality, and objections about marketing claims. The high-level chargeback process is described below. Cardholders are allowed to file a chargeback up to 60 days after the transaction date. The cardholder’s issuing bank notifies the merchant. The merchant is responsible for defending the transaction.

Chargeback Representment

The merchant’s response to a chargeback claim Merchants must produce the following documents to defend a chargeback: an invoice or folio shipping documents shipping address used for authorization in the Address Verification System (AVS) customer’s signature.

Chargeback Reason Code

A specific code that describes the reason for the chargeback Chargeback Reason Codes are provided to the merchant by the issuing bank.

Check 21

A shortened term for the Federal Reserve Bank law “Check Truncation Act of the 21st Century” Check 21 permits merchants to submit a customer’s check or bank account information for electronic payment. This law eliminates the need for merchants to process paper checks.

Check Verification

A security process that compares an electronic check against a high-risk or bad check database.


The process that acquirers and issuers use to facilitate posting a transaction and reconciling a settlement position of a cardholder’s account by exchanging financial transaction information.

Cobranded Card

A jointly issued credit card bearing a merchant’s brand and a member bank or licensed third party.

Commerce Server

A server with software that processes customer orders on the Internet Examples include online shopping carts, online payments, inventory databases, customer log-ins, etc.

Corporate Card

A company-issued credit card for use by an employee Companies, not employees, are liable for the misuse or abuse of a corporate card.

Credit Card

A payment card used to make purchases for goods and services and/or receive cash advances Issuing banks issue credit cards to qualified cardholders and the cardholder’s authorized users. Cardholders are billed monthly. Payments on credit cards must be made according to the contractual terms. Some credit cards must be paid in full each month. Other credit cards require installment payments or minimum monthly payments. Issuing banks charge monthly interest on unpaid credit card balances. Issuing banks receive fees from merchants for processing credit card transactions. Some issuing banks charge cardholders for membership or annual fees.

Credit Card Number

The account number an issuing bank or credit card association assigns to a cardholder A merchant requires the credit card number in order to accept a credit card for payment of goods and services.

Credit Card Processors (Third-party Processors)

Entities that process credit card transactions and handle the processing details for issuing banks, merchant account providers, and merchants To engage the services of a Credit Card Processor, an online merchant must first establish a merchant account with the processor.

Currency Conversion

The process that converts the transaction currency into the settlement currency or the issuer’s currency so that the transaction may be accurately authorized, cleared, settled, and reported. Acquirers determine the currency of the transaction. The issuer prefers using its own currency. The cardholder is usually billed in the currency defined by the issuer.

Customer IP Address

Denotes a customer’s Internet Protocol (IP) Web browser address or the IP address of the payment gateway where a transaction was submitted