Glossary: Payment Processing Terminology
Acquirer- the bank or financial institution that accepts credit and or debit card payments for products or services on behalf of a merchant. The merchant account contract is held with the acquirer.
Basis point- unit that is equal to 1/100th of a percentage point. Basis points are used in the credit card processing industry to denote a rate change, or the difference (spread) between two interest rates. This is partially due to the large effect of small changes. For example 10 basis points = .001 or .1%.
CenPOS- a universal payment processing platform which uses a proprietary smart virtual terminal and gateway at it’s core.
EMV – EMV is a global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on chip card technology. EMV comes from the initial letters of Europay, MasterCard and VISA, the three companies which originally cooperated to develop the standard for interoperation of IC cards (“Chip cards”) and IC capable POS terminals and ATM’s, for authenticating credit and debit card payments. CLICK long version EMV definition
EMV chip-based payment cards, also known as smart cards, contain an embedded microprocessor, a type of small computer. The microprocessor chip contains the information needed to use the card for payment, and is protected by various security features.
Interchange is a term used to describe the portion of fees a merchant pays to their credit card processor processor, which the processor MUST pay to the customer card issuer. Interchange consists of a percentage of the sale and a per transaction fee, and dues and assessments. There is no exception- everyone pays these. Since 2009, there has been a plethora of new mandatory fees to process credit card transactions if the merchant is on wholesale pricing aka interchange plus. These additional fixed fees such as NABU fees are not technically interchange.
Interchange Optimization: A process that edits each transaction and enriches the data elements to ensure that each transaction qualifies for the lowest rate possible for any given card and transaction type.
Least Cost Routing: Least cost routing in the payment processing world is processing any given type of payment via the route that will result in the lowest cost to the merchant. The system must identify the card issuing bank and dynamically make intelligent decisions to route the transaction.
NFC or Near field communication allows for simplified transactions, data exchange, and wireless connections between two devices in close proximity to each other, usually by no more than a few centimeters. For payments, the customer device, usually a mobile phone, is placed near or waved at the merchant receiving device to make the payment.
Pin-less debit - online debit transactions that are processed via EFT networks ie STAR, PULSE etc. Only select industries may qualify for pinless debit rates