Address Verification System (AVS): a system for verifying that a quoted billing address is the same as the one held by the card issuer.
Acquirer: a bank or credit card company providing an internet merchant account, which is needed for an e-commerce business to accept credit and debit cards.
Authorisation: permission from the card issuer that the transaction can be completed.
Basket: software which collects selected items and lists them before the customer finalises the transaction.
Capture: the process of gathering and verifying information from the cardholder during a transaction.
Cardholder: the person or organisation holding a valid credit or debit card and authorised to make purchases using the card.
Card issuer: a financial organisation, usually a bank, which provides credit or debit cards to individuals or businesses, and which pays merchants on behalf of the cardholder after the appropriate authorisation.
Card Verification Value (CVV)/Card Verification Code (CVC): the three-digit security code on the signature strip of most credit and debit cards.
Credit card: a means of payment through which purchases can be made – the cardholder has a legal obligation to pay the card issuer both the amount paid to the merchant and any interest.
Debit card: a means of payment through which funds are taken from the cardholder’s bank account as soon as the transaction is completed.
Digital certificate: an identification system which encrypts information sent over the internet and which verifies the identities of the sender and recipient.
Digital signature: a unique electronic identifier which is generated during a transaction and which authenticates both the sender and recipient.
Electronic funds transfer: the method through which money is transferred between bank accounts, and also credit/debit card payments.
Encryption: a process through which an internet communication such as an email or online order is scrambled so that it can be read only by relevant parties to the transaction.
Internet merchant account: an account provided by a financial organisation, such as a bank, to allow a merchant to accept payment by credit and debit cards.
Merchant identification number: a code identifying a merchant during an online transaction.
M-commerce: wireless e-commerce using mobile devices such as smartphones.
Merchant: a business that sells products or services online.
Micropayments: a system of making very small payment amounts using mobile phone accounts and certain specialised payment processing systems.
Payment Authentication Service: a system used by MasterCard and Visa providing an additional layer of secure authentication by a cardholder directly to the card issuer.
Processing bank: a financial organisation that processes a credit or debit card transaction.
Real-time payment: a credit or debit card transaction that is processed as soon as the purchase has been authorised.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL): an encryption system used to protect confidential data sent between a merchant and buyer.
Settlement: the process through which the acquirer credits the internet merchant account with the purchase amount, and the card issuer pays the acquirer and debits the card holder.
Shopping cart: software that displays information about products or services in an e-commerce store, and which enables customers to select purchases by sending them to a basket.
Transaction: the process of confirming an online order, including acceptance of prices by the buyer, provision of credit/debit card information, and authorisation of payment.
Transaction fee: the amount charged by a card issuer to the merchant for each transaction.