Merchant Academy....


We believe in the notion that education is power. We provide this information so you can make an informed decision about the services you require for your business.

Glossary of Merchant Services Terms



When a credit card cannot swiped through a terminal, it is necessary to obtain an emboss of the card by using a manual imprinter.


Interchange Network

An electronic network maintained by Discover®, MasterCard®, American Express, or VISA® that exchanges data relating to the value of card sales and credits among Issuers and Acquirers.


Interchange Fees

Fees generally collected from Acquirers on the value of their card sales and paid to Issuers.



Any Discover®, MasterCard® American Express or VISA® member, or a commercial organization that establishes and maintains customer credit lines that are accessed through the use of a card. (Public and private companies and financial institutions that offer card-accessed lines of credit to consumers and businesses.)


Magnetic stripe reading

When the credit card is swiped through the terminal to record the card information. Obtaining a magnetic strip reading proves the card's presence at the time of a transaction.



A registered mark for MasterCard International, Inc.MATCHA shared database maintained by the Card Associations that lists all Sellers terminated for cause by Acquirers.


MCC or MCC Codes

Special numbers assigned by the Card Associations to Seller types for identification and tracking purposes. MasterCard® uses MCC (Seller Category Code), while VISA® uses SIC (Standard Industry Codes).


Payment Gateway

An Internet-based service that transports credit card information from a computer terminal or Web site to a credit card processor, where it can be verified.


Quasi-cash purchase

A transaction representing sale of items that are directly convertible to cash such as money orders and travelers cheques.

Re-presentmentThe re-submission by an Acquirer of a previously charged back sale in an attempt to re-charge the Cardholder. Chargebacks requires some form of additional documentation confirming the validity of the charge and disputing the chargeback reason.


Retrieval Request

A retrieval request occurs when your customer requests more information about a transaction that appears on his or her credit card statement.


Return Policy

The merchant's limitations and/or requirements on accepting returned merchandise.


Sales Draft

The paper or electronic evidence of a purchase.


Secure Payment Page

A secure payment page assures customers that their payment information is encrypted for privacy and data integrity before it's sent over the Internet. This page is typically identified by the "s" in https:// (instead of http://). Payment gateway providers make this necessary e-commerce link possible by hosting the payment gateway software and individual secure payment pages on their own servers.



A fraud prevention tool, MasterCard Issuers confirm consumers' identities in real time during transactions at participating merchant sites. When the consumer clicks "buy" at checkout, software installed on the merchant server recognizes registered MasterCards and an authentication screen appears in the consumer's browser. The consumer enters his/her password and the password is verified.


Seller or Online Seller

An individual or business that sells products or services and is capable of accepting payment for products and services via a Seller account.


Seller Account or Online Seller Account

The bank account a Seller identifies as the sole account from which monthly and/or transaction fees are debited.


Seller Bank

(Acquirer or Processor) The financial institution with which a Seller contracts to accept credit cards for payment of goods and services.


Seller Fees or Fees

Sellers are charged several types of fees for screening and processing online payments. Fees for products and services include, but are not limited to costs for the following:


  • Monthly Online Seller Account

  • Discount rate

  • Per item charges for credit card and electronic check transactions

  • Chargebacks.



The process of transferring funds for sales and credits between Acquirers and Issuers, including the final debiting of a Cardholder's account and crediting a Seller's account.


SIC or Standard Industry Codes

Special numbers assigned by the Card Associations to Seller types for identification and tracking purposes. MasterCard® uses MCC (Seller Category Code), while VISA® uses SIC (Standard Industry Codes).



An act between a Seller and a Cardholder that results in either a paper or an electronic representation of the Cardholder's promise to pay for goods or services received from the act.


Unauthorized Transaction

Any sale for which a Cardholder does not provide his/her specific authorization (This should not be confused with the failure to receive an authorization response from the Issuer.)



A registered mark for Visa U.S.A., Inc and Visa International, Inc.



Learn more by clicking through our Merchant Academy articles here:  


What is Interchange Pricing?                                What is Interchange-Plus Pricing?                        What is Tiered Pricing?

What are the Pitfalls?

Glossary of Terms Pt.1                                    PCI/DSS What is it?

What is a Merchant Account?

Graduation Tassle