E-commerce Terminology

 

A

Acquiring Bank
The providers of a Merchant banking facility. This account is necessary to settle transactions into the Merchant’s business bank account.

American Express
American Express is a Card Scheme like Visa and MasterCard. In order to process these cards please contact American Express directly to obtain a merchant account.

API
An Application Programming Interface is a particular set of rules and specifications that software programs can follow to communicate with each other.

Authorisation Fee
A charge in pence that the acquirer will charge per transaction. They typically range from 2-30p.

AVS
An address verification service that checks the Cardholder’s address and postcode.


B

Blended Rates
The most prominent pricing system. Similar card groups (for example business cards) are merged and charged at a consistent price. This is a simpler pricing scheme, but profits may alter.


C

Callback
The callback is the URL used to process payment responses that are displayed to the Cardholder.

Chargeback
When a Cardholder disputes that a transaction attempt was authorised by themselves, the acquiring bank must retrieve the funds from the business bank. This comes at a charge as it could be associated with fraud.

CV2/CVV
Card verification codes or card verification values are three digit numbers printed on the back of debit and credit cards and are used to check that the card is physically in the possession of the Cardholder.


D

Direct Integration
The full payment process is dealt with on the Merchant’s website (complete with a secure certificate). Direct integration is more complex than the hosted form method, but it does mean that the entire shopping process can occur within the Merchant’s website, providing a more seamless experience for the Cardholder.

Domestic
Transactions in which the Merchant is in the same country as the Cardholder.


E

E-wallet
An electronic wallet is an encrypted storage medium which holds credit card and other financial information that can be used to complete transactions.

ECOM
ECOM, short for E-Commerce , relates to the type of Merchant accounts which are used to process payment methods that are taken online. Cardstream’s Pay Button and Payment Gateway services are ways in which payments may be taken in this way.


H

Hosted Form
With the Hosted Form method the Cardholder is passed to the Cardstream gateway where they can securely enter their card details and receive a transaction response before being redirected back to the Merchant’s website.

HTTPS
Hypertext Transfer Protocol over a Secure Socket Layer indicates that the connection between client and browser is secure.


I

Iframe
An iframe (short for inline frame) is an HTML element that allows an external webpage to be embedded in an HTML document. Unlike traditional frames, which were used to create the structure of a webpage, iframes can be inserted anywhere within a webpage layout.

Inter
Transactions which do not qualify for Domestic or Intra. The Cardholder is attempting to pay from outside of the Eurozone.

Interchange
The fees that Visa and MasterCard charge the acquirer per transaction.

Interchange +
The fees that Visa and MasterCard charge the acquirer per transaction plus the margin added for acquirer gain.

Interchange ++
The fees that Visa and MasterCard charge the acquirer per transaction plus the margin added for acquirer gain, it also includes the Scheme Fees too.

Intra
Transactions which don’t qualify for domestic, however both the Cardholder and the Merchant are within Europe.


K

KYC
Know Your Customer are the checks acquiring banks do to verify the identity of the Merchant.


M

MasterCard Fees
In order for the Merchant account facility to be in place costs are associated with processing transactions for providing such a facility. This is usually a percentage charge decided by an evaluation of the business. This fee relates to MasterCard debit and credit fees.

Merchant
A limited trading company, sole trader, charity or public sector group that offers services or goods in exchange for currency.

Merchant Account Fees/ Minimum Monthly Processing
To ensure the Merchant acquiring bank facility processes sufficiently adequate traffic, the acquirer may put in place a merchant account fee. If the total charges for the month don’t equal value ‘x’, then this value will be charged.

MID
Stands for Merchant Account ID. This is the number given to identify a Merchant account. It is necessary for the Merchant to keep this number as they use it to refer to their account in future. This number is unique to each acquirer and may contain both alpha and numeric characters.

M-commerce (Mobile commerce)
Mobile commerce refers to transactions that are made or facilitated using mobile devices.

MOTO
Mail Order Telephone Order or CNP/Card Not Present transactions. A type of Merchant account that facilitates payments that typically occur over the phone. The MOTO transactions may be processed via Cardstream’s Virtual Terminal.


P

Pay Button
The Pay Button function gives the user the ability to create an HTML link that can be embedded into HTML content (e.g. a website or HTML email). When clicked, it will allow a payment to be taken via the hosted form that will be pre-populated with the data specified when creating the link.

Payment Gateway
A website page in which the Cardholder enters their card details and any other requested fields in line with the Card Scheme’s mandates. This usually includes address and postcode checking (AVS), checking of the CV2/CVV (3 digits on back of the card) and any other fields the Merchant should supply.

PCI DSS
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard –The auditing body that dictates how card details should be handled and how payment facilitators operate technologically. An acquiring bank will charge a monthly fee to perform all required checks and maintenance to ensure the Merchants payment facility adheres to the relevant standard.

PSP
A payment service provider provides the secure link between the Merchant’s website and the merchant account to ensure the transaction remains secure. Cardstream are a PSP.


R

Redirect
The redirect is the URL the Cardholder is sent to after the payment has been taken.

Refund
If a Cardholder is dissatisfied with their service or goods purchased, they may ask to be reimbursed the money that they have spent on the product. Acquirers will often charge a small amount to remove the funds from the Merchant’s business bank.

Reserve
An acquirer may consider the business is a risky venture and will therefore take an upfront deposit.

Rolling Reserve
An acquirer may consider the business is a risky venture. They could put in place a set percentage of the company’s processing per month for a set number of days as security.


S

Scheme Fees
An additional fee the acquirers are charged from the relative scheme fees. A pence per transaction rate.

Settlement
The process of moving funds from one account to another. This occurs during a settlement period and is usually takes 3-5 working days. Exceptions to these time parameters can be made upon request, although the business should fit a certain criteria.

Set-up Fee
When setting up a merchant account, this requires administration, credit checking and various other application processing tasks. The acquirer will introduce a fee to cover the cost of labour. They may choose to waive this, but it is at their discretion.

Shopping Cart
Shopping cart software creates an online shopping basket for an ecommerce website, and must be used in addition to a payment processing platform.


T

Tokenisation
Tokenisation is a process which divides input text into units called tokens of different types, e.g. words, numbers and punctuation.


U

Underwriting
All applications that go through all acquirers go through their own underwriting team. Here an assessment of the business model is made. Each underwriting team have criteria that must be met before the Merchant can be permitted to use their facilities – the acquirer is essentially analysing risk. A decline here means the application fails and may be terminated entirely.


V

Velocity checks
A velocity check is a fraud protection tool that enables Merchants to be notified of suspicious activity on their account.

Visa Fees
In order for the Merchant account facility to be in place, costs are associated with processing transactions for providing such a facility. This is usually a percentage charge decided by an evaluation of the business. This fee relates to Visa Debit and Credit fees.

Virtual Terminal
Also known as MOTO, the Virtual Terminal allows you to receive orders via telephone, fax or by mail order.