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CARDnet®: The FDC’s draft capture and authorization network. CARDnet® and the North Platform are the same network.

CTMF: A common abbreviation for Combined Terminated Merchant File.

Call Center: Any area which makes and receives telephone calls within a business or other organization. Call centers can be complex separate facilities from a normal business or may physically reside in a building that houses other departments of an organization. But in most instances, referring to a call center indicates a more complex facility with a capability for handling an immense number of outgoing and incoming phone calls as well as phone-related services.

Cancellation Number: A number that verifies the cancellation of a deposit, purchase or reservation. Most commonly used in the hotel/motel industry and in other industries which hold reservations.

Capture: The conversion process which creates a billable transaction record from an authorization amount. There are limitations on captures, notably that a capture cannot occur until goods and services have been delivered to a customer.

Capture Date: The calendar date on which a transaction was captured.

Card Base: All of the cardholders associated with an account. This is commonly used to describe card users in a single family.

Card Issuer: The entity which issues a card to a cardholder. Card issues authorize bankcards to be issued to consumers, businesses and other organizations while retaining the control and liability of the card’s use. Card issuers also issue personal identification numbers.

Card Prefix: A synonym for PAN prefix.

Card Swipe Authentication Program: A new authentication programs in which account holders can initiate Internet transactions with a PIN number and a STAR Card. This authentication program allows an easy and efficient means of card authentication.

Card Verification Code (CVC): The three-digit code on the back of a MasterCard, used for authentication purposes. Other bankcard companies may provide verification codes with a different number of digits or the same number of digits.

Card Verification Value (CVV): A value encoded on a Visa’s magnetic strip or the three-digit code on the back of a Visa, also known as CVV2. Used to authenticate a bankcard during a purchase.

Cardholder: Any person who legally holds and uses a bankcard issued by a financial institution.

Cardholder Bank: A bank which issues a credit or debit card to an individual or other entity.

Cardholder Dispute: Another term for a chargeback. See “chargeback” for more information.

Cash Advance: Cash that can be advanced to a bankcard holder, usually through an ATM or a bank. A cash advance counts against the line of credit of the cardholder and may carry heavier charges or interest rates than a standard purchase.

Cash Back: A feature on bankcards that returns a portion of the cost of a purchase to a cardholder.

Cash Bank: Any purchase with a greater total amount than the cost of products or services by a cardholder. The cardholder receives money back from the transaction as a result of overpaying.

Certificate Authority (CA): An organization or business which establishes the validity of private keys and digital signatures on a website or within a data packet and issues a certificate. Certificate authorities play an important role in establishing the security of financial websites and in reducing fraudulent charges or hacking.

Certification: Awarded to a member or a processor after its interface to a STAR switch has been successfully tested, indicating that all technical specifications have been met. Transactions can only be processed after certification has been obtained.

Chain: Refers to all of a merchant’s locations. These locations are typically managed by the merchant who owns them.

Chained Transaction: The second STAR transaction after a successfully completed initial transaction, as well as each additional transaction immediately following the first. Chained transactions are initiated by the cardholder.

Charge Per Transaction: A fee assessed on an authorized transaction. A charge per transaction is instated to cover the costs of a transaction’s authorization.

Chargeback: The act of challenging a transaction. A cardholder initiates a chargeback through a merchant bank, at which point the chargeback may go to arbitration in order to be resolved.

Chargeback Period: A set period in which a chargeback can be initiated. Chargeback periods vary by type of transaction. Most chargeback periods are somewhere around 45-180 calendar days.

Chargeback Reason Code: A code used by a credit card company to indicate the reason for chargeback. Chargeback reason codes are not the same from one credit card company to the next.

Chargeback Reference Number: A special 10-digit number used in chargebacks to reference an individual chargeback. Each 10-digit code consists of an identifying number for the issuer and several unique digits, which may be refreshed every 12-month period and applied to new chargebacks.

Check Card: Another term for a debit card. This allows access to a checking account or another asset account. Check cards can generally be used in the same manner as credit cards, except the limit on the card is the balance of the cardholder’s account rather than a line of credit.

Check Guarantee: A guarantee from a third-party entity on a check payment from a customer. Merchants must follow certain authorization procedures in order for a check guarantee to apply, and other stipulations may exist.

Check Verification: A service which verifies that a customer has no outstanding check complaints. The service can be used by merchants and connects to a national database to find negative files. A check verification system reduces the chances of nonpayment but does not guarantee payment.

Check and List Payment: A form of processing that is completely paper-based. Billers receive a single check with multiple payments. This is normally accompanied by a list of represented payments.

Checks By Phone (?): A specialized system in which customers can relay check information for processing to a merchant. When a check by phone is processed, an electronic check is usually created for payment.

Chip: A small semiconductor used in computers and other electrical products.

Chip Card: Another term for Smart Card.

Clearing: The successful exchange of transaction details between a card issuer and an acquirer.

Clearing Account: The account that receives a member’s debit or credit for a settlement. Clearing accounts are held by a clearing bank.

Clearing Bank: A bank which handles transfers between a member and a net settlement bank and holds the clearing account of the member. The clearing bank also handles the member’s net settlement advisement.

Client Reference Number: A unique number which allows for various types of transactions, including electronic cash register, direct solutions and electronic draft capture. Client reference numbers are issued by CreditCardProcessing.com.

Closed System: A specialized credit card system which differs greatly from systems like Visa and MasterCard, as the organization which issues bankcards is the same organization which acquires merchants. American Express and Discover are probably the best known closed systems.

Co-Branded Card: Bank cards issued by a merchant and a member bank. Co-branded cards get their name from the dual brands shown on the card.

Compliance: A procedure in which a challenging member provides proof of financial loss due to violation of a credit card company’s rules. It differs from a chargeback in that no chargeback reason code is used. Compliance is used as a procedure by visa and MasterCard.

Concentrator: A bank, credit union, third-party provider or another institution which handles payment data and remittance data for a customer.

Confirmation Number: A number that guarantees a reservation. Typically used in industries associated with reservations, including the hotel industry.

Congestion: In computing, a condition in which traffic overloads a communication path’s capacity for bandwidth. Congestion results in poor website performance and/or complete inaccessibility.

Consolidated Adjustment System (CAS): A system for accessing the STAR Northeast Switch Platform, used by members to contact directory information and to access or submit exception items.

Consolidator: A BSP or bill service provider which presents a consolidated group of bills to a customer service provider. Consolidators collect bills, which can allow for easier presentation for customers.

Convenience Fee: Fees charged to a STAR Cardholder for certain STAR transactions at an acquirer member’s eligible terminal. Convenience fees refer specifically to fees from an acquirer member to a STAR cardholder. Other fees such as fees from an interbank sending member to a STAR account holder are not considered to be convenience fees.

Convenience User: A term used to describe a cardholder who pays his or her balance in full on or before each payment due date.

Corporate Card: Another term for a business card. Corporate cards are issued to a company’s employees.

Correspondent Bank: A bank which provides various banking services for other banks. Correspondent banks are often used to accept deposits and are commonly used by banks across the United States.

Counterfeit Card: A fraudulent card. Many methods exist for creating counterfeit cards. In some cases, working or expired cards are fraudulently re-printed to create a counterfeit card, and in other cases the plastic itself is remolded to create the counterfeit. Counterfeit cards have not been authorized by a credit card company.

Credit Account: Any account in which a line of credit is advanced for purchases or cash. Credit accounts usually have a set interest rate and a set of terms related to the payback of the credited sum.

Credit Card: A plastic card linked to a credit account used for purchases and cash advances. Credit cards are a type of bankcard but differ from debit cards, which are typically linked to the card holder’s checking account.

Credit Deposit: Another term for a deposit credit. A credit deposit is a credit to a merchant’s bank account after the merchant’s sales slips are purchased by an acquiring bank. Deposits are credited with a credit deposit, but not actually funded until the issuer settles with the acquiring bank and presents an equivalent monetary value.

Credit Item: Any exception or transaction which increases a deposit account. A credit item also decreases a credit account simultaneously.

Credit Limit: A limit on the amount a credit holder can owe. Credit limits can increase or decrease depending on the cardholder’s activities.

Credit Loss: An amount lost on account as a direct result of a cardholder’s failure to repay an owed amount.

Credit Scoring: A system for assessing a credit applicant’s ability to maintain a line of credit. It affects whether an applicant will be accepted for credit as well as the applicant’s credit line.

Credit Transaction: A transaction initiated by a cardholder which decreases the available credit of the cardholder’s account. The account holder must pay back the credit transaction as per the card agreement.

Current Risk: A monthly projection of risk exposure calculated from the processing volumes of the previous months.

Customer Consolidation: A form of electronic bill presentment and payment in which a customer is emailed a bill along with payment instructions, often including a direct link to a payment mechanism. Customer consolidation is one of four electronic bill presentment and payment models.

Cyberspace: Another term for the Internet.

Cycle: A group of cardholder accounts. Allows for better efficiency and easier identification.

Cycle Billing: Refers to the organization of monthly cardholder statements by group. It allows for better efficiency and easier receipt of payments.

Cycle Period: The period of time in which transactions are accumulated on bankcards for billing.