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PAN Prefix: The PAN is the primary account number issued by MasterCard, Visa or ANSI. The PAN prefix identifies a member’s card base, which allows for transactions and other exchanges.

PDF File: Created by Adobe, the PDF format is a secure document format that is commonly used to relay information over the Internet, especially financial documents. A free reader for accessing PDF files is available on Adobe’s website.

PIN (Personal Identification Number): A number or code chosen and used by a cardholder to identify card ownership. This number is necessary for using debit cards at POS terminals and for accessing funds via an ATM.

PIN Authorization Request: The issuer requests to authorize a cardholder’s PIN number via a PIN authorization request, which compares the PIN given by a cardholder to account numbers of that cardholder.

PIN Pad: A pad that allows a PIN to be input at a POS, ATM or other STAR terminal.

PIN Verification: The procedure used to verify a correct PIN number on the part of a STAR cardholder, initiated by an issuer participant to approve a transaction request.

PIN-Less Utility Bill Payment Transaction: A transaction in which a utility bill is paid by a STAR cardholder using a STAR POS, but without the use of a PIN.

POB Interchange Fee: A fee that the issuer member pays an acquirer member for a STAR POB transaction. POB interchange fees may occasionally change in the STAR network.

POS Terminal: A point of sale device which connects to an authorization service provider or a bank’s system to authorize and forward electronic data to complete a sale. POS terminals usually connect through standard telephone lines.

POS2000: A specialized tracking system and client database which regularly updates to CreditCardProcessing.com.

Packet: A group of digital information sent over the Internet or a private network. Packets can contain various data, but always include an incoming and outgoing IP address.

Paper: In banking, another term for media. See “media” for more information.

Paper/Voice: A non-electronic method of bankcard processing in which the merchant must contact the authorization center via phone to approve each individual credit card transaction. Sales slips must then be physically mailed in to CreditCardProcessing.com.

Pass Through: Transactions which are processed and recorded for statements but not funded through CreditCardProcessing.com, commonly transactions from closed system credit providers such as American Express.

Payment System: Procedures and instructions for transferring funds, settling sales and other aspects related to the trade of goods and services.

Physically Secure Device: Hardware which is heavily resistant to physical tampering. Physically secure devices include any systems that hold cryptographic key information which might be targets for physical abuse.

Pick-Up Card: A specific response to an authorization request that asks for a card to be confiscated by the merchant, usually issued in cases where fraud or card theft is likely.

Point of Banking (POB): Clerk-operated devices where POB transactions are initialized.

Point of Sale (POS): The physical location where a merchant sells a good or service to a customer.

Point-of-Sale Terminal (POS Terminal): A non-cash dispensing terminal located at a merchant’s point of sale which allows a customer to complete a transaction. A POS terminal is separate from a STAR Internet Device.

POS Interchange Fee (PIF): An acquirer member pays a POS interchange fee to an issuer member for each POS purchase or preauthorization completion transaction at a STAR merchant made by a STAR cardholder.

Point-of-Sale System: A complete system which transmits cardholder data to an authorization center, reporting activity and receiving an authorization in the process which allows the transaction to be completed. Point-of-sale systems have a variety of different features, including data logging and transaction tracking.

Positive File: Lists the balance and credit for an active cardholder; inactive cardholder accounts are not included. Other active cardholder information, however, may be included in a positive file.

Posting: A credit or debit is posted when it has been officially recorded in a cardholder’s account.

Presentment: An acquirer presents transactions to an issuer for reimbursement, which is known as presentment. Presentment usually occurs on a daily basis.

Primary Account Number (PAN): A number issued to STAR cardholder accounts to identify a bankcard. A PAN is encoded into the magnetic stripe of a card and ranges between twelve and nineteen digits.

Principal Member: A financial institution which is involved as an issuing or acquiring member of a credit card company. This term is used exclusively by MasterCard International.

Private Label: A proprietary card issued by a retailer, not to be confused with a bankcard. Private label cards are only accepted at a single store, chain or franchise.

Private Key: See “Encryption.” A private key generates a digital signature for data encryption and is an important tool in ensuring the security of financial data.

Processing Date: The first date on a transmittal summary and draft for a transaction stamped by a processor or electronically listed on the 603 transmission header record.

Processor: An organization that is connected to VISANet and or Banknet and provides authorization and/or clearing and settlement services on behalf of a member.

Proprietary Card: A card that is issued solely by a single financial institution to its customers for access to a deposit or a credit account.

Protocol: Standardized rules used in computer communications.

Public Key: A key which verifies a digital signature in PKI and which enables data decryption for a private key holder. See “encryption” for more information.

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI): PKI is a complex system involving policies, computer systems, and guidelines that provide for the safe and secure handling of public and private keys for the encryption and decryption of data. Encryption allows for much safer handling of financial data and is required by financial institutions and by federal and state law for receiving delicate financial information through the Internet.

Purchasing Card: A card which allows businesses and their employees to control small purchases. Purchasing cards generally have reduced administrative costs.