Simpler Smarter Savings


SNA: A protocol with a terminal-to-mainframe type connection used for communication technologies.

Sales Draft: Synonyms include hard copy, charge slip or sales slip. A sales draft provides paper documentation of any transaction, especially card transactions when used in respect to the STAR network.

Savings Account: A deposit transaction account which differs from a checking account in that an issuer member doesn’t have to immediately pay when an order to pay has been properly presented.

Secret: Any code, data or password known to an account holder and an authenticator which is associated with encoded or private data. Includes private keys issued to STAR account holders, which can be used to decrypt documents and data with an associated digital signature or public key. See “encryption” for more information.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL): A very common security protocol used for enhanced privacy and security. SSL allows for end point authentication of Internet transactions. SSL prevents hacking and eavesdropping, allowing for better customer security. Customers are typically advised to avoid inputting financial data or passwords into sites that do not follow the SSL protocol, which is evidenced by a small lock icon in the corner of a browser window.

Security: The process or the area of CreditCardProcessing.com carrying out the process of security monitoring. The main goal of security is to reduce the potential for fraud via various means of monitoring and by observing recognized security protocols and regulations.

Security Compliance Review: A specialized review which ensures compliance with a variety of security protocols. This review is based on an approved checklist and is performed by an approved auditor to verify appropriate compliance.

Security Compliance Statement: Signifies the completion of an ANS X9/TG-3 PIN security compliance review. This statement is completed by an approved auditor or a compliance officer and ensures that the items listed in the review have been answered correctly.

Service Entitlement Number (SE NUMBER): A number used to process common cards, including American Express, Discover, JCB and Diner’s Club cards.

Service Fee: A fee paid by an acquirer member to STAR for each STAR transaction not appropriately sent through a STAR switch in accordance with STAR rules and regulations.

Settlement: A process which occurs when data or funds are exchanged between an issuer and an acquiring bank during the purchase and sale of a sales ticket.

Settlement Statement: Issued to a merchant, this document shows all credit and sales activity as well as other transactions affecting a settlement during a week, month or another set time period.

Shopping Cart Software: Specialized software that allows a website to have a virtual shopping basket, which keeps track of a customer’s prospective purchases while directing that customer through a virtual storefront, enabling multiple purchases to be made in one browsing session. This allows for easier bulk purchasing for customers and generally creates a better user experience, leading to more sales for the merchant.

Singleton: A single-location merchant operation. Usually a singleton has no plans to start a franchise or chain.

Slug: Another term for a Merchant Station Plate.

Smart Card: A bankcard with a built-in computer chip. Computer chips are capable of storing more information than a magnetic stripe and can provide enhanced security among other benefits.

Soft Decline: A decline on a card transaction due to the card exceeding its credit line, rather than a decline due to suspected fraud or attempted use of a lost or stolen card.

Split Dial/Capture: A process enabling authorization terminals to connect with card processors with different processing centers for easier authorization and electronic draft capture.

Split Dial Authorization: Refers to the authorization process of a split dial device, which directly dials individual card processors for authorization on transactions.

Split Knowledge: A single key split among two or more parties. This allows for less chance of key theft, as the key is useless for individual members and can only provide data decryption when all parts of the key are combined.

Sponsor: A STAR member who sponsors eligible STAR Internet Merchants, international members, or other members, applicants and other organizations into the STAR network.

Stand-In Processing: Processing handled by an issuer member. This process shows up as a response to a request for a STAR transaction when a STAR switch is acting on behalf on an issuer member to obtain authorization.

STAR Account Holder: A holder of a STAR account, pursuant to all STAR rules declaring account ownership eligibility. In Internet transactions, a STAR account holder is specifically defined as a person with an access account held and permitted by an interbank sending member to use the access account for the purpose of funding interbank debits.

STAR ATM: An ATM sponsored or owned by any acquirer member, which allows STAR transactions for STAR cardholders.

STAR ATM Transaction: See “STAR Transaction” for more information.

STAR ATM Transaction Set: The transactions which can be initiated via a STAR card at a STAR ATM. These transactions include the following:

  1. Withdrawals from a STAR cardholder’s access accounts.
  2. Inquiry as to the balance of access accounts.
  3. Cash advances against the line of credit on a STAR cardholder’s credit card.
  4. Transfers between two access accounts, such as a cardholder’s checking and savings accounts.
  5. Deposits to any of a cardholder’s access accounts.
  6. A printed receipt of any of the above transactions.
  7. A PIN change, which is a non-financial transaction in which a cardholder changes his or her Personal Identification Number.

STAR Card: A card which is issued by an issuer member for access to the STAR network. A STAR card can be used to affect various types of transactions, including POB, POS and ATM transactions. The cardholder must operate under the rules and limits of his or her card member agreement. STAR cards must meet physical specifications for security explained in STAR’s guidelines.

STAR Cardholder: Any person issued a STAR card for the purpose of effecting transactions at a STAR terminal by a STAR issuer.

STAR Interbank Transfer: A form of STAR transaction. See “STAR Transaction” for more information.

STAR Interbank Transfer Transaction Set: The transaction set for STAR interbank transfers is as follows:

  1. Interbank Debit Transactions – A debit transaction in which an interbank sending member debits a STAR account holder’s access account(s) to fund a credit. While this transaction is supported, it isn’t processed through the STAR network.
  2. Interbank Credit – A credit transaction between an interbank receiving member and a sending member for a credit on a deposit account. An interbank credit transaction requires a deposit and card number, but it does not require Track 2 data from a card or a PIN number.

STAR Internet Device: A device capable of initiating and carrying out STAR Internet transactions through the actions of a STAR account holder. An Internet device ensures security through the use of authentication tokens.

STAR Internet Merchant: An Internet merchant can complete Internet transactions by accepting authentication tokens. All Internet merchants are sponsored by an acquirer member; see “Acquirer Member” for more information about sponsors.

STAR Internet Transaction: A type of STAR transaction. See “Star Transactions” for more information.

STAR Internet Transaction Receipt: When a STAR Internet transaction is completed, an Internet transaction receipt is generated with information about the financial transaction. This receipt is either generated by an acquirer processor or an Internet merchant.

STAR Internet Transaction Response Time: The response time between the end character of a message at an Internet device and the first character of the reply at the same device.

STAR Internet Transaction Set: The STAR Internet Transaction set consists of any of the following transactions.

  1. Internet Bill Payments – A PIN-less payment system for qualifying Internet bills, including utility companies.
  2. Internet Purchase – Initiated by an account holder. An Internet purchase is when a consumer pays for goods and services from a STAR Internet merchant. This does not include orders where payment is received via a non-Internet method, such as by telephone, even if the purchase was initiated online.
  3. Internet Purchase Credit – A credit to a buyer for an already-processed transaction because services or goods were unavailable or because the transaction couldn’t be completed for another reason. Purchase credits are applied to the same account that made the initial purchase.

STAR Marks: Marks approved by STAR Systems and approved by STAR or its affiliates, including logos and “STAR” which are affixed to terminals which participate in the STAR network. STAR marks show a terminal’s participation and are only available to STAR members. Other restrictions apply as to which logos can be used and where logos can be placed; these restrictions are regularly updated by STAR systems.

STAR Member: A member of the STAR network, including international members, holding company members and financial institutions. STAR members must be approved by an executive officer appointed by the President of STAR or the President. Every STAR member is bound by the rules of the network and is liable for fees, dues and other charges as stipulated by the rules.

STAR Member Institution Agreement: An agreement required for membership in the STAR network. The agreement is individually executed between each member and STAR. It is also occasionally changed.

STAR Merchant: A merchant in the STAR network has agreed to the STAR merchant agreement. Merchants accept cards from STAR cardholders for goods and services. Typically, a merchant will handle transactions through a POS terminal at each of its locations.

STAR MoneyGram Card: A card that allows a card holder to receive funds via the STAR MoneyGram Money Transfer Service. In order to initiate a receive transaction through this service the cardholder must have a PIN number issued to the sender.

STAR MoneyGram Card Holder: Any participant in a STAR MoneyGram transaction who uses a MoneyGram card, combined with a secret PIN number created for the transaction, to receive funds via the service.

STAR MoneyGram Fee: A fee paid by the sender of a STAR MoneyGram to purchase a money transfer via the STAR MoneyGram Money Transfer Service.

STAR MoneyGram Money Transfer: A transfer of funds from one STAR cardholder to another via the Star MoneyGram Money Transfer Service. Requires a STAR terminal participating in the service.

STAR MoneyGram Money Transfer Service: A service provided for STAR cardholders in which money can be electronically transferred from one cardholder to another through a STAR terminal participating in the MoneyGram service.

STAR MoneyGram Money Transfer Service Provider: An independent party provides the MoneyGram transfer service. The company, Travelers Express Company, Inc. is not affiliated with the STAR Network.

STAR MoneyGram Receive Transaction: The receive side of a STAR MoneyGram transaction, in which a card holder makes a cash withdrawal.

STAR MoneyGram Send Transaction: The transaction in which a MoneyGram Sender purchases a MoneyGram at a STAR terminal which is a part of the MoneyGram program.

STAR MoneyGram Sender: Any cardholder that sends a money transfer through the MoneyGram service. This is initiated by purchasing a MoneyGram at a terminal which participates in the STAR MoneyGram program.

STAR Network: Every aspect of STAR’s network holdings. This includes POS systems, authorization systems, the STAR marks and graphic standards and ATM systems.

STAR Network Advisory Group: An advisory committee which provides recommendations to the staff of the STAR network. The STAR Network Advisory Group is made of members from financial institutions selected by the staff of the STAR Network. The advisory committee plays an important role in providing guidance on procedural changes and member agreement changes and also serves an arbitration role. However, the Network Advisory Group does not have power to enact policy changes.

STAR POB Transaction Set: The STAR POB transaction set consists of all of the following, subject to STAR rules.

  1. Withdrawals and deposits: A cardholder can make withdrawals or deposits to an access account such as a savings or a checking account with a STAR POB transaction. Deposits can be made via cash or other cash-value items such as checks.
  2. Inquiries: Inquiries show a card holder the balance of his or her access accounts, including savings and checking accounts.
  3. Cash check: A cash check transaction consists of a deposit to an access account, at which point cash is returned for the value of the deposit. The deposit must be a negotiable item with a cash value, such as a check or scrip.

STAR POS Scrip: Scrip is defined as paper which is redeemable for goods or services or usually cash. STAR POS scrip can be purchased through a STAR POS scrip terminal. It is not the same as a pre-loaded card.

STAR POS Scrip Terminal: A type of unattended terminal at which a POS scrip can be purchased. A STAR POS scrip terminal is operated by a cardholder.

STAR POS Scrip Transaction: A purchase of a POS Scrip through a transaction at a STAR POS scrip terminal.

STAR POS Terminal: Any POS terminal or ATM used in transactions permitted by STAR. STAR POS terminals are governed by the merchant agreement and sponsored through an acquirer member. STAR POS terminals allow cardholders to carry out any transaction from the STAR POS transaction set.

STAR POS Transaction: A type of STAR transaction. See “Star Transaction” for more information.

STAR POS Transaction Set: A POS transaction set can handle the following functions on behalf of a STAR cardholder:

  1. Purchases: This is probably the most common POS transaction, in which a debit or credit card is used to complete a sale. Purchases may include overpayment paid in cash to the STAR cardholder.
  2. POS Balance Inquiries: Balance inquiries allow the cardholder to gain information about an access account’s value.
  3. Pre-Authorization and Pre-Authorization Completion: A transaction that authorizes the amount of funds available to a card, and upon completion, funds are withdrawn or used as a payment at the POS.
  4. Purchase Corrections or Cancellations: Corrections and cancellations can either be handled by a merchant or a cardholder. They’re often used to correct a mistake such as an accidental purchase or a mistake on part of the merchant. Corrections result in a debit to the cardholder’s deposit account.
  5. Money Transfers: Transfers are completed through a MoneyGram Send Transaction, which transfers funds directly from one account to another. This transaction may not be supported at every POS.
  6. Bill Payments: Bill payments can be completed without a PIN, and transfer funds directly from a deposit account to a utility company using the system. Bill payments are typically handled by telephone by way of a VRU (see “Voice Response Unit”).

STAR Primary Service Area: STAR’s service area consists of the following, listed alphabetically:
Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

STAR Processor Agreement: A necessary agreement between processors and STAR Systems which indicates the manner in which processors can handle and process STAR transactions.

STARsf: The STAR service mark, which is used to identify a member of the No Convenience Fee Program. See “No Convenience Fee” for more information.

STAR Station: A completely automated means of connecting to the STAR Central, West and Southeast switch platforms for the purpose of accessing terminal directory information, contact directory information, to read and receive STAR network documentation and to initiate or take exception items. The STAR Station is available to all members who can connect to one of the listed switch platforms.

STAR Switch: Switches relay information and are used for a variety of functions. Several STAR switch platforms exist. A STAR Switch receives info for a POB or POS transaction and other types of transactions within the STAR network.

STAR Switch Fee: Collected from acquirer members or issuer members, a fee assessed to maintain STAR switch operation. This fee may change occasionally and is established by the STAR network.

STAR Switch Platforms: Platforms that process data, including STAR transactions. There are four STAR switches:

  1. STAR West Switch in Atlanta, Georgia
  2. STAR Central Switch in Maitland, Florida
  3. STAR Southeast Switch in Maitland, Florida
  4. STAR Northeast Switch in Wilmington, Delaware

Star Systems® (STAR®): Another name for Star Networks, Inc., which does business as Star Systems®.

STAR Terminal: A POS, POB, ATM or Scrip terminal with the correct STAR identification marks that allows STAR cardholders to initiate STAR transactions. STAR Internet transactions don’t go through a STAR terminal. All terminal transactions are routed to a STAR switch for authentication and processing. STAR terminals may be STAR Internet devices, but are not necessarily Internet devices.

STAR Transaction Set: The transactions approved by the STAR system. They include the following:

  1. STAR POS Transactions – Transactions handled at a point-of-sale via a STAR card and a STAR POS terminal and routed to a STAR switch.
  2. STAR ATM Transactions – Any ATM transaction initiated by a STAR cardholder with a STAR card. ATM transactions can take place at both ATMs and Point of Sale terminals and are routed through a STAR switch.
  3. STAR Interbank Transfer – Transfer from a STAR account holder to any STAR cardholder, routed through a STAR switch.
  4. STAR Internet Transactions – Initiated online by a STAR cardholder and a merchant and routed through a STAR switch.
  5. Utility Bill Payment Transactions – Payment for utility bills, again routed through a STAR switch.

STAR transactions must follow STAR rules and must be routed through a STAR switch.

Start Up Kit: A kit shipped to new merchants, with credit slips, batch header tickets and other essential supplies for receiving, processing and storing bankcard transactions and information.

Status Change: Any update or change to an account that doesn’t change the monetary value or the financial standing of the account. Examples include address changes.

Stored-Value Card: A pre-paid card that acts as a debit card with a set value purchased with cash.

Strip Off: Separating an individual or several transactions from a batch for the purposes of settlement, usually to obtain direct processing from a certain closed credit card company.

Submission: A group of batch deposits sent for processing electronically or by mail to merchant services.

Support Documentation: Forms and paper documentation which are intended to initiate or change a chargeback process.

Supplement: An agreement in the No Convenience Fee program between STAR and a participating member. See “No Convenience Fee” for more information.

Surcharge: Another term for a convenience fee. See “Convenience Fee” for more information.

Suspect Transaction: Any transaction that is suspected of fraudulent use within one day prior to or after the card has been listed in a warning bulletin.

Switch: A routing mechanism which sends an electronic signal containing electronic data to a data processor from a POS terminal for authorization.