Below are some common terms you’ll run across
as a merchant dealing with payments processing.


Acronym for “Three Domains Secure”. 3DS is an authentication process where three “domains” (hence 3D) are involved in authorizing a transaction. Those domains are the issuing bank, the acquiring bank, and an “interpolarity” domain, that handles communications between merchant, issuer and acquirer.


(AKA “acquiring bank”) The merchant’s bank that receives the money from a transaction.


Agents are subcontracted by ISOs or MSPs to connect merchants with the card association they resell for.


A reversal of charges by an issuing bank resulting from cardholder complaint, fraud, or processing error.

chargeback ratio:

The percentage of transactions that become chargebacks within a specified period of time, used by Visa, MasterCard and other card associations and banks to determine if a merchant is processing too much fraud. As a general rule, this threshold is at or below 1%.

compelling evidence:

The evidence required in representment cases submitted by a merchant that is sufficient enough to reverse a chargeback. This includes transaction data, delivery confirmations, and cardholder interactions with the merchant. Any evidence that ties a cardholder to a transaction.


When a transaction is invalidated because the information provided can not be authenticated or it triggers processing security measures.


Acronym for “EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa” which together created the standard for “smart card” technology.

false decline:

(AKA false positive) When a legitimate transaction was incorrectly declined.

false positive:

(AKA false decline) When a legitimate transaction was incorrectly declined.

friendly fraud:

When a cardholder tries to get money back from a purchase that they made, claiming the transaction was fraudulent.


The point of sale where a cardholder enters their credit card and other personal information required to process a transaction.


Acronym for “Independent Sales Organizations”. ISOs are contracted by VISA to connect merchants with their services.


(AKA “issuing bank”) The bank that has issued the card that a cardholder uses to purchase goods/services from a merchant.


Acronym for “Merchant Discount Rate”. The rate that a merchant is charged per transaction.

merchant account:

A bank account which the merchant holds with an acquiring bank to process credit card transactions.


Acronym for “Merchant Identification Number”. The number that identifies a merchant account, MID is now used as a shorthand for a merchant account.


Acronym for “Member Service Providers”. MSPs are contracted by MasterCard to connect merchants with their services.


The divide between free, publicly accessible content and the area users must pay to access on a website.


Acronym for “Payment Card Industry Association”. The PCI is the trade group of major card companies American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard and Visa.


The request made by an acquiring bank to an issuing bank to retrieve funds that pay for a transaction.


When a merchant or their acquirer re-submit their request for funds from a cardholder after the initial transaction was charged back

rolling reserve:

Usually 5-10% of a merchant’s monthly sales that are witheld by an acquirer to cover costs stemming from chargebacks.

ticket size:

The average dollar amount of a merchant’s transactions.


Acronym for “Terminal Identification Number”. The number that identifies a specific terminal that has processed a transaction.

user logs:

A form of compelling evidence, user logs track how a customer logs in and navigates behind a merchant’s paywall.


Acronym for “VISA Merchant Purchase Inquiry”. A component of the VCR, the VMPI is an automated platform VISA provides issuing banks with to send transaction data to merchants in cardholder disputes. It is intended as a preemptive means to resolve disputes before they become chargebacks.


Acronym for “VISA Resolve Online”. This is VISA’s proprietary online infrastructure for resolving cardholder disputes. VROL enables merchants and issuers to exchange transaction data to facilitate dispute resolution.

Find out: How We Can Protect Your Processing.

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