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Credit Card Processing Terminal
Advance your Business With The Right Credit Card Processing Terminal
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By: Arlette Measures
Credit Card Processing Glossary

There are several terms you will typically encounter when researching merchant account providers. Here is a brief definition of some of the more common ones to help you through.


A bank that processes and settles a merchant's credit card transactions with the help of the credit card issuer.


In merchant accounts, authorization is the process of verifying that the credit card holder has sufficient funds or credit available to complete a purchase.


A collection of daily credit card transactions stored in the merchant's terminal or processing equipment. Typically, these transactions are submitted simultaneously for processing at the end of the business day.


The cardholder is the owner of a credit or debit card, which is used to make purchases through your merchant account.

Card network:

Card processing networks such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, which act as an intermediary between the acquirer and the issuer to authorize credit card transactions.

Discount fee:

A discount fee is the fee that merchants pay to acquirers for processing their credit card transactions.

Interchange fee:

Charges that merchants pay to the credit card issuer and the card network as a fee for their credit card processing services. These fees typically range from 1 to 3 percent.


A bank, financial institution, credit union, or company that issues or helps to issue credit and debit cards to cardholders.

Merchant account:

An agreement between a bank or third party provider and a business, which allows the business to accept debit and credit cards.

Merchant account provider:

A bank or other institution that provides merchant accounts to businesses that want to accept credit and debit card based payments.

Payment gateway:

A service used by merchants who accept debit and credit cards online. Usually a combination of both hardware and software, this service securely sends credit card data, using encryption, to a merchant account provider.


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