a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

3D Secure

3D Secure protects your MasterCard (SecureCode) or Visa card (Verified by Visa)  against unauthorised use when you shop online at participating retailers.
This simple service enables you to validate transactions you make over the internet by supplying a personal code. It also helps protect your account from fraudulent use by an unauthorised individual.

Acquirer (merchant acquirer)

The institution (bank or card processor) which processes a retailer's debit and credit card transactions and which reimburses the merchant for the value of their sales. The institution in question will have a contractual agreement with the merchant and will charge a fee/commission for the service it provides to the merchant.


The process whereby a merchant requests permission for the card to be used for a particular transaction.

ATM – Automated Teller Machine

A computerised self-service device permitting the holder of an appropriate card and PIN to withdraw cash from their account and access other banking services. Also known as a cash machine, cash dispenser or hole-in-the-wall.


Biometrics is the term used for the method of uniquely recognising a cardholder for the purpose of fraud prevention, using physical attributes such as the fingerprint or behavioural traits such as how a customer signs their name. Biometrics is used to identify a sample against a stored template of characteristics the aim of which is to ensure that the cardholder is valid.

CAM – Card Authentication Method

The means by which a plastic card is determined genuine and not counterfeit. The chip card provides the best CAM currently available.

Card Issuer

The bank, building society or other financial institution which issued the card and which has a contractual relationship with the cardholder.

Card Present Transactions

These are transactions where both the card and the cardholder are physically present at the time of the transaction. Those transactions carried out in-store with 'brick & mortar' retailers are examples of Card Present transactions

Card Schemes

Organisations which manage and control the operation and clearing of card payment transactions. Financial institutions must be a member of a card scheme to issue cards and acquire card transactions under that scheme. Examples of schemes include Laser Card, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club International, Maestro, Visa Electron.

Card Security Code (CSC)

The three or four digit number printed on or just below the signature panel on a payment card. It is used in a 'Card not present' environment to help the merchant to verify that the customer has the card in their possession. Once key into their system the transaction details are sent online to the card issuer for authorisation at which point the CSC is checked against the card details. It is used to stop fraud attempts when a criminal obtains a card number and valid expiry date.

Cardholder Verification Method (CVM)

The means by which the presenter of the card may be identified as the genuine owner of the card, for example a signature or PIN.


A chargeback is a credit or debit card transaction, which has been returned unpaid by the cardholder's bank. This occurs when a cardholder informs their card issuer that a particular charge was not authorised or that goods or services were not delivered or provided as promised.

Chip & PIN

Chip and PIN is a faster, safer and more secure card payment system, which was introduced to reduce card fraud. Chip & PIN cards look almost identical to the old style, magnetic-stripe cards however a chip card has a microchip embedded on the front of it. When you use your Chip and PIN card to make a payment, you are asked to enter a four digit Personal Identification Number or PIN. Chip and PIN together ensure that the payment card is better protected against fraud and is part of a Europe-wide initiative to tackle card fraud. .

Chip Card

A plastic card containing a microchip which has highly secure memory and processing capabilities, which can be recognised by the gold, or silver coloured contact plate on the front of the card.  Chip cards are also known as integrated circuit cards (ICCs) or smart cards.

CNP or Card Not Present Transactions

These are transactions where neither the card or the cardholder are physically present at the time of the transaction.  Internet, mail order and telephone order transactions are examples of CNP transactions.

Code 10

A Code 10 is the name given to a phone call made by a merchant to their card processor when they are suspicious of a customer's card. The phrase 'Code 10' is used so that the customer is not aware that the shop staff member is suspicious of their card.

Counterfeit Card

A card which has been printed, embossed or encoded so as to appear to be a legitimate card OR a card which has been validly issued but subsequently altered or re-encoded.

Cross-border fraud

Fraud perpetrated on a plastic card, or using a card number, in a country other than the country of issue.

Electronic commerce

These are CNP or Card Not Present transactions which are conducted over an electronic network where the buyer and merchant are not at the same physical location e.g. plastic card transactions via the internet.

Electronic purse

Also known as e-purse, this is a pre-paid card which contains electronic value exchanged for goods and services.  It can be disposable or re-loadable.


Europay, Mastercard and VISA International created a new standard called EMV, which ensures that all Europay, Mastercard and VISA branded smart cards and all smart card reading terminals work together to deliver global interoperability and enhanced security.


A method of making information secret so that only a person who knows the necessary key or password can understand or decrypt the information.

Floor limit

A limit on the value of each transaction, agreed between the merchant and acquiring bank, above which authorisation must be obtained by the merchant.

HCF – Hot Card File

An electronic file that distributes data about lost or stolen cards to retailers who subscribe to it.  When a card is swiped as part of a normal transaction, it is automatically checked against the file and an alert is given if the card's details match those on file.

ICC – Integrated Circuit Card

See Chip Card

Intelligent detection systems

Computer systems used by the banking industry to help identify fraudulent card use befroe the loss is reported.  Also known as knowledge-based systems and neural networks.


The Irish Payment Services Organisation Ltd. (IPSO) is the umbrella body for payment services for financial institutions in Ireland.  The company provides strategic and technical support to the payments industry in Ireland, a forum for consultations among participants, and represents the payments industry at national and international levels. .

Laser Card

Laser is an Irish debit card scheme.  A Laser Card is linked to the cardholder's current account and it allows customers to pay for goods and services with a plastic payment card without having to go the ATM or using a credit card.  Laser cardholders can also ask at the point of sale for 'Cashback' up to the value of €100, the value of which is added on to the purchase price.  The same terminal is used for credit cards as for Laser Cards.

Magnetic Stripe

A strip of magnetic tape affixed to the back of credit cards containing identifying data, such as account number and cardholder name.  The strip is often black or brown in colour.

Mobile payment

A payment involving the use of a mobile phone. The phone network can be used solely as the channel to authenticate the customer, or the payment can involve a debit to an account held by the customer with the mobile operator or other service provider.


The PIN (Personal Identification Number) is a four-digit code, which is entered at the Point of Sale or ATM to prove that the person using the card is the genuine owner of the card.

POS (Point of Sale)

The location at which a sale is carried out.


A pre-authorisation usually occurs at a hotel or similar (e.g. Bed & Breakfast, hostel, etc). It describes the process whereby the hotel staff request your payment card upon arrival. They swipe or dip the card and in most cases will request either a signature or your PIN.

For many years, hotels have had a practice of taking a deposit upon customer arrival. This deposit is to cover costs to the hotel in the event the customer leaves without paying the full bill. Before payment cards were used, hotels would haven taken this deposit either in the form of cash or cheque. Since payment cards were introduced, hotels now take what is referred to as a ‘pre-authorisation' on the payment card. This pre-authorisation earmarks a specific amount of funds to cover the hotel bill and incidentals such as catering, etc. Funds are earmarked until the bill for the hotel is settled in full. An account is not debited when a pre-authorisation is processed.

You are entitled to refuse a pre-authorisation when booking into a hotel, but if a hotel in which you are staying wishes to take an advance deposit then they are entitled to request one and if you do not have cash or a cheque to hand, then the payment card is the obvious next option. Keying in your PIN during a pre-authorisation simply verifies that you are the owner of the card. It is a security measure for the hotel and is normal practice.

Note: Pre-authorisation is not permitted on Laser Cards.


Safecard was established by IPSO (Irish Payment Services Organisation Ltd.) Card Services to increase card fraud awareness in order to enable merchants and retailers to protect against card crime.


The most prevalent form of counterfeit fraud whereby a card's magnetic stripe details are electronically copied and put on to another card.

Smart Card

See Chip Card