Adflex ltd - secure payment solutions




Card acquirers, such as Barclaycard Business,Streamline,HSBC,Lloys TSB Cardnet are banks or financial institutions which are members of card schemes such as Visa or MasterCard. Acquirers enter into agreements with merchants to process card transactions on their behalf.


Association for Payment Clearing Services. Set up in 1985 to oversee and manage payment clearing and money transmission services within the UK. APACS also sets industry standards for its members to which they have to conform when processing data.


Authorisation confirms that the card number is valid and that the funds were available at the time the transaction took place. It is not a guarantee of payment.

Auto Auth

A facility available on some PDQ terminals and EFTPoS equipment. The terminal is connected to a telephone line and when authorisation is required the terminal automatically makes a call to the relevant authorisation centre.


BACS Limited is the world’s largest automated clearing house, owned by the major UK banks and building societies. Put simply, the BACS service is a computer system which sorts automated payment instructions to allow the transfer of funds electronically. See also Direct Credit and Direct Debit. Further information is available at

Business-To-Business (B2B)

Business to Business E-Commerce; a system that ties businesses together and allows them to conduct transactions and share data over the internet

Cardholder Not Present

This refers to card transactions that are requested by mail, telephone or over the Internet when the cardholder is not present at the point of sale.

Card Schemes

Card schemes such as Visa or MasterCard promote the use of various card types which carry their logos. Banks and financial institutions have to apply for membership of the appropriate card scheme before they can issue cards or acquire transactions.

Card Types

There are different types of card:
Credit cards - cardholders can spend up to a limit agreed with their card issuer, and have to repay at least the minimum required each month.
Debit cards - a cardholder's bank account can be debited to the limit of their balance or agreed overdraft.
Charge cards - cardholder spend has to be repaid in full when a statement is received.
Purchasing cards - used by businesses, rather than individuals, to purchase goods and services from their suppliers.


Occasionally, a cardholder will dispute a transaction shown on his or her statement and take the matter up with the card issuer. If the cardholders complaint is valid and the acquirer has been unable to substantiate the transaction, the amount of the transaction may be charged back to the retailer. Processing irregularities and incomplete documentation can also result in a chargeback.

Chip and PIN

Face-to-face credit and debit card transactions at the point of sale which are authorised by the customer keying in a Personal Identification Number (PIN) rather than by signing a receipt.

CHIP Cards

These are the normal bank payment cards but with a computer chip built into them. The chip provides a means of securely storing cardholder information already held on the magnetic stripe on the back of the card. Chip cards are currently being issued in the UK and will help banks, retailers and cardholders in the fight against counterfeit fraud.

Comodity Codes

Visa specified codes for categorising the actual comodity, (eg: Nuts, Bolts). Approximately 300 codes.

Cost Allocation Codes (CAC)

Applying internal Code Coding to each Purchasing Card Cardholder (eg: Cost Centre Number, Department Number, or Budget Number)

Customer Reference Code (CRC)

VAT Capable Suppliers can input a CRC at the point of sale up to a maximum of 16 digits being alpha or numeric. An example would be a Job Costing number.

Detail Transaction File (DTF)

The transaction file that includes all your Purchasing Card spend for the previous 48 hours.

EFTPoS Equipment

Electronic funds transfer point of sale equipment.


Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale. See EPoS.


Electronic Point of Sale. An eletronic till that includes a facility to inform the merchant whether the transaction has been accepted, declined or referred.


ERP (Enterprise resource planning) is an industry term for the broad set of activities supported by multi-module application software that helps a manufacturer or other business manage the important parts of its business, including product planning, parts purchasing, maintaining inventories, interacting with suppliers, providing customer service, and tracking orders.

Floor Limit

Floor limits are set by acquiring banks and the card schemes, and will be set according to the type of business, fraud risk, and the average spend per customer transaction. When a transaction is above your floor limit (which may also be called a fallback limit), it is vital the transaction is authorised.

Government Procurement Card

Same as VPC, but specifically aimed at Government Agencies and Bodies.

Host Authorisation

Host Authorisation provides the most sophisticated, high speed means of handling large volumes of authorisation requests. Integrating with your existing Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) equipment, it operates via a direct telecommunications line to your acquiring bank and your central computer.

Hot Cards

Hot cards are cards which, due to fraudulent use or cardholder overspending, the card issuer has decided to prohibit from further transactions. When records show a hot card has been used in a certain outlet, a warning notice is issued to the acquiring bank customer in question.


Interchange is the fee paid by acquirers to card issuers for each transaction. The fee is determined by the nature of the business and the processing procedures followed. Rates are determined by the card schemes who assess the level of risk and expense involved in processing a transaction.


An issuer is a bank, building society or financial institution which issues plastic cards.

Line Item Detail (LID)

Suppliers with LID capabilties have software installed at their premises that will provide an individual line or detail of every comodity purchases.

Level 1 Supplier

Visa Capable Suppliers (accept Purchasing Cards but are non-VAT enabled otherwise Referred to as NVE supplier.

Level 2 Supplier

VAT capable suppliers (accept Purchasing Cards and provide the facility for a customer Reference Code and summerised VAT totals.

Level 3 Supplier

VAT Capable supplier with Line Item Detail (accept Purchasing Card as VAT Capable Supplier, but in addition they will provide line item detail description for the goods/services provided with individual VAT accounts)

Low Value Goods

Typical comodities bought using a Purchase Card would be a LVG. (eg: Stationery)

Merchant Category Codes (MCC)

Visa specified codes for categorising vendors (eg: Stationery). Approximately 250 codes.

Merchant Category Groups (MCG)

Visa specified groups for categorising types of spend. (eg: Airlines, Cash Advance). Approximately 35 groups.

Merchant Service Charge

The merchant service charge is a fee payable by merchants on each transaction processed. This fee is agreed individually between the business and acquiring bank.

Management Information

Reports and expenditure analysis for monitoring Purchase Card spend.

PDQ Terminal

PDQ is the electronic processing system used by Barclaycard Business customers. There are various types of PDQ terminals, and different services, including on line processing, where transactions go through the system as they are undertaken, and off-line processing, where transactions are stored for a period of time and then released together.


During the night provided you have completed the 'end of day' procedure correctly, details of card payments will be collected via your equipment through a phone line. This process is known as polling, and relates to off-line terminals only.

Purchase Cards

Purchasing cards are issued to employees to make purchases on behalf of their company. The company guarantees the card and pays the administration costs.
Comprehensive management reporting is possible with purchasing cards because the card issuer produces a detailed statement. This electronic invoice can be used to detail, reconcile and report on transactions and is also acceptable to HM Customs and Excise for VAT reclamation purposes.


Mutual agreement between card companies for the initialising of card types such as American Express and Diners, onto PDQ terminals


An authorisation request results in a referral when the card company's computer recognises that there is something wrong. For example, the card is stolen or the cardholder has exceeded their credit limit.


A retrieval is a request for information that has been issued by an acquirer because a card issuer has disputed a transaction that has been entered into with one of their cardholders. It is not a chargeback as no money has been debited.


Software Development Kit


SSL is a transaction security standard developed by Netscape Communications to enable commercial transactions to take place over the otherwise notoriously nonsecure Internet. It's one of a few competing security standards.


Data Encryption standard (FIPS 46). Operates on 64-bit blocks by successively modifying half of the bits with a function of the other half.

* DES encrypts one block in 16 rounds.
* DES uses 56-bit keys.

Triple DES or 3DES is three - pass DES modification. Triple DES is approved by NIST as encryption standard FIPS 46-3.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

Tax that is added to each commodity at the appropriate rate depending on the commodity purchased.


Visa International have specified a new data format - the Visa Global Invoice Specification (VGIS) - that holds merchant invoice information, tax information and market-specific information relating to, for example, hotel and car rental transactions. The data format is based on XML (eXtensible Mark-up Language) message structures and applies to both the physical and the ecommerce worlds.

Visa Purchasing Card (VPC)

Charge card usually used for Low Value, High Volume transactions.


One of the main global payment schemes.


XML is the Extensible Markup Language, a system for defining specialized markup languages that are used to transmit formatted data. XML is conceptually related to HTML, but XML is not itself a markup language. Rather it's a metalanguage, a language used to create other specialized languages.

W3C XHTML Validator Visa