Payments Basics: Card Acceptance Terms

Moving through the language of credit card acceptance and payments can sometimes be funny business.

This simple guide is a good place to start getting your edge. This chapter in our series looks at some of the most common basic terms in the language of card acceptance and processing.

  • Acceptance Marks

    Signifies which payment brands are accepted at a merchant location; provides the cardholder with information on where his or her card can be used  

  • Account Number

    The unique identifier (typically a number) that an account issuer, as part of providing a credit or debit account, issues to an account holder  

  • Card Brands

    Member-based corporations that connect consumers, businesses, and banks to transact through electronic payments instead of cash and check; also establish and enforce rules amongst members and promote the brands (popular card brands include Visa® and MasterCard®) 

  • Card Issuer

    Any association member financial institution, bank, credit union, or company that issues (or causes to be issued) plastic cards to cardholders 

  • Cardholder

    Person or entity that receives an account from a card company or issuer

  • Expiration Date

    The date embossed on a credit or debit card beyond which it becomes invalid 

  • Merchant

    A commercial entity or person authorized to accept cards and access devices when properly presented; an organization that uses credit cards to receive payments from its customers pursuant to agreement with card brands 

Payment acceptance made simple

Payment Basics


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