Credit and debit card glossary

3D Secure

An authentication protocol that provides an additional layer of security for online credit and debit card payments to reduce fraud. Also known by brand names such as Mastercard Identity Check, Visa Secure, and American Express SafeKey. May use a 3D Secure code.


A financial institution that processes credit and debit card payments with card issuers on behalf of merchants. MultiSafepay is an acquirer for Visa, Mastercard, and Bancontact.

acquirer reference number (ARN)

A unique number assigned to credit card payments as they move from the merchant’s bank (acquiring bank) to the cardholder’s bank (issuing bank). Banks can use ARNs to trace refunds.


A customer who uses a card issued by a bank to make cashless payments to a merchant.

card scheme

A financial institution that issues credit cards, provides infrastructure, and processes payments for a fee, e.g. Visa, Mastercard, American Express.

card verification code (CVC)

A 3 or 4 digit code customers enter as an additional layer of security for online credit or debit card payments. Not required for all cards, or for recurring payments.


When a customer disputes a credit card transaction and the transaction is reversed. See About chargebacks.

credit card

A card issued by a bank, building society, or card scheme that lets the holder pay for products or services on credit.

debit card

A card issued by a bank that transfers funds directly from the customer’s bank account.


If a customer wants a merchant to return funds that have already been captured, the customer can request a refund. If the merchant refuses, the customer may request their bank to make a chargeback. If the merchant disagrees, they can dispute the chargeback.


The customer’s bank, which verifies transaction information and sends funds to the collecting party. For credit or debit card payments, the bank issues the card.


The risk of accepting credit card payments and responsibility for paying for chargebacks.


When a cardholder doesn’t recognise a credit card transaction, to find out more about the transaction, they can file a retrieval request for more information. This can help identify and clarify transactions and avoid chargebacks. You can still refund the transaction at this stage.


When a customer cancels an order paid by debit card and takes the funds back.

Uncleared transactions

When a customer has initiated a transaction, but the funds are reserved while the transaction is checked and authorized, e.g. because the MultiSafepay fraud filter detected unusual or risky patterns in the order data. Once authorized, the funds are captured and transferred to the collecting party. For credit card payments, merchants must manually check and authorize Uncleared transactions.


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