Glossary - C

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Cache (pron. "cash"): A small, but very fast type of memory used to store frequently used data. It tries to predict what data is going to be needed next by the processor, based on historical data.

Call Hold / Call Center: A call referral indicates that the acquirer of payment or merchant must contact the issuer for further instructions. The issuer uses the call referral as a fraud prevention tool when it suspects or is attempting to prevent fraud at the point of interaction.

Cancellation Code: The code that lodging or car rental merchant types give to a cardholder. The cancellation code confirms that the cardholder did, indeed, cancel a reservation.

Card Acceptor: A merchant or an ATM that accepts a card and presents transaction information to an acquirer.

Card Acceptor Business Code (MCC): A numerical representation for the type of business the card acceptor (merchant) engages. Formerly merchant category code (MCC).

Card Payment System: A payment system that supports payments made by financial transaction cards.

Card Validation Code CVC :A card security feature. CVC 1 is a three-digit value encoded on the back stripe. The CVC is intended to hinder the alteration or misuse of card data and enhance the authentication of the card.

Cardholder Data Environment: Area of computer system network which holds cardholder data or sensitive authentication data and those systems and segments that directly attach or support cardholder processing, storage, or transmission. Sufficient network segmentation, which isolates systems that store, process, or transmit cardholder data from those that do not, may reduce the scope of the cardholder data environment and thus the scope of the PCI assessment.

Cardholder Data: The full magnetic stripe or the PAN plus any of the following: Cardholder name, Expiration date, Service Code.

Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP): A program that defines a standard of due care and enforcement for protecting cardholder information.

Cardholder: The individual to whom the credit card is issued or who is authorized to use.

Card-Not-Present CNP Transactions: Credit or debit card transactions that usually take place over the phone or in an e-commerce environment.

Card-Swiped Transaction: A transaction where a card is present and is read by a magnetic stripe card reader.

Cash Advance: You can use your card at a bank or an automatic teller machine to get a cash loan. The interest rate for a cash advance is typically higher than the interest rate for retail purchases, and there is usually no grace period. There may also be a handling fee for withdrawing cash in addition to the interest charges; this can raise the cost significantly.

Cash Flow: The difference between your cash coming in and your cash going out.

Charge Card: Charges no interest, but required you to pay your full bill each month.

Chargeback Process: A dispute resolution process that members use to determine the responsible party in a chargeback related dispute. This process has three cycles in which the members can resolve the dispute themselves. If the members do not resolve the case within three cycles; they must send the case to arbitration.

Chargeback: A transaction returned by an issuing bank to an acquiring bank. A transaction may be returned because it was non-compliant with association rules and regulations or because the cardholder disputed it. Also known as a "Debit Memo,” a reversal of a sales transaction.

Cirrus: Cirrus System Incorporated, a wholly owned by MasterCard International Incorporated, operates the international ATM sharing association known as the "MasterCard® ATM network," accepting MasterCard, Maestro® and Cirrus® brands.

C.I.S.: Center for Internet Security. A non-profit enterprise with mission to help organizations reduce the risk of business and e-commerce disruptions resulting from inadequate technical security controls.

Clearing: The process of exchanging financial transaction details between an acquirer and an issuer to facilitate posting of a cardholder's account and reconciliation of a customer's settlement position.

Closing date: The last day that transactions are posted on your account for that month.

Co-branded Card: A card issued by a member in association with a commercial company, usually bearing the brand of both the association and commercial company.

"Code 10" Authorization: A voice authorization code you might make use of when you suspect a card is stolen or fake, or when a customer is acting suspiciously.

Collateral: Savings, bonds, insurance policies, jewelry, property or other items that are provided to secure a loan or other credit and that becomes subject to seizure upon failure to pay.

Collection Agency: If you fail to pay a credit or charge card bill, the card issuer may send your overdue bill to a collection agency, which is a company that will try to obtain payment from you. If this happens, your account may be listed as a "collection account" on your credit report. If you do not pay your bill and your card issuer has to go to a collection agency to attempt to obtain payment from you, you may be liable for the cost of the collection agency's services.

Commercial Card: A general name for cards issued to businesses. This includes multiple variations such as: Purchasing Cards, Business Cards, Corporate Cards, Travel and Entertainment Cards and Fleet Cards. Sometimes, merchants are asked to input additional data as part of the accepting these cards, such as entering the sales tax amount and/or a purchase order number.

Commercial Credit: Short-term credit a seller gives to a buyer to pay for a service or product.

Compensating Controls: Compensating controls may be considered when an entity cannot meet a requirement explicitly as stated, due to legitimate technical or documented business constraints but has sufficiently mitigated the risk associated with the requirement through implementation of other controls. Compensating controls must 1. meet the intent and rigor of the original stated PCI DSS requirement; 2. repel a compromise attempt with similar force; 3. be "above and beyond" other PCI DSS requirements (not simply in compliance with other PCI DSS requirements); and 4. be commensurate with the additional risk imposed by not adhering to the PCI DSS requirement.

Compromise: Infringement into a computer system where unauthorized disclosure, modification, or destruction of cardholder data is suspected.

Console: Screen and keyboard which permits access and control of the server or mainframe computer in a networked setting.

Consumer: Individual purchasing goods and/or services.

Convenience check or Transfer check: When you open a new account with a credit card issuer, they may send you a blank convenience check or transfer check so you can transfer the debt you have with your old card to your new card.

Cookie: Small text files placed on a user's computer by a Web server. Each cookie contains unique identifying characteristics, usually in the form of a long string of random characters. A cookie can later be read by the same server and matched against the server's own database in order to learn which pages on that server have already been accessed.

Copy Charge aka Document fee/charge: Card issuers are required to provide you with copies of documents relating to your account. They may charge a fee for the copying and handling. Refer to your cardholder agreement for your issuer's copy charges.

Co-sign: To sign a credit agreement with someone and agree to share the debt with that person or assume the debt if the other person defaults or does not pay.

Co-signer: A parent or any person over 18 years old who agrees to share credit responsibilities with the primary signer and pay debts.

Credit Refund: A transaction where the merchant sends money to the cardholder's account usually because the cardholder has returned merchandise. These transactions appear on the cardholder's monthly statement.

Credit Bureau: A firm that keeps a record of your credit history for any card or loan issuer to purchase and review when considering an application for credit. The three major credit reporting agencies in the United States are Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.

Credit Card: A plastic card bearing an account number assigned to a cardholder with a credit limit that can be used to purchase goods and services and often to obtain cash disbursements on credit. A cardholder is billed by an issuer for repayment of the credit extended at once or on an installment basis. A credit card allows you to make partial payments for purchases, but charges interest on the amount owed.

Credit Counseling: Advice given by professional counselors to people about how to manage credit responsibly and how to avoid or get out of serious debt.

Credit Limit: The maximum amount you may charge on a credit card. Some card issuers set a separate limit for purchases and cash advances. Many banks will allow you to spend more than your credit limit, but may charge you a fee for doing this. It is your responsibility to keep track of your credit limit and how much available credit you have left.

Credit Loss: The amount lost (charged off) as a result of the cardholder’s failure to pay the amount owed on the account.

Credit Rating: This tracks your or your business' history of paying off loans. Your credit rating determines your chances of getting future loans.

Credit Record/Credit File: An individual’s up-to-date credit history.

Credit Report: A summary of your recent credit history plus additional facts about you, including: your age, address, marital status, previous employment and other details that will help creditors judge your creditworthiness. A credit report includes a record of any card that you hold now, held in the past, or have applied for. It also includes the credit limit and your payment history. You should request a copy of your credit report periodically to check it for exactness. If you find an error, contact the credit bureau and request that the agency research and correct the error. You cannot have correct information removed from your records for 7 years, or 10 years in the case of bankruptcy.

Credit Union: A democratically owned and controlled nonprofit financial organization that offers numerous savings and lending services to members.

Creditworthy: A determination of your qualification to have credit.

Cross-border Transaction: Any transaction on a MasterCard credit or debit card, Cirrus card, or Maestro card processed through the Global Clearing Management System (GCMS) or the MasterCard® Debit Switch (MDS) where the country code of the merchant differs from the country code of the cardholder.

Cryptography: The process of scrambling and unscrambling information so that only the intended parties can interpret it. Example: When a customer makes a purchase online, cryptography may prevent everyone but the intended merchant from reading the user's Visa account number and card expiration date.

Cyberspace: The online world of computer networks. The term was given by science fiction writer William Gibson in his 1984 novel, Neuromancer.