Glossary - F

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Fair Credit Reporting Act: The U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act seeks to achieve fair, timely, and accurate reporting of credit information by regulating the activities of credit bureaus, limiting access to credit bureau information, and requiring that creditors reveal certain information regarding their use of credit bureau or third party information. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to see the credit history maintained by a credit bureau about you (see credit report).

F.A.Q: Frequently asked questions. A set of often-asked inquiries about a given topic on a Web site. A site owner posts a list of the queries and answers, and then the user can access this FAQ at any time.

Federal Reserve: A central bank that monitors and influences the total supply of money and credit through its 12 regional offices. The Federal Reserve Board sets interest rates, maintains the flow of cash to local and regional banks, clears checks, provides deposit insurance, and maintains the stability and security of the U.S. banking system.

File Extension: The portion of a file name that corresponds to that file's type. Computer files are labeled using a standard: a name, a point, and a file extension. Example: AUTOEXEC.BAT has a file extension of BAT, indicating it is a batch file.

Finance Charge: The cost of consumer credit expressed as a dollar amount. A finance charge would include the following types of charges enforced by card issuers: interest, transaction fees and service fees.

Finance Company: A business that makes consumer loans, often to consumers not qualified for credit at a credit union or bank. Typically, the interest rates charged by a finance company are higher than those charged by other creditors.

Financial Institution: Any organization that provides financial services to merchants or individuals including, commercial banks, credit card banks, savings banks, credit unions, etc. (also: Acquirer, Merchant Bank).

F.I.P.S.: Federal Information Processing Standard

Firewall: A combination of specialized hardware and software designed to keep unauthorized users from achieving access to a networked computer system, and protect resources.

First Chargeback: A procedure in which an issuer charges all or part of the amount of an interchange transaction back to the acquirer in accordance with MasterCard policy.

Floor Limit: A specific dollar limit used to determine which Visa card transactions the card acceptor must authorize. If your business has a $1,000 floor limit, any transaction more than $1,000 will require authorization.

F.T.P. Site: A computer on the Internet that purposely stores files for users to FTP to their own computers. When the FTP site does not require the user to have a specific user ID and password, it is known as an "anonymous FTP site."

F.T.P.: File Transmission Protocol. A method for moving files from one computer to another; predominantly used on the Internet. Example: The master copy of this Glossary section resides on Visa's computer. When a change is made to the section, Visa uses FTP to transfer the updated files to the computer of its Internet Service Provider.