Glossary - M

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M.A.C.: Message authentication code.

Magnetic Stripe: The magnetically encoded stripe on the back of the bankcard plastic which contains information pertinent to the cardholder account. The physical and magnetic characteristics of the magnetic stripe are specified in ISO Standards 7810, 7811, and 7813.

Magnetic Stripe Data (Track Data): Data encoded in the magnetic stripe used for authorization during transactions when the card is presented. Entities must not retain full magnetic stripe data following the transaction authorization. Specifically, following authorization, service codes, discretionary data/ Card Validation Value/CodeCVV, and proprietary reserved values must be eliminated; however, account number, expiration date, and name, and service code may be extracted and retained, if business owners need.

Magnetic Stripe Reader: A device that interprets information recorded on the magnetic stripe of a card.

Mail Order/Telephone Order (MO/TO): The means of receiving sales validation for the merchant via telephone or authorization terminal, to guarantee payment to the merchant.

Mailbox: The file or directory in which your incoming e-mail messages are stored by your Internet Service Provider.

Mailing list: A single email address that includes several different email addresses. Example: An automated software allows you to send email to one address. Then your message (e.g., a newsletter) is copied and sent to all of the other mailing list subscribers. The list can contain an unlimited number of people.

Malware: Malicious software, designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system, without the owner's knowledge or consent.

MasterCard Account Number: A 16-digit number, beginning with the number 5, assigned by a MasterCard issuer to uniquely identify an account that conforms to the MasterCard defined structure and check-digit specifications.

MasterCard Payment Gateway: A business that is registered with MasterCard to represent a financial institution for the purpose providing processing services to merchants.

MasterCard® SecureCode™: MasterCard SecureCode is a program supporting cardholder authentication and guaranteed payments via Internet for MasterCard and Maestro transactions.

Megabyte: A unit of measure for data storage. One megabyte is equal to 1,024 kilobytes (or 1,048,576 bytes or 8,388,608 bits).

Menu: A list of options that helps a user to perform specific tasks.

Merchant Account: Type of account used to accept card-based payments.

Merchant Agreement: A written agreement between a merchant and an acquirer enclosing their rights and performance obligations with respect to card acceptance.

Merchant Bank: Your banking or financial institution that provides merchant services, including Visa acceptance services (also: the acquirer or acquiring bank). A bank that has entered into an agreement with a merchant to accept deposits generated by bankcard transactions.

Merchant I.D. Number: A unique and specific number assigned by the acquirer to identify the merchant’s business.

Merchant Service Provider: An association of financial institutions created to both issue cards to consumers and businesses, and accept cards for payment of goods and services by businesses.

Merchant: A business which is set-up to accept card-based payments.

Minimum payment: The minimum amount you are required to pay the credit card issuer each month. You may choose to pay more. Paying the minimum payment monthly may be helpful when you can only afford to make a small payment; however, interest charges can really add up when you stretch out a loan with minimum payments.

Modem: From Modulation and Demodulation. A device that converts information from analog to digital and vice versa. Digital data is represented in a series of 1s and 0s. Analog information, such as sound waves, varies continuously. Example: Generally, when an email is sent, the modem converts the digital email message to analog.

Monitoring: Use of system that continuously oversees a computer network including for slow or failing systems and that notifies the user in the event of outages or other alarms.

Monthly Discount: The process of deducting the processing fees once a month from the merchant's settlement account. The monthly discount method of billing makes reconciliation simple for the merchant compared with daily discount billing.

Monthly Periodic Rate: (MPR) This is the rate of interest per month, calculated by dividing the annual percentage rate (APR) by 12.

M.P.E.G.: Moving Picture Experts Group. A standard used on the Internet for video and audio files. Compression techniques enable the files to be transmitted significantly more quickly than other audio and video files. Web browsers must be able to run MPEG files. The file extension ".mpg" is used for MPEG files.

Multimedia: The presentation of video, sound, graphics, text, and animation through software.