Glossary - P

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Pad: Packet assembler/disassembler. This is a communication device that formats outgoing data and strips data out of incoming packets. In cryptography, the one-time PAD is an encryption algorithm as text combined with a random key or "pad" that is as long as the plain text, and used only once. Additionally, if key is random, never reused, and kept secret, the one-time pad will be unbreakable.

Page Impression: Occurs every time a particular Web page is displayed by an Internet user. A page impression is similar to a hit, except that a hit is also registered when a spider, or similar program, accesses the Web page.

P.A.N.: The Primary Account Number is the payment card number (credit or debit) which identifies the issuer and the particular cardholder account. Also called Account Number.

Partial Payment: A partial payment occurs when you pay less than the full amount due.

Password: A sequence of characters that serves to authenticate a user.

Past Due: When you do not make at least the minimum payment on time, your account is considered past due.

P.A.T.: Stands for: Port address translation. Trait of a network address translation (NAT) device that translates transmission control protocol (TCP) or user datagram protocol (UDP) connections made to a host and port on an outside network to a host and port on an inside network.

Patch: Rapid-repair job for piece of programming. During a software product's beta test period or try-out period, and after a product's formal release, problems are found. A patch is provided quickly to users.

Payment Cardholder Environment: That division of the network that holds cardholder data or sensitive authentication data.

Payment Gateway: A combination of software and hardware which provides a secure border to the processing network.

Payment Processor: A company that routes transactions from merchant locations to card issuers in order to authorize and settle payment.

P.C.I.: Abbreviation for: Payment Card Industry

Penetration Test: Security-oriented probing of a computer system or network to seek out vulnerabilities that an attacker could potentially exploit. Beyond probing for vulnerabilities, this testing may involve actual penetration attempts. The purpose of a penetration test is to detect and identify vulnerabilities, and to propose security improvements.

Penetration: Successful course of bypassing security mechanisms and gaining access to a computer system and private information.

Periodic rate: The interest rate described in relation to a particular amount of time. For example, the monthly periodic rate is the cost of credit each month; the daily periodic rate is the cost of credit each day.

Peripheral: A mechanism that attaches to a personal computer and is controlled by its processor. Examples include: printers, modems, joysticks, and Zip drives.

Personal Identification Number (PIN): The secret code that a cardholder enters to identify themselves and their card during a financial transaction.

Plug-and-Play: The concept of adding new components, such as an external modem, to a personal computer without having to do any manual configuration. In other words, the operating system takes care of it for you.

Point of Interaction (POI): The location where a transaction happens (formerly point of sale or point of service).

Point of Sale System: An electronic system that accepts financial data at or near a retail selling location and transmits that data to a computer or authorization network for reporting activity, authorization, and transaction logging.

Policy: Organization-wide regulations governing acceptable use of computing resources, security practices, and guiding development of procedures.

Portable Document Format (PDF): A file format, developed by Adobe, which permits files or documents in this format to be displayed and printed in exactly the same format on another platform.

Posting Date: The date which a transaction is recorded on your account. Some companies assess interest on charges and cash advances from the transaction date (see transaction date), others from the posting date. It is generally more favorable to assess interest from the posting date, because that may be later, giving you some interest-free days.

Prepaid card: A card that stores value and is used instead of cash to pay for a service, such as pay telephones or public transportation. It cannot be reloaded and is a discarded when the amount on the card is spent.

Previous balance: The amount of money you still owe after last month's payments and charges were added to your balance.

Primary Account Number (PAN): The account number assigned to a cardholder's credit or debit card account. The PAN is typically both printed and stamped on the cardholder's credit or debit card.

Prime rate: The interest rate banks charge for loans to their largest and highest-rated customers. This rate changes based on the demand for money and the rate the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank charges to its member banks. It is used as a major economic indicator.

Principal: The amount of money you owe, excluding the interest due on it.

Procedure: Descriptive narrative for a policy. Procedure is the "how to" for a policy and describes how the policy is to be put into practice.

Processing Fee: Compensation paid by issuers or acquirers to a financial network organization for processing interchange transactions according to the business agreements by the financial network. Fees are established by each transaction type for issuers and acquirers participating within each individual financial network.

Processor: An organization that is associated with MasterCard International Incorporated. The processor provides authorization and/or clearing and settlement services on behalf of a member.

Profile: Personal information about you that is stored with a merchant. A profile usually consists of a user's address and shopping preferences; this makes it easier for merchants to tailor services to individual needs.

Promotion Code: A code given by the issuer to identify transactions that apply to a promotional program set-up by the issuer to encourage card use.

Promotional aka Introductory rate: An interest rate that applies only for a limited amount of time. After the time limit expires, the ongoing rate, which is usually higher, is applied to your outstanding balance. You should check both rates when deciding which card offers the most value.

Proprietary Card: A type of card that financial institutions or other organizations issue using the logo of the issuer rather than a national service logo (such as MasterCard). A proprietary card allows the cardholder to access a credit or deposit account using ATM or POI terminals.

Protocol: Consensual method of communication used within networks. Specification that describes rules and procedures computer products should follow to perform activities on a network.

Public Network: Network established and operated by a telecommunications provider or distinguished private company, for specific purpose of providing data transmission services for the public. Data must be encrypted during transmission over public networks because hackers easily and commonly intercept, modify, and/or divert data while in transfer. Examples of public networks in scope of PCI DSS include: the Internet, GPRS, and GSM.

Purchase: A financial transaction, if approved, where funds are withdrawn from an issuer and credited to an acquirer in payment for goods or services.

Push technology: An Internet technology that sends prearranged information to users before they request it. The user will set up a profile specifying the type of information that they require.

P.V.V.: Stands for: PIN verification value. Encoded in magnetic stripe of payment card.