Payment Card Industry Compliance
PCI DSS: Glossary of Terms
e-Commerce The process of conducting payment transactions over a computer network. In
e-commerce, the merchant card is usually not present; instead, the payer enters
the data into a web form remotely.
EMV Chip card Europay, MasterCard and Visa Chip card. Also known as “smart cards”, these
payment cards store their data on integrated circuits embedded on the card, rather
than magnetic stripes. Many EMV cards also have stripes for backward compatibility
with payment terminals. Payment cards that comply with the EMV standard are
often called chip-and-PIN or chip-and-signature cards, depending on the exact
authentication methods required to use them.
Merchant The RIT department or group that collects payments via a payment card.
Merchant Card Debit or credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
Merchant ID A merchant identification code assigned by the bank and used to identify the owner
of merchant card transactions.
PAN Primary Account Number. The number that is embossed and/or encoded on the
plastic card that identifies the issuer and the particular cardholder account.
PCI DSS The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. Defines security requirements
for card transactions and is required by a consortium of card providers
(American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, etc.)
Payment Card See Merchant Card
PIN Personal Identification Number. A secret numeric password used to authenticate
the user to the system.
POS System Point-of-Sale system. A computer-based system that processes payments over a
network. A POS system differs from an e-Commerce system in that the payer and
card are usually present at the time of the transaction.
Service Provider Organization that processes, stores or transmits cardholder data on behalf of merchants.
Terminal A machine used to electronically process credit or debit card payments. Card data
may be captured by swiping the card through a designated slot in the terminal, by
inserting an EMV Chip card, or by keying in the card number by hand. Payment
information may be transmitted over phone lines.
CVV Card Validation Value. Also known as Card Validation Code. This is the 3 or 4 digit
number on the back of the credit/debit card next to the signature line.