Acquirer (or merchant bank)
A financial institution that processes card transactions on behalf of a merchant.

Another term for American Express.

Android Pay
A Contactless payment system for Android mobile devices to communicate and send payment to our card machines.

Apple Pay
A Contactless payment system for Apple mobile devices to communicate and send payment to our card machines.

Approval of credit and debit card transaction by a card issuer (high street bank like Barclays, Halifax, Lloyds etc.) or an acquirer (see above) on behalf of a card issuer.

Recognition for our achievements. We’ve won a lot of these!

AVS (Address Verification Service)
Verification of a cardholder’s billing address.


Wireless technology using radio transmissions, invented in the 90s and used today to enable our Portable Card Machines to process payments without being physically connected to the base station. Portable machines are used by many restaurants, clubs and bars.

A form of wireless communication that processes data at a higher rate through an internet connection.


Card Issuer
An Institution that issues a credit or debit card to a cardholder (person or business). This could be a bank, building society or credit union.

Card Machine
Our Card Machines, also known as PDQ machines, Chip and PIN machines, card terminals and card readers take payment from a registered payment card or Contactless device. By interacting with the card or device by tapping, inserting or swiping, the machine will transfer the payment quickly and securely to the merchant account.

Card Reader
Card Readers are another name for Card Machines, Card Terminals and PDQ machines.

Card Scheme
A network created by a card association brand like MasterCard and Visa, which banks can join to issue cards to its clients.

A person or business that’s been issued a card.

Cardholder Transaction
When a cardholder makes a validated payment or withdrawal using their card.

The return of funds to a customer. When a card issuer (customer’s bank) charges an acquirer (merchant bank) for a forced return of funds. The acquirer may then charge the merchant for the reversed transaction.

Chip & PIN
A method of transaction created to fight signature fraud of cardholders.

Our cloud-based integrated payments solution that creates a seamless link between the Card Machine and the EPoS to help the merchant boost profits, increase staff efficiency, save time and improve the customer experience.

Corporate Card
A payment card issued to businesses. Corporate credit cards often have different rates and terms to personal cards.

Countertop Card Machine
Our Countertop Card Machine is our fast, efficient and professional card payment solution for storefront businesses. Countertops typically live on the store’s sales counter and so are ideal for Retail, Cafés and Hair and Beauty Parlours.

Credit Card
A payment card issued to a person or business making payments on a loaned amount until said funds are settled by the agreed repayment date. Uncleared funds normally accrue interest at a rate set by the card issuer.

CSC (Card Security Code)
This is made up of the the last three digits on the signature strip of a credit or debit card.


Debit Card
A card allowing the cardholder to make payments based on the cleared funds in their bank, building society or credit union current account.


Internet-based payments and transactions in return for goods and services.

EPoS (Electronic Point of Sale)
Also known as a till, an electronic cashier system used to register transactions.


Payment Gateway
A Payment Gateway is software that verifies the use of a credit or debit card during an online transaction.

Gateway ID
A unique ID number given to a Gateway Transaction.

Gift Card
Part of our suite of additional services, Gift Cards are fully customisable cards to buy and redeem in store. Gift Cards are preloaded with credit and purchased by customers who give them as gifts, encouraging new and repeat business.

An option available to customers who use our terminals. Gratuity allows customers to add a tip for staff or add service charge a popular utility in restaurants or taxis.

GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)
A mobile data service using wireless cellular communication. Our Mobile Card Machines use GPRS to transact payments made anywhere in the UK.

Magnetic Stripe (Mag Stripe) Cards
This is a type of card that stores data on a black magnetic strip across the back. When swiped on a card terminal, the machine modifies the tiny magnetic strips to process the payment. This happens on both payment cards and gift cards.

Merchant Service Provider (MSP)
Paymentsense is Europe’s largest merchant service provider. We partner with a number of merchant banks to ensure we negotiate the best card processing rates for our customers.

Merchant Bank
A bank holding a merchant’s business account(s). This is where funds from business sales are held and distributed to the merchant’s business bank account.

Merchant Identification Number (MID)
A unique identification number that the merchant bank uses to identify a merchant’s storefront or point-of-sale terminal in order to process and track credit card transactions. Each till in a store will have a different MID, letting the merchant bank track a transaction right down to the till used.

Mobile Card Machine
Our Mobile Card Machine permits wireless payments anywhere in the UK by using GPRS/GSM mobile networks. It also comes with a longlife battery and robust casing, perfect for travelling. Taxi drivers, trades people and delivery services often use Mobile Card Machines to take payment wherever they are.

MOTO (Mail Order Telephone Order)
MOTO transactions are remote payments made over the phone between the merchant and the customer. Unlike card machines transactions, the cardholder is not normally present when the merchant takes the payment, but the merchant uses the customer’s details to make the payment through an online gateway.


New To Card (NTC)
New To Card refers to merchants who are not currently accepting card payments.

Near Field Communication (NFC)
NFC is a type of technology that uses close-range wireless communication. Contactless devices like payment cards use NFC and radio-frequency identification (RFID) to send payment instructions to our Card Machines.


PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards)
Every merchant must complete PCI DSS Verification in order to accept card payments. Why? PCI DSS was established in 2004 American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa to create a set of policies and procedures for the card payment industry.

The aim of these policies was to guarantee the security of credit, debit and cash payments and protect cardholders (people and businesses with payment cards). Fortunately, we provide over-the-phone PCI DSS Verification guidance as part of our extended services.

Payment Service Provider (PSP)
PSPs offer merchants the ability to accept online payments by credit & debit cards, direct debit, bank transfer and more. For more information visit our Payment Gateway page.

PDQ Machine
A PDQ Machine, which means ‘Process Data Quickly’ is a credit card machine used to process card payments. PDQ, card machine, card terminal, and card reader are all different names for the same thing.

PIN stands for ‘Personal Identification Number’. Used in combination with a payment card’s digital ‘chip’, the PIN is used in place of the cardholder’s signature to used to verify the user’s identity and complete a transaction.

Point of Sale (POS)
A POS is another name for a cashier or till used to register and process cash and card payments. Electronic Point of Sale (EPoS) systems refer to POS machines with an electronic interface and software. Sometimes Point of Sale refers to the system actually managing various point-of-sale mechanisms.

Portable Card Machine
Our Portable Card Machine is popular with Restaurants, Bars and Pubs who want the flexibility to take payment anywhere on their premises. Using Bluetooth technology, the card terminal connects wirelessly with the base station and operates at a range of up to 100m.

Public Telephone Switched Network.


At Paymentsense we give you a free quote for your merchant account and chosen Card Machine. Not only could you save up to 40% but we can get you set up with a credit card terminal in 3 days. Get a quote from us today.

Roaming SIM
Our Mobile Card Machines come complete with a Roaming SIM, letting merchants take payments anywhere in the UK from credit & debit cards, Contactless and Apple Pay & Android Pay devices. Our Roaming SIM uses a GPRS mobile signal to connect and process a merchant’s transactions.


The term ‘Settlement’ is used to describe the process of a customer’s bank approving a card transaction and sending the funds to the merchant’s bank account. Settlements are typically completed before the end of each working day.

Shopping Cart
A shopping cart is a digital version of a real cart in which online customers ‘place’ items they want to buy. Shopping cart integration is commonplace on E-commerce sites, however many still require a payment gateway for secure payment processing. At Paymentsense we offer safe and secure payment gateways as part of our E-commerce solution.

SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer)
A digital certificate created from security technology that recognises a website is who it says it is (very important) and processes the transaction securely along the server. This is the technology we use for our payment gateways.


A card terminal refers specifically to the device used to process card payments. Card terminals, PDQ Machines, Card Machines, Card Readers and Chip and PIN machines all refer to the same device.

Terminal Identification Number (TID)
A terminal ID is a unique string that identifies a given terminal assigned to a merchant. All of our terminals have a TID.

Till Roll
Paper rolls used to print customer and merchant receipts from the card terminal.

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Void refers to a payment request that has been refused or rejected by the customer’s bank. A voided payment is officially recorded and cannot be reversed.

Wi-Fi Card Machines
Wi-Fi Card Machines refer to our wireless Portable Card Machines that can process card transactions through an internet connection. These are especially useful in Restaurants, Bars and Pubs.