Our Terminologies


There’s lots of jargon in this industry, so let’s explain some of the important terms.

Terminal Operation


Address Verification System A security method used for Customer Not Present keyed transactions to help reduce fraud. This method confirms the house number and numbers from the postcode of the cardholder’s registered address. (Not applicable on international cards.)


The store of transaction totals in the terminal.


Card Security Code (also known as CVV, CV2, CVC, CVVC and CSC). This is usually used for keyed transactions to reduce fraud. The CVV2 code is a 3 digit number found on the signature stripe, or for American Express, a four digit code on the front of the card.

Cashback or PWCB

A value-add service which allows you to debit a cardholder’s debit card and hand over the equivalent value in cash.

MID - Merchant Identification

A 7-16 digit number assigned by your bank to identify a merchant. Often abbreviated to MID. Additional card schemes may have separate MIDs.

PIN – Personal Identification Number

This is usually a 4-digit number entered at the point of sale to validate the cardholder.

End-of-day banking/settlement

The procedure whereby the terminal checks the totals it has stored in its Batch with the totals stored at your acquirer.

Terminal ID (TID)

A unique number assigned to each terminal.

UKCA – UK Cards Association

The organisation defining the rules and standard for the operation of most Point of Sales equipment in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Formerly known as Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS).


Broadband Internet

Broadband systems are typified by being always connected and having faster connection speeds than dial-up. The most popular kinds of broadband include ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) and Cable.

Dial backup

The ability of a terminal to revert to the dial mode of communication in the event of an IP/Ethernet connection being unavailable.

DSL filter

A device that improves the quality of an ADSL (broadband) enabled telephone line by separating data and voice signal frequencies.


A standard used to physically connect devices together. Networking protocols such as IP can be used over Ethernet connected equipment.

GPRS – General Packet Radio Service

This is a method of communicating data via the mobile phone network.

IP – Internet Protocol

A method whereby data is transmitted over networks such as the Internet (may also be expressed as TCP/IP). IP address A number represented in the form XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX which identifies a device on the Internet (for example: These numbers are the networking equivalent of telephone numbers.

MAC address – Media Access Control address

An individual address given to every piece, of Ethernet networking equipment. This address is always marked on Spire Payments equipment containing such an address. Do not confuse with Message Authentication Certificate: a certificate used in the UKCA Standard 70 message protocol.

PABX – Private Automatic Branch eXchange.

Usually found as part of a larger telephone system, requiring the user to press a number on their telephone to make an external call.

TCP port

A number representing a service at a particular IP address.

Wi-Fi access point

A device that allows a Wi-Fi terminal to connect to a host or acquirer. The access point can communicate with an external network either via dial or network communications.


A wireless method of short range communication usually found in handheld devices.