Welcome to the Glossary of Terms, part of our on-going effort to make finding a merchant account an easier process for you!

You may have noticed that throughout the site there are various links on certain terms, such as Gateway, or MOTO. Clicking on these links will take you to this page, on the appropriate definition. Or you can browse through our glossary now by clicking on the letter the term begins with.


ACH (Automated Clearing House)

Allows for the exchange and settlement of electronic payments between financial institutions.


Discount Rate

The fee charged by the merchant financial institution to the merchant for services associated with processing card transactions.




Known also as e-checks, electronic checks are a very useful, if underutilized, payment processing method. E-checks work in a similar fashion to paper checks, except they are processed electronically and can clear faster. As with paper checks, customers use funds from their checking or savings account when paying via electronic check.

Electronic Funds Transfer

The process of transferring funds from one account to another electronically rather than by check or cash.


The process of encoding information in such a way that only the person (or computer) with the key can decode it. Without encryption, information passed on the Internet is not only available for virtually anyone to read, but is often stored for years on servers that can change hands or become compromised in any number of ways.


Gateway ( See Also Payment Gateway)

A software usually provided by a third party such as Authorize.Net that allows a web site to be integrated to a merchant account.


Merchant Account

An account provided by a financial institution allowing your business to accept payment transactions for products/services in real time, via credit cards, e-checks, and debit cards.

Monthly Gateway Fee

Monthly Minimum

This represents the least amount that will be levied against you for discount rate fees in any month, even when you have no sales processed. You will be charged this fee only when the sum of all the discount fees you have paid for the particular month do not reach your minimum monthly specification.

Monthly Statement Fee

A charge levied each month for maintenance of your merchant account, preparing your statement, etc. Your statement from AVPS will include a detailed breakdown of all transactions processed on your account.

MOTO (Mail Order Telephone Order)

Credit card transactions initiated via mail, email or telephone. Sometimes eCommerce transactions are referred to as MOTO instead of eCommerce.


Payment Gateway (See Also Gateway)

A software usually provided by a third party such as Authorize.Net that allows a web site to be integrated to a merchant account.


PCI Compliance is a standard issued by Visa and MasterCard established in 2004 with the purpose of creating common industry security requirements. The PCI standard consists of 12 basic requirements. To see these requirements and read more about PCI Compliance, please click here. All AVPS’s software and hardware is 100% PCI compliant.

POS (Point of Sale)

This term is used when referring to a POS Terminal. This is the actual equipment used when processing credit or debit cards when the card is present and can be swiped.


Real Time

The processing of information that returns a result so rapidly that the interaction appears to be instantaneous. Most credit card transactions occur in real-time.


Retail credit card processing is also known as “in-person” processing, where the customer and the card are present.


Settlement Request

This is the funds transfer of funds from a cardholder’s account to the merchant.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)

A commonly-used protocol developed by Netscape for managing the security of data transmission over the Internet.


Transaction Fee

This is a fixed charge for each transaction processed through your merchant account.


Virtual Terminal

Allows a merchant to authorize, process, and manage credit card transactions manually from any computer that has an internet connection and a web browser. For more information about AVPS’s virtual terminal, please click here.



Term describing radio communication that requires no wire between two communicating points.