Training / Merchant Support

Merchant Training Center

Merchant Training Center

Cutting-edge equipment and state-of-the-art technology keep you at the forefront of the marketplace. This section is dedicated to providing training materials and quick reference guides to help you and your employees effectively operate your processing systems.

Didn’t find what you need? Contact a Customer Service Representative at (949) 861-4000, option1. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure that you receive the support you need.

Understanding Your Statement

Sample First Data® Statement:
(click to enlarge) Sample FirstData Statement
Sample TransFirst Merchant Statement:
(click to enlarge) Sample FirstData Statement

Industry Terms

Automated Clearing House is a banking system used to automatically deduct funds from a bank account using data provided such as account and routing numbers.

ACH Fraud
The malicious practice of using stolen bank account information for the purchase of merchandise, or by a legitimate account holder to purchase merchandise with the intention of returning it used or modified for a refund. ACH fraud also occurs when account holders falsely dispute transactions they authorized. Chargeback or Return fraud occurs with paper and electronic checks.

Acquirer, Acquiring Bank
A financial institution that is a member of Visa and/or MasterCard and maintains the Merchant credit card processing relationship. The acquirer receives all transactions from the Merchant to be distributed to the issuing banks.

Approval Response
An affirmative reply following a transaction authorization request that tells the Merchant a transaction has been approved.

The process of checking the cardholder’s account for the availability of sufficient funds prior to approving a transaction. In the case of a positive authorization, the cardholder’s credit limit at the time of the request is reduced to cover the transaction amount and the funds are set aside until settlement.

Authorization Approval Code
The numerical code (designated by the issuer) that is assigned to a sales transaction as verification that the sale is authorized.

Authorization Only (Auth Only)
This function is used to reserve a specified amount against a credit card's available credit limit for intended purchases. Authorization Only is most frequently used in the lodging (check-in), restaurant (tab) and car rental (pick-up) industries, where an approval is received for an estimated amount prior to the finalization of the charge amount.

Authorization Request
A Merchant's request for an authorization to accept a cardholder's sales transaction. An authorization request can occur electronically via a credit card processing terminal or via telephone as a voice authorization.

Automatic Bill Payment
An arrangement between a Merchant and his/her customer to allow automatic charges for a service to an agreed-upon credit or debit account. Often used for recurring services such as gym memberships, chiropractic care or payment plans for orthodontia.

Address Verification Service - a fraud protection tool created by Visa and MasterCard. Credit card issuers can verify the customer’s billing address against the card processor’s existing records. AVS returns a code that indicates whether or not the address provided by the customer matches the card’s billing address. If the match is not 100%, there may be a reason to expect fraud. It is up to the Merchant’s discretion as to whether to accept or deny the potentially fraudulent purchase request.

Batch Processing/Batching Out
Transactions are stored in a file in the terminal and sent as one transmission for processing, usually at the end of the business day. Once a batch has run, the process of moving money between processing entities and the Merchant begins. Merchants can either set their system to auto batch, or they may choose to do it manually. If a batch is not run daily, payments to the Merchant’s account will be delayed until the information is transmitted and additional charges may apply. This is also referred to as closing.

Bank Identification Number - a unique series of numbers assigned by Visa/MasterCard to a member institution which identifies that institution in transaction processing. The BIN comprises the first six digits of a standard credit card number.

Receiving and storing transaction data at the processor's host computer, POS or credit card terminal, to be submitted later for processing and payment.

Card-Not-Present (CNP) Transaction
A transaction which occurs when the cardholder is not present, or the physical card is not present. Examples include mail orders, telephone orders, and Internet sales. These types of transactions are considered higher risk transactions and typically carry a higher processing rate because the Merchant cannot always confirm that the cardholder has authorized the transaction.

Card Present
A type of transaction in which the card is physically present along with the actual cardholder at the business or Merchant location and is swiped through an electronic device that reads the contents of the magnetic stripe on the back of the card.

The person or company to whom a payment card is issued, owning an active credit card account that can be used to make purchases.

Cardholder Account Number
A sequence of numbers assigned specifically to a cardholder account that also identifies the issuer and type of payment card. The cardholder account number is the embossed number imprinted on the payment card.

Reversal of a sales transaction initiated by the issuer or cardholder that is returned to the acquirer for resolution. When the cardholder initiates the chargeback, the card issuer is obligated to refund the cardholder immediately on the charged back amount. The Merchant then has the opportunity to contest and provide proof of the transaction’s validity.

Chargeback Fee
The amount assessed by the acquirer for processing chargebacks.

Chargeback Reason Code
A numerical code which identifies the specific reason for a chargeback. MasterCard and Visa each have their own chargeback codes. If you receive a chargeback, please contact our Customer Service Department for assistance in understanding the reason codes.

Check Guarantee
A service that guarantees check payment to a Merchant up to a specified amount. Merchants need only perform correct authorization procedures to qualify for the guarantee. Feel free to contact our Customer Service Department for tips on following the proper authorization procedures.

Card Identification Number/Card Identifier - An American Express and Discover verification process that utilizes a non-embossed three- or four-digit number printed on the front or back of a consumer credit card.

On American Express cards, the CID is a four-digit code printed on the front of the card. On Discover cards, the CID is a three-digit code printed next to the card number in the signature panel.

Sending a Merchant's completed transactions to the host for processing. This is also referred to as batching.

Compliance to the Visa and MasterCard regulatory bylaws (PCI DSS).

See refund.

Credit Card
A plastic card with a credit limit used to purchase goods and services and to obtain cash advances on credit. The cardholder is then billed by the issuer for repayment of the credit extended.

Credit Rating
The Merchant's business or personal history of paying back loans.

Credit Slip
A form stating a refund or price adjustment will be credited to a cardholder account. Also referred to as a credit voucher or credit draft.

Credit Line
The cardholder's credit limit, meaning the maximum amount he/she can borrow when using his card.

Card Validation Code - MasterCard term for the three-digit code printed next to the signature panel on the back of a credit card and used as part of the authorization process. Also see CVV2.

Card Verification Value 2 - the three-digits on the back of a Visa (or the four-digits on the front of the American Express card) that links the card number to a specific cardholder. This number ensures the validity of the card.

Data Encryption
The scrambling of data so only the intended users can read and understand the coded information.

Demand Deposit Account - a checking account.

Decoding or unscrambling data so it cannot be accessed or read after having been encrypted.

Debit Card
A bankcard used to purchase goods and services and to obtain cash, which debits the cardholder's personal checking account. Debit Cards can be run with a PIN Pad where the customer enters their unique PIN number. If the card has a Visa or MasterCard logo it can also be run as a credit card.

A response from the card issuer denying the use of the card for the attempted transaction. If a request for approval is declined, the Merchant must ask the cardholder for another form of payment.

Digital Signature
A digital code attached to an e-mail that identifies the sender. Digital signatures are used to ensure the sender’s identity matches the real sender. Digital signatures play a crucial role in e-commerce and are a vital aspect of most authentication plans.

Discount Rate
The fee percentage assigned to each electronic transaction. The Discount Rate is paid for the right to process cards and use a Merchant account. Rates are determined by the Visa/MasterCard interchange with additional percentages added by processors, acquiring banks and other processing entities.

Electronic Commerce - the sale and purchase of goods or services over the Internet.

Method of scrambling data to protect a cardholder's personal information.

License or permission to accept a particular type of payment card or other payment method.

Exceeded Timeliness
A transaction that is deposited too late to qualify for the best interchange rate.

Expiration Date
The embossed expiration date on a bankcard. After that date, the card becomes invalid and should no longer be accepted.

When a legitimate Merchant processes another Merchant's transactions in return for payment. This practice is forbidden by the card associations.

Floor Limit
A specific dollar limit which defines the transaction limits for a Merchant account. Transactions above the determined limit require the Merchant to obtain authorization and provide additional documentation for the specific transaction.

A security tool that prevents file access or access to a server or database via the Internet. This in turn ensures the safety of cardholder information.

The process by which a voice-authorized transaction is key-entered into a point-of-sale system and then settled electronically with a batch of transactions.

Fraud Investigation
The process of identifying suspicious Merchant or cardholder activity.

Fraud Scoring
A set of fraud prediction technologies or models that assign a numeric value to define the risk of fraud.

The acquirer’s connection between its online Merchants and the Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express transaction processing systems. The Merchant server sends an encrypted transaction form to the payment gateway, which then authenticates the Merchant, performs a decryption process, and forwards the data via Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express to the issuer for authorization.

Hard Decline
A declined authorization attempt resulting from a lost or stolen card, pick-up card, etc.

Interchange Rates/Fees
Fees paid by the acquirer to the issuer to compensate for transaction-related costs. MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express establish interchange fee rates.

Internet Payment Gateway Service (IPGS)
Standard internet connection for Merchants and Merchant aggregators to securely send and receive payment transaction messages. Also see gateway.

IP Address
Internet Protocol Address. All computers have a unique IP address to help in identification and to track data sent or received from the specific address. The format of the IP Address is four sets of numbers separated by dots (eg.,

Issuer, Issuing Bank
The banks/financial institutions that are members of Visa and/or MasterCard that hold contractual agreements with, and issues cards to, cardholders.

Mail Order/Telephone Order Account (MOTO)
Merchants who process 50% or more of their transactions with the cardholder not physically present at their business (phone, fax, internet, mail) are considered MOTO accounts. Examples include catalog companies, phone or internet order for pizza delivery, or phone in flower delivery service. Sometimes referred to as MOPO (Mail Order Phone Order)

Merchant Category Code - a universal four-digit Merchant classification code that identifies the Merchant by type of processing, authorization and settlement. Similar to a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), but more defined.

Media Retrieval Requests
Media retrieval is the process of obtaining paper documents from a centralized location. There are two types of media retrieval requests: 1) requests for sales records from cardholders, and 2) requests for documentation in defense of a chargeback from card issuers.

A financial institution that is a member of Visa and/or MasterCard. A member is licensed to issue credit cards to consumers (issuer) and/or accepts Merchant drafts (acquirer).

Merchant Agreement
The written contract between the Merchant and acquirer that details their respective rights, responsibilities and warranties which govern the handling of credit cards and payments.

Merchant Bank
See Acquirer

Merchant Discount
The fee an acquiring member charges the Merchant to cover the costs of providing credit authorizations and handling credit card sales transactions. See Discount Rate.

Merchant ID
Merchant Identification Number – The unique identification number assigned to a Merchant by the acquirer.

Method of Payment - the way a Merchant chooses to accept payment for products or services. Examples include: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, JCB, Electronic Check and private label cards. It also would include payments in cash and by check.

Offline Debit
Debit transaction that occurs when a Visa/MasterCard check card is authorized through the credit card system and the amount is debited from the cardholder's checking (DDA) account.

Offline Transaction
A transaction that is authorized through a voice authorization and later keyed into a POS terminal to initiate the change and settlement process.

Online Transaction
A transaction that is authorized electronically.

Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)
The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) is being utilized worldwide by MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express to decrease debit and credit card fraud by imposing strict security standards on how cardholder data is handled and kept. Failure to comply with PCI DSS that results in a breach of cardholder data may result in substantial fines and, potentially, the suspension of the ability to accept card payments.

Pick Up Card
An issuer's electronic response to an authorization request, asking that the card be retained by the Merchant and returned to the issuer. This typically occurs when fraudulent cardholder activity is suspected.

Personal Identification Number - a secret code used to verify the identity of the person trying to use a credit card by the alphanumeric or numeric code. The PIN number is entered into a keypad and is encrypted to travel along with the authorization.

The process of recording debits and credits to an account.

In the electronic check-processing environment, a non-dollar transaction sent through the ACH network for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of the cardholder's account data.

Processing Fees
The fees associated with the processing of credit card transactions.

A company responsible for processing interchange transactions - operated by an acquirer or acting on the acquirer's behalf.

Purchasing Card
A payment card used by companies to replace paper invoices. P-Cards can be used to purchase goods for business purposes.

Real-time Authorization
Performs card authorization in real-time, as the purchase occurs. If the authorization is accepted, the order proceeds as expected. If the authorization is negative, the shopper receives an error message and is unable to complete the purchase until an approved card is entered.

Reason Code
A two-digit code identifying the reason a chargeback was initiated. If you receive a chargeback, please contact our Customer Service Department for assistance in understanding the reason codes.

A request for an additional amount to be authorized on an existing transaction. Used in the lodging industry when the original authorization is not sufficient to cover the charges (for example when a customer elects to extend their stay).

Tool designed to manage and control recurring transactions for customers receiving ongoing services.

Recurring Transaction
A transaction charged to a cardholder's account (with prior permission) on a periodic basis for recurring goods and services. Examples would be monthly plant/flower deliveries, health club memberships, orthodontia payment plans, etc.

A refund occurs when the Merchant rebates all, or a portion, of an original transaction amount to the cardholder. Refunds are typically made to the same card that was used for the original transaction. Similar to a Credit.

The attempt to rectify a chargeback situation with the bank. The Merchant and processor provide additional proof/background to support the validity of the transaction in question.

Retrieval Request
The card issuer can initiate a retrieval request when a cardholder does not remember a credit card transaction, or if the bank wants information on the transaction. The Merchant has 10 days to reply with the order information or the retrieval request is turned into a chargeback. Merchants are usually charged a fee.

See Void.

Secure Server
A web server or computer that is connected to the Internet and is able to establish a secure, encrypted form of communication with clients. A secure server generally uses SSL or SET encryption systems.

The process in which a Merchant transmits batches of transactions to the acquirer. In interchange, it is the process by which acquirers and issuers exchange financial data resulting from sales transactions, cash advances, merchandise credits, etc.

A card embedded with a microchip that stores programmable data. The smartcard is used for telephone calls, storing electronic cash, or for paying public transportation, tollbooths, and parking. When the money on the card is used up, the card can be recharged and can be used again.

Soft Decline
A declined authorization attempt that does not necessarily mean the card is bad (i.e., call referral, issuer unavailable or cardholder over limit). These transactions may be resubmitted a day or two later in an attempt to obtain a valid authorization.

Secure Sockets Layer - An established security standard that is used to encrypt data in order to protect the safety, privacy, and reliability of payment data transmitted over the channel between shopper and Merchant. SSL encrypts the channel between browser and web server so only the intended parties can read certain data, such as payment or customer information.

A file sent by the Merchant to the processor/acquirer that contains one or more transactions.

Summary Adjustment
A correction to a deposit, made by the acquirer, when there is an error in the submitted deposit.

Terminal Capture System - the process in which transactions are stored in the terminal until the batch is settled to the host. Most often used in restaurant applications where tip adjustments need to be made.

Terminal Identification Number – a number coded to a Merchant’s POS/credit card terminal that identifies that Merchant to the processor’s /acquirer’s data management system.

The process of replacing the card number in a transaction with a randomized token, eliminating the Merchant’s need to store the actual card data. This process significantly reduces the likelihood of a security breach and, should a breach occur, minimizes the impact of an attack. Equally important, it can limit the scope of PCI DSS compliance audits, saving Merchants time and money.

The exchange of goods for payment. A transaction is started when a credit card order is placed. Each attempt to authorize a credit card is considered to be an order attempt and therefore also considered to be a transaction.

Transaction Date
The actual date on which a transaction occurs.

Transaction Fee
The amount a Merchant pays per transaction for processing and handling.

Triple DES
Triple Data Encryption System – one of the newest technologies for helping to ensure the security of sensitive cardholder data. By July 2010 Triple DES will be required to process all PIN-based debit transactions.

Valid Date
The date embossed on a payment card stating when the card may first be used.

Voice Authorization
Transactions authorized by a voice operator. Voice-approved transactions are put into a terminal batch for settlement.

When an acquirer successfully represents a chargeback to the issuer, the chargeback is reversed and the funds are returned to the Merchant. Also the processes of voiding a transaction at the Point of Sale, typically for an incorrect sale amount.

Zero Floor Limit
Requires that all transactions receive authorization.


How do I view my daily transactions and check my batches?
Our company offers online reporting to assist in account reconciliation. By logging in to any computer with internet access you can check the status of deposits, pending and completed. This will help you manage your account books from any location in the world, even while you’re on vacation. For assistance contact Customer Support at (949) 861-4000.

When do I receive my deposits?
If your point of sale device is batched out prior to 6pm EST you will receive your deposits the next business day. If your credit card terminal is batched out after 6pm EST you will receive your deposit the following business day.

How do I update my account information?
Add or Remove an Authorized Account Contact
Click here to access the change form. Once you've printed and completed the form, fax to (949) 861-4444.

You should receive a follow up call or email confirming your information. Once information is confirmed, our Customer Support Team will update your business information within two business days.

Change your Address or Bank Account Information
If your Merchant Identification (MID) Number begins with 5101, 4343 or 5431 click here to access the change form.

If your Merchant Identification (MID) Number begins with 5436 or 4139 click here to access the change form.

Once you've printed and completed the appropriate form, fax to (949) 861-4444. You should receive a follow up call or email confirming your information. Once information is confirmed, our Customer Support Team will update your business information within two business days.

How do I locate my Merchant Identification Number (MID)?
Your Merchant Identification Number is located on your monthly billing statement. This number is required when calling customer service, ordering supplies, etc.

How do I add a Location/Account/MID?
Adding a location is quick and easy. With our National Account Team we can supply you with the necessary help to complete your new account set up and receive additional credit card equipment if needed.

How do I add additional services (American Express, Gift Cards, Checks) to my credit card terminal?
Simply contact our Customer Service Department at (949) 861-4000, option 1 and a representative will be happy to assist you. For more information regarding our added services click here.

How do I order supplies?
We’ve aggressively negotiated some of the best rates in the industry for terminal supplies.
Order at or call (866) 550-3815.
Membership ID: MerchSvcsGrp
Membership Password: 4StrXces

How do I add or change a credit card terminal or other equipment?
Contact our Technical Support Department at (949) 861-4000, option 2.

I need help with Online Processing (First Data™ Global Gateway, Transaction Central,
Contact Customer Support at (949) 861-4000, option 1 for assistance with password, login and other questions.

Click here to be directed to the Global Gateway Website
Click here to be directed to the Transaction Central Website
Click here to be directed to the Website

How do I change the email address that my transaction confirmations go to?
Please contact our Technical Support Team for assistance (949) 861-4000, option 2.

What if my Credit Card Terminal is dropped, lost or stolen?
Contact Merchant Services immediately at (949) 861-4000, option1. With our Merchant Club feature you can receive a preprogrammed credit card terminal fully loaded with all of your current information and shipped overnight so you receive it next business day. No need to worry about the hassle of new downloads and you’ll have minimal downtime of your credit card service. Click here for more details Merchant Club or contact a customer support representative at (949) 861-4000, option 1.

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