Glossary

3D Secure

An authentication method used by merchants to validate cardholders. The cardholder authenticates their card against the issuing bank's website. The merchant chooses whether to use 3D secure. This enables the merchant to shift liability from themselves to the issuing bank. 3D Secure requires that cardholder interaction.

Automated Clearing House (ACH)

An electronic network for processing financial transactions. An alternate payment method, that uses the routing and account number for US bank account holders, to electronically transfer money to the merchant.

Acquirer bank

An acquiring bank is a bank, or financial institution, that processes credit or debit card payments on behalf of a merchant. The acquirer must approve or decline a credit card transaction. If approved, the acquirer must then complete the transaction by placing the funds into the merchant's account. The term acquirer indicates that the bank accepts or acquires credit card payments from the card-issuing banks within an association.

Acquirer Bank Identification Number (BIN)

A BIN used to settle and clear a transaction. The acquirer BIN is used to enable 3D Secure.

Action

Within the Rebilly rules engine, an action is an operation that executes when an event occurs. Action and event conditions are defined in rules.

Application Programming Interface (API)

A software interface which facilitates communication between two or more pieces of software. An API specification describes how to use the interface.

API authentication

Identity authentication of a user that is trying to access API resources.

API key

The API secret or publishable key. A user can have multiple keys. A user can be a member of one or more merchants. And a merchant can have multiple members.

Apply

Redeemed coupons are applied automatically to a customer's invoice, if this complies with the coupon's restrictions.

Approval

The result of a valid transaction that is accepted by the issuing bank.

Audit

A compliance or financial evaluation that takes place once, or more, each calendar year.

Auth (authorization)

A transaction type used to authorize that a card is valid. It results in a hold placed on the cardholder's account for the authorized amount. An authorization response code is later used to capture the authorized funds.

Address Verification System (AVS)

Verification of a cardholder's billing address during a transaction. Used in fraud prevention during credit and debit card transactions.

Balance

The amount a customer owes the merchant. To calculate the balance:

  1. Add all debit invoice items.
  2. Subtract credit invoice items, on invoices that are not abandoned or voided.
  3. Subtract all approved sale or capture transactions.
  4. Add approved refund or void transactions.

Billing

The process of sending payment requests and receiving payments.

Billing address

The address that is associated with a bank card. The issuing bank mails statements to this address. Invoices should also use this address. Note that a delivery address, where products are delivered, may be a different location to the billing address.

Issuer Bank Identification Number (BIN)

The first 6 digits of the payment card, which typically identify the issuing bank. An issuing bank may have multiple BINs.

Bitcoin

A cryptocurrency, and a potential alternative payment method.

Blocklist

A stored value that, if matched, aborts an operation. Rebilly provides blocklists for: customer IDs, emails, IP addresses, BINs and payment cards. Create a temporary blocklist by adding an expiration date.

Cancelation

The termination of a customer's subscription.

Capture

Describes the action of capturing authorized payment card funds. A capture debits funds from a cardholder's account, and on settlement, moves the funds to the merchant's account.

Chargeback

A cardholder can dispute a charge with their issuing bank. If the issuing bank accepts the dispute, it becomes a chargeback. A chargeback is sent through the card association to the acquirer, and to the merchant. The merchant has a deadline to respond to the chargeback. The response is called “representment.” A chargeback includes a reason code. Reason codes are specific to and predefined by each of the card brands, such as: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and so on.

Check

A bill of exchange where the drawee is the bank. A check is for specific amount, to a specific payee, or to cash. A check is for one single payment only. In the US, a check has a routing number and an account number.

Checkout

Hosted forms where customers create a subscription to a merchant, and where merchants collect payments from customers.

Compliance

Ensures that a body, for example Rebilly, is aware and of and is taking measures to comply with issued regulatory laws, rules, or specifications that are in place for an industry.

Consecutive decline

The number of times a payment card was consecutively declined while authorizing an auth or capture transaction.

Coupon

Coupons enable a merchant to apply different types of discounts to invoices, subscriptions, and plans.

Credit

In accrual accounting, a credit is the opposite of a debit. A credit is a positive amount added to an account.

Credit card

A credit card is a line of credit issued to a consumer by a bank. Transactions within the credit limit are financed with the expectation of future settlement with the issuing bank.

Currency

A system of money that is in common use. For example, US dollar, British pound, and so on.

Customer

A customer is an entity that is purchasing goods or services from a merchant, and is the payee in any transaction that is credited to the merchant. Customers are associated with payment cards, subscriptions, invoices and other miscellaneous relationship models.

Card Verification Value/Code (CVV2/CVC/CVC2)

A verification code that is displayed on a payment card.

Doing Business AS (DBA)

A pseudonym used by a company when not operating under their registered company name.

Debit

In accrual accounting, a debit is the opposite of a credit. A debit is an amount subtracted from an account.

Debit card

A payment card associated with a bank account, which enables the cardholder to pay for goods and services electronically. When a debit card is used, the amount is automatically debited from the cardholder's bank account.

Decline

A response where the issuing bank does not approve a payment transaction. A reason code is supplied, which describes why transaction was declined, such as: insufficient funds, incorrect billing address or CVV, and so on.

Delivery address

The physical address where goods are delivered to a customer. This address may be the same, or different to, the billing address.

Direct debit

A payment system, that once agreed, authorizes an organization to collect amounts from your account. Advance notice of amounts and dates of collection must be provided before an amount is debited.

Merchant discount rate

The rate charged to a merchant for payment processing services on debit and credit card transactions. This rate is in addition to other fees that a payments processor may charge the merchant.

Dispute

A Rebilly term that describes chargebacks and retrievals.

Dispute deadline time

The latest time, or date, by which a merchant must submit a representment for a dispute. If the deadline is missed, the merchant loses the dispute.

Dispute reason code

The code used in a chargeback that describes the reason for the dispute.

Dunning

The process of methodically communicating with customers to ensure the collection of accounts receivable. In Rebilly's terms and use, it is the process of retrying unsuccessful payment transactions.

Dunning discount

A discount that a merchant can grant the customer in exchange for debt collection of a balance that is due.

Dunning index

The order in which dunning schedules are applied in the dunning process.

Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC)

DCC provides the customer with the choice to be billed in the original transaction currency, or the customer's local currency.

Dynamic descriptor

A descriptor is the text that is displayed on the cardholder's billing statement. It clearly identifies the source of a credit or debit card transaction. A dynamic descriptor can be modified on a per transaction basis.

Exchange rate

The rate at which one currency will be exchanged for another currency.

Exchange time

The time a currency exchange occurred. This time is used to lock in an exchange rate for the exchange.

Events

Within the Rebilly rules engine, an event is a preconfigured occurance. Events are configured in rules.

Forecast

Predicting future revenues, cost, other behavior, and metrics based on historical data and other factors.

Fraud

When a customer uses deception to receive financial gain.

Gateway

A payment gateway is a service which enables merchants to receive payments from their customers to their merchant account. A merchant account is a bank account that enables businesses to receive payments.

Gateway credentials

The credentials given to a merchant by the merchant's payment gateway.

Grids

Grids are tables of data that are viewable in the Rebilly app by a user. Grids are customizable. Users can add, remove, and edit the column order.

Installment payments (hire purchase)

The legal term for a contract in which a purchaser agrees to pay for goods in parts, or a percentage, over a number of months. Other similar practices are described as closed-end leasing or rent to own.

Invoice

An invoice is a commercial document issued by a seller (merchant) to a buyer (customer), relating to a sale transaction and indicating the products, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services the seller has provided the buyer. Payment terms are usually stated on the invoice.

  • Invoices are associated to a customer, currency, and website.
  • Invoices have an issued time, due time, and closed time when it has been paid.
  • Invoices may also have a voided time or abandoned time, if the invoice is voided or abandoned.

Invoice item

Refers to a line on an invoice, which may contain information about the product, quantities, duration, and prices.

Issuing bank

The bank that issued the payment card to the cardholder.

Late fees

Fees a customer may be charged, in addition to the balance due, if their payment is not received by a specific due date. Some merchants allow a grace period before charging a late fee.

Layout

A collection of plans, in a specific order, which a merchant may present to a customer or prospective customer, on a "pricing" or "plans" page.

Like for like

A phrase that means processing and settling in the same currency.

Live and sandbox environment

The sandbox is an isolated testing environment that facilitates testing of configurations and code. It is not accessible to users outside of your organization. Configurations are first tested in the sandbox before they are moved to the live environment, where the configuration is accessible to real users.

Merchant Category Code (MCC)

A four-digit number assigned to a business by credit card companies when the business first accepts a credit card as a form of payment. MCC is used to classify the business by the type of goods or services that it provides.

Merchant

A merchant sells a product to end-users or consumers.

Merchant Identification Number (MID)

A unique merchant identification code provided to merchants by their payment processor.

One-time charge

An single, non-recurring, amount that a merchant can charge a customer using the Rebilly API.

Payment Account Number (PAN)

A payment card number. Typically 12 to 16 digits in length. PANs must be protected based on the PCI compliance.

Partial payment

Different from an installment payment, a partial payment represents a customer who has paid any amount that is less than the balance due.

Past due

A customer balance of more than 0, that is past the due date of an invoice.

Payment

The action or process of paying for goods or services. A payment creates a transaction.

Payment collection

The process of collecting the balance due from a customer on behalf of a merchant.

Payment method

The type of payment used to settle a balance due. Some examples are:

PayPal

Both an acquirer and an alternate payment method.

Paysafe card

An alternate payment method that is a prepaid online payment card.

Payment Card Industry (PCI)

The payment card industry consists of all the organizations which store, process, and transmit cardholder data.

Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance

A set of regulations that Rebilly must comply with.

Plan

A template of the key terms describing a subscription. A plan may have optional setup fees, an optional trial period and fees, and an optional recurring fees and frequency. A plan may also expire, or be valid only for a limited number of recurrences.

Prepaid card

A payment card, which requires that funds must be loaded to an account before it can be used.

Pricing

The amounts set up for specific plans that a merchant may offer.

Processing limits

A limit on the amount that a processor is willing to process, for the merchant, for some frequency. Rebilly uses calendar month as the period frequency.

Processor

A term that is used interchangeably with gateway, which describes the mechanism that provides communication to the acquirer or acquirer's platform.

Product

The product a merchant is selling. A merchant may sell many products. A product may be attached to a plan.

Product bundle

Selling more than one product as a package.

Reconciliation

The process of checking merchant account statements, from a merchant's processor or acquirer, against actual deposits that are in a corporate bank account, against sales records in Rebilly.

Rebill

A Rebilly term for a recurring payment.

Rebill number

The number of recurring payments in a subscription, excluding trials or setup fees.

Rebilly App

Our merchant-facing web application.

Recurring amount

The agreed balance that a customer will pay in recurring intervals for a subscription.

Redeem

The act of applying a coupon to a customer.

Refund

A refund removes funds from the merchant and transfers them back to a customer. A refund is similar to a void, except a void must happen before settlement of funds.

Renewal

A customer agreement to continue a subscription for a new period of time.

Report Filters (also known as: extended filters)

The ability to filter report data by a variety of fields. The fields may or may not appear on the actual report.

Representment

The term used to describe the merchant's reply to a chargeback, with the intent to prevent the acquirer from retrieving funds that were previously settled.

Reserve

The amount of funds a processor withholds from a merchant, usually in a specially designated reserve account. The purpose of the reserve is risk mitigation for the processor. The reserve amount may be 0, a flat amount, or a percentage of transactions. The reserve may also be a rolling reserve, where the amounts in the reserve are released after some period of time. A typical period of time for a rolling reserve may be six months.

Response

This term describes the response message when interacting with a payment gateway. Each gateway has unique response messages. Some gateways may also have response codes.

Response types:

  • Approved: Transaction approved.
  • Declined soft: Transaction declined, but may work at some point in the future.
  • Declined soft fix: Transaction may be retried with additional data, or data correction, from the customer.
  • Declined hard: Transaction cannot be retried. Examples: "No such card issuer", "Transaction not allowed", and "Stolen card".

Restrictions

Settings applied to a coupon that restrict the usage.

Retention

The continued use or payment of a good or service by a customer.

Retrieval (also known as: information request)

The process where an issuer requests information about a transaction through the card association to the acquirer, which passes it to the merchant. A retrieval precedes a chargeback.

Rule

A predefined event condition. When the condition occurs an event or action is executed. Use rules to customize application logic to execute configurable actions.

Sale

A transaction type that captures funds from a customer. A sale can be voided prior to settlement, and it can be refunded after settlement. A sale debits a customer account and credits a merchant account.

Schedule

The plan or configuration to carry out a subscription. Elements include:

  • Duration: Length of time that a plan is valid until.
  • Time unit: Unit of time that defines a plan's interval, such as: day, week, month, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, annual, and so on.
  • Number of units: Number of time units that occur between each plan interval.
  • Repeats on: Day of week, day of month, or the anniversary that an interval repeats on.
  • Number of occurrences: Number of intervals in a plan. A plan with no end is defined with 0 number of occurrences.

Setup amount

A fee charged to a customer for setting up a new subscription. Usually a one-time charge.

Status

The state of a model entity, such as pending, active, inactive, and so on.

Stop

The termination of a subscription, which may be due to cancelation or expiration.

Stop reason

The reason a subscription stopped.

Subscription

A subscription is an instance of a plan for a specific customer and website combination.

A subscription has the following properties:

  • Plan.
  • Customer.
  • Website.
  • External ID.
  • Start time.
  • End time, canceled time, or renewal time.
  • Rebill number, which increments each time it renews.
  • Quantity.
  • Product.
  • Billing address.
  • Delivery address.

Tailored pricing

The creation of unique prices that are specific to a customer, or group of customers, for specific products or product bundles. A merchant may want to charge customers different prices for the same product. This pricing strategy is common in SaaS models.

Tokens

A string that can be used once, which represents a customer's payment card details. A token expires within 24 hours.

Trial

A trial is an attribute of a plan, which indicates a period that has different pricing, with the possible inclusion of being free.

Transaction

An instance of an action regarding a payment. A transaction:

  • Contains a result, which is: approved, declined, canceled, abandoned, or unknown.
  • Has an amount and a currency.
  • Is related to a specific merchant website and a customer.
  • Can be related to another transaction, such as the void of a previous sale.
  • Is related to a payment method.
  • Cannot be deleted. The only property of a transaction that can be updated is the result.

Transaction types

  • Authorize: Payment authorization.
  • Capture: Capture of funds from a previous authorization.
  • Credit: Transfer of funds to a customer.
  • Refund: The return of funds from a previously settled transaction.
  • Sale: A sequence that involves an authorize and a capture transaction.
  • Void: Cancelation of an unsettled capture or an authorization.
  • Setup: The set up a payment instrument for future use in payments

User

An entity that can be authenticated and granted access to the Rebilly system through API or app.

User roles

A defining attribute of a user that determines their level of access and privileges in the system.

Void

A transaction type that reverses an authorization, capture, or sale transaction. A void can only occur before settlement, otherwise a refund must be used to credit the customer.

Webhooks

An HTTP request to a merchant defined URL, which notifies the merchant in a programmatic way of certain events, such as: a new transaction, a new subscription, or a new invoice.

Website

Similar to a store, a website links a customer to merchant through a subscription. A website typically determines the processor account and billing descriptor used for payment transactions.

Weights

A method of attaching a priority or value to an entity that is being programmatically selected amongst others. Used in processor selection, and plan layout selection. The higher the weight, the more likely an entity is to be selected.

Wire

An alternate payment method. An electronic transfer of funds. Wire transfers transfer money from one bank account to another.