Glossary of Mobile Payment Terms


The expansion of mobile payments has introduced several new terminologies within the payments industry that most people may have never heard of. From NFC to tokenization, these terms may be confusing to some while others may not know what they mean. Regardless if you are a merchant, ISO, or consumer, it is important to become familiar with the latest buzzwords related to mobile payments in order to stay up-to-date with payment solutions.

Take a look at our glossary of mobile payment terms that will help you learn more about mobile payments and common phrases used:

ACH: Known as Automated Clearing House. An electronic payment that is sent between two different bank accounts.

Android Pay: A popular mobile wallet that was released in September of 2015 that is compatible with Android smartphones running Android 4.4 KitKat or later.

Apple Pay®: Considered the first successful mobile wallet that was launched in October of 2014. Apple Pay is compatible with Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Beacons: Wireless devices that convey Bluetooth signals to mobile devices nearby.

Bluetooth: Wireless technology that transmits data over a short distance.

Chargeback: Dispute over a transaction initiated by a cardholder against the card issuer.

Contactless Payments: Transactions that accept payments between a mobile device (phone or smart watch) and a terminal wirelessly.

EMV: Known as Europay, Mastercard, Visa. EMV is a worldwide standard for debit and credit payment cards established by chip card technology. EMV helps reduce fraud by protecting consumers, merchants, and issuers from potential losses caused by stolen or counterfeit cards used during payment.

Encryption: Data that is encrypted and can only be decoded by a decryption key or certified programs.

Loyalty Program: A rewards program given out by businesses to consumers who frequently buy goods or services. Examples of a loyalty program include exclusive sales, coupons, or free merchandise.

Mobile Wallet: A digital wallet that uses a mobile device to transfer a consumer’s debit/credit card information. Consumers can utilize a tablet, smartphone, or watch to access a mobile wallet and pay with it instead of a physical card.

mPOS: Stands for mobile point-of-sale.

Near Field Communication: Known as NFC. A type of contactless communication that exchanges data among mobile devices to credit card terminals.

PCI: Known as Payment Card Industry. Every merchant that accepts mobile payments must adhere to the regulations of the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Councl’s (PCI-DSS) guidelines. These guidelines are set in place to protect sensitive payment information and cardholder data as well as reducing security threats.

Samsung Pay: A popular mobile wallet that launched in September of 2015 for Samsung devices.

Tokenization: The method of exchanging a debit or credit card number with a valued token. Tokenization replaces confidential payment information with non-sensitive data, such as letters, numbers, or symbols in a randomized sequence.

For more information on SignaPay’s mobile payment solutions, click here.

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