The most important payment terms


An acquirer is a merchant bank that serves online merchants as a contractual partner for credit card payments. Acquirers conclude merchant service agreements with the online merchants (see "Merchant Service Agreement") so that they can offer the appropriate means of payment (e.g. Mastercard, Visa, etc.).

The acquirer also manages the flow of funds between the customer (cardholder) and the merchant. The acquirer deducts a percentage commission (also called a disagio) (for example 1.5%) based on the transaction value. The exact commission rates have to be negotiated with the acquirer and may vary depending on the acquirer.

On our website you will find the contact details of all acquirers in Switzerland and international acquirers Datatrans is working with.

An alias is a value used to stand in for the credit card number. You use the Datatrans alias to create profile data without storing critical data on your own servers. An alias is suitable for one-click check-out or for recurring payments (see "Recurring billing"). Further information click here.

This term means that a transaction has been approved for online payment. The amounts with the status "authorized" are only reserved for a very short time on the customer's credit card and still need to be settled (see "Settlement/Capture"). Settlement can take place either directly or deferred. The maximum duration of the reservation depends on the corresponding issuers.

The Datatrans Web Administration Tool is a web-based management tool that allows merchants to perform many useful and user-friendly functions such as booking, reporting, configuration, etc. It is accessed via

A chargeback is a transaction reversal. It is initiated by the cardholder through his bank. In a first step, the card issuer asks the acquirer for the receipts of the order (request for information). If the chargeback application is approved on the basis of the available documents, the transaction will be reversed and the amount will be refunded to the cardholder.

Reasons for chargebacks may include misuse of a credit card or a dispute with an online merchant (e.g. customer did not receive the goods).

The acquirer processes the chargeback requests. Questions in this context should therefore be directed to your acquirer.

These verification numbers are a security feature on credit cards that hinders the use of counterfeit or stolen credit card information.

  • CVV = Card Verification Value
  • CVC = Card Validation Code
  • CID = Card Identification

This verification number is located on the back of the credit card and usually has 3 digits. On AmericanExpress cards, the CID code is on the front and has 4 digits.

DCC stands for "Dynamic Currency Conversion". This function allows customers to pay directly in their home currency instead of the local currency. This procedure immediately identifies the country of origin of the credit card and converts the corresponding amount into the respective currency within seconds. The merchant thus benefits from the exchange rate gain.

Crediting a credit card transaction results in the repayment of an amount to the end customer's credit card. A credit may not exceed the amount originally debited. It may take a few days for the credit to be credited to the cardholder's account.

On the merchant’s side, credit notes are offset directly against the credit due to the merchant. The payment is processed by the acquirer.

The issuing bank, also called the issuer, is the bank or financial institution that issues credit cards (e.g. Visa, Mastercard) to end customers. In the event of problems with online transactions cardholders should contact their issuing bank.

Purchase on account, also called payment by invoice, is one of the most popular payment methods in Switzerland. There are numerous providers in online retailing who handle invoice processing. Please consult our payment methods page for further information.

The term used to describe the online shop owner.

Number that uniquely identifies your Datatrans solution. Our merchantIds have 10 digits and usually start with 30000 in the production environment and 10000 or 11000 in the test/pilot environment.

Merchants that want to offer credit card payments to their customers in their web shop need to sign a merchant services agreement. The contracts must be concluded with an acquirer, such as SIX Payment Services, Concardis or BS Payone (see "Acquirer").

After successful conclusion of a credit card merchant service agreement, the merchant receives her or his contract partner number (see "VU number"). The conclusion of corresponding merchant service agreements also applies to alternative payment methods such as PayPal, TWINT etc.

A payment service provider is a company that acts as a technical interface between an online shop and the various financial institutions and online payment methods. The service is purely technical. The PSP is not involved in the cash flow.

PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It is the relevant security standard in connection with electronic credit card payments.

All e-commerce companies offering credit card payments are subject to and must comply with PCI DSS requirements. If you have any questions regarding your PCI compliance, please contact your financial institution (see "Acquirer").

Further information can be found on the Datatrans website and on the official PCI DSS homepage.

PCI Proxy is a PCI-certified tokenization solution. With PCI Proxy you can transform sensitive payment data into universal tokens, reducing your PCI DSS scope to the minimum. As opposed to other gateways, PCI Proxy is not tied to any specific processor.

Simply transform cardholder data into universal PCI Proxy tokens and share them across any third-party or payment gateway endpoint (e.g. Stripe, Adyen, Amadeus, etc.). Prevent vendor lock-ins and make yourself independent from others while having complete control over your payment operations.

The abbreviation POI means "Point of Interaction". This refers to a point of sale, also called POS, whether online or instore.

Reconciliation stands for the automated matching of transactions with the remuneration notification of your financial institution in order to identify payment discrepancies, such as missing or incorrect payments from acquirers.

Recurring billing refers to payments that are taken at recurring intervals. They consist of a regular allocation of a certain amount, for example, the recurring subscription fee for the use of an information service. The Datatrans alias (see "Alias") enables you to debit credit cards automatically on a regular basis.

Settlement is the settlement of a previously successfully authorized transaction. There is no cash flow between the customer and the merchant until the settlement has been completed.

A virtual terminal is a special website that is provided by the PSP, for example, to enable merchants to make manual debits or to verify card numbers.

The VU or VP numbers are the contractor or contractual partner numbers. VU/VP numbers are generated by the acquirer and serve to identify the merchant and the services they offer.

The term wallet or e-wallet refers to a virtual wallet with different founding source options, i.e. credit cards, bank accounts. Examples of wallet solutions are PayPal, Masterpass or Apple Pay.