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A Glossary of E-Commerce Terms

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3-D Secure
Verified by Visa (VbV)
MasterCard SecureCode (MCSC)
3-D secure is a protocol designed to add a layer of security to online credit and debit card transactions. When 3-D Secure is enabled the customer will be redirected to a 3rd party page (generally at the domain of the MPI used by the customer's card-issuing bank, but sometimes at the bank's domain itself) to verify that the cardholder is the one making the purchase. It may be useful for merchants desiring to reduce their exposure to chargebacks and fraud, but it can be very confusing for the customer for a few reasons (discussed in the Wikipedia entry). 3-D Secure may be required for certain types of transactions in certain countries (notably, the UK).
3-D Secure
Address Verification Service
AVS is a basic fraud prevention tool that will compare the numeric portions of the billing address as entered on a checkout against the address on file with the issuing bank. “For example, if your address is 101 Main Street, Highland, CA 92346, AVS will check 101 and 92346.” 1) AVS is configured in your gateway, but should always be used with caution as it can cause problems for international customers, and even in the countries that do support AVS 2) the rate of false negatives (ie. AVS mismatches when the customer and/or billing address is valid) can be significant. If you enable AVS on your account we recommend keeping a close eye on the declines it generates, and setting it to the lowest threshold possible that makes sense to balance the risk of fraudulent orders against the risk of declining valid transactions.
Address Verification Service
“In the clear”
Cleartext refers to data that is stored or transmitted unencrypted. It could be said that opposite of cleartext is ciphertext.
Generally, ciphertext is data that is encrypted. It could be said that the opposite of ciphertext is cleartext.
Payment Gateway
A payment gateway is one of the more complex pieces involved with an e-commerce transaction, as it sits in between your e-commerce platform (FoxyCart) and your customer's money (at their bank). When a customer submits their checkout, FoxyCart securely communicates with your store's gateway, which then determines what type of payment method is being submitted (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.) and communicates with the appropriate system. This can lead to communicating with the issuing bank, determining if the transaction is ok based on the billing information entered, the AVS, other fraud controls, and etc., and then communicating back to FoxyCart, which in turn communicates the success or failure of the transaction to the customer.

Generally, once a day all of the transactions for the previous 24 hour period are “batched” to the merchant account, which continues the process and collects the appropriate funds that the gateway has already authorized and marked for capture.
Payment Gateways
Merchant Plug-In
An MPI is a separate piece of a payment flow that handles 3-D Secure verifications. Some gateways have 3-D Secure capabilities built into the gateway, while others require the use of 3rd party MPIs in order to handle 3-D Secure. (For example, PayPoint's 3-D Secure functionality is built into the gateway, but PayPal's Payments Pro (and Merchant eSolutions, and others) uses CardinalCommerce to handle 3-D Secure verifications.)
Merchant Plug-In
Payer Authentication Request
Payer Authentication Response
The PARes and PAReq values are used in the 3-D Secure protocol.
Verify Enrollment Request
Verify Enrollment Response
The VEReq and VERes are used in the 3-D Secure protocol to establish whether or not a customer has enrolled in 3-D Secure.
Visa and Mastercard support AVS in the US, Canada, and UK. American Express supports it in other countries. Address Verification Systems on Wikipedia.

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