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Automated Clearing House is a national network for batch-oriented electronic funds transfer. ACH transactions are governed by NACHA operating rules, and provide a method for transferring funds between banks using the Federal Reserve System. Most (but not all) financial institutions use the ACH network.

Types of ACH payments include:

  • Direct deposits of all types including tax refunds, payroll and government benefits (like Social Security)
  • Direct payment of bills such as utilities, mortgages, loans and insurance policies
  • Federal, state and local tax payments
  • Business-to-business payments
  • E-checks
  • E-commerce payments

API Login

API Login ID is the assigned ID for accessing the API. This ID is needed for using Secure WebPay. It can be found in the Virtual Terminal.


An approval is any transaction approved by the credit provider or the check writer’s bank. Approvals are granted after an authorization has been requested by a merchant.

ATM VerifyTM

A risk management tool that fights against bad check writers by verifying in real time if a checking account currently has sufficient funds to cover the amount of a presented check and if the account is, as of opening of that business day, an open, valid account with positive funds or if the account is currently NSF, closed or cannot be located.


Only used for credit card transactions, an authorization is a request from a merchant to charge a cardholder. If approved, the authorization will decrease the customer’s available credit, but will not actually capture any funds. An authorization is the first step in the delayed settlement process, where the merchant may obtain an approval, but it is not settled within a specific period of time, the authorization will expire. The credit provider determines the delay period.

Authorization Code

Numeric or alphanumeric code issued by the credit provider and used to reference the authorization.

Auth Only

In this type of authorization, the merchant does not intent to capture funds until a later date. Often, funds are not captured on these authorizations.


Refers to the “capture” of funds at the end of a transaction. This typically follows “settlement” of the transaction, where the amount is actually debited to the customer’s account.


Acronym for Component Object Model, COM is a software architecture created by Microsoft and used as a basis for their interprocess communication. COM is language- independent, works within object-oriented programs/designs and is extremely versatile. In the PG system, COM is an accepted method for data posts, though not the preferred method. DSI is our preferred method (see below).


A transaction which is not approved by the credit provider/issuer. No authorization is issued.>


Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) provides for electronic payments and collections. EFT is safe, secure, efficient, and less expensive than paper check payments and collections. EFT is the preferred method of payment for the government. As stated by the Treasury web site “it costs the U.S. government $.83 to issue each check payment, it costs only $.08 to issue an EFT payment.”

Full Gateway Integration

One method that may be used to integrate into the Payments Gateway. It is the most difficult method, does not fall under Secure WebPay and requires the use of an SSL certificate.

HTML Integration

The easiest way to integrate to the Payments Gateway where merchants build a standard webpage with a form that submits to the PG. This method offers only sale/debit type transactions.


Assists businesses in determining, in real time, the likelihood that the person being spoken to is who they claim to be by generating a question and the corresponding answer. The correct person answers quickly and easily whereas the identity thief . Questions are generated from an aggregate of data sources including the Social Security Administration, regional Bell operating companies, credit header data, government watch lists and many other proprietary sources.

Merchant ID

This is the identification number for your organization, used by PaymentsGateway to identify you in all communications. It is critical that anyone contacting Customer Service or Technical Support for assistance know this ID number.


National Automated Clearing House Association. A body which develops and maintains the NACHA Operating Rules and oversees all ACH activities and procedures. NACHA is also responsible for the sale and distribution of payment-related publications and providing national education.


A negative check database services that can determine whether or not a specific checking account has:

  • dishonored items currently pending with a participating merchant
  • a “positive” check-writing history with merchants supplying data to the National Check Network
  • not been seen by National Check Network before, alerting you that the account in question may be new or simply not exist.


A high-capacity modular payment processing platform designed for maximum flexibility and availability.


Payment Card Industry. A measure that mandates merchants and service providers to meet certain minimum standards of security when they store, process and transmit cardholder data. PCI audits are performed on the Payments Gateway side to ensure a secure and safe transaction.

Pre Auth

See Auth Only – same meaning.

Pre Notification

Prior to sending the first ACH transaction to an ACH receiver or the ACH receiver’s account, the ACH originator may (optionally) send a pre-notification to be processed to the customer’s account. This provides notice of the intent to send additional items and the date on which they will be drafted from the customer’s account.

Procurement Card

Similar to credit cards and gift cards, procurement cards are typically issued by organizations to enable employees to purchase supplies or items for company use.


In computer terminology, this refers to unprocessed data. This term came originally from the UNIX platform and generally refers to data that is passed along without being interpreted or processed in any way.

The PG system will accept RAW HTTP data posts, but this is not a preferred method. We strongly recommend users adopt the DSI or Windows methods for posting data.

Recurring Transaction

A transaction that occurs more than once. Messages are created to determine how many recurring transactions occur, the frequency and the start date.


If a transaction has already settled and should have been voided, it can be reversed by issuing a credit to correct the error.

Secure WebPay

A method of submitting electronic transactions to the Payments Gateway with relatively minimal ease and security.

Secure Transaction Key

Found in the Virtual Terminal, the secure transaction key is used as an additional layer of authentication when submitting transaction requests from your Web site. The Transaction key should be treated as a password, i.e. securely stored and changed often. It is only needed for transaction signing.


In this process, authorized transactions are sent to the processor for payment to the merchant. This process finalizes the transaction and allows funds due the merchant to be “captured” and routed to the merchant’s bank for deposit. (In other words, the merchant cannot be paid until the transaction is settled.) It can take several days for funds to reach settlement. Credit card settlement may be within one day, while settlement for checks may take up to 90 days.


SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer, a communications protocol used to transmit private documents or information via the Internet. SSL encrypts data using a private key that is transferred over the SSL connection. Web sites that require an SSL connection have an address that begins with https:// rather than http://.


To void a transaction is to cancel one that has been authorized, but not yet settled. Settled transactions may not be voided, they must be reversed.