Contact pad for the electrical interface on the front side of a credit card
Chip and PIN UK logo

Payment method based on a technical standard for smart payment cards and for payment terminals and automated teller machines which can accept them.


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Personal identification number

Numeric (sometimes alpha-numeric) passcode used in the process of authenticating a user accessing a system.

A personal identification number sent to its user in a letter. The darkened paper flap prevents the number from being read by holding the unopened envelope to the light.
When using this credit card terminal, a VISA cardholder swipes or inserts their credit card, and enters their PIN on the keypad

The PIN is not printed or embedded on the card but is manually entered by the cardholder during automated teller machine (ATM) and point of sale (POS) transactions (such as those that comply with EMV), and in card not present transactions, such as over the Internet or for phone banking.

Credit card

[[File:Creditcardwcontactless.png|thumb|250px|An example of the front in a typical credit card:1. Issuing bank logo

Metal signs at a plant nursery in Los Angeles County, California marketing Mastercharge and Bankamericard
Receipt from 1997 - card physically swiped and information imprinted on the receipt
Visa, MasterCard, American Express are card-issuing entities that set transaction terms for merchants, card-issuing banks, and acquiring banks.
An example of street markets accepting credit cards. Most simply display the acceptance marks (stylized logos, shown in the upper-left corner of the sign) of all the cards they accept.
Acceptance mark at an automated teller machine

Most modern credit cards use smart card technology: they have a computer chip embedded in them as a security feature.

Magnetic stripe card

Type of card capable of storing data by modifying the magnetism of tiny iron-based magnetic particles on a band of magnetic material on the card.

An example of the reverse side of a typical credit card:
Green circle #1 labels the magnetic stripe.
Visualization of magnetically stored information on a magnetic stripe card (recorded with CMOS-MagView, dark colors correspond to magnetic north, light colors correspond to magnetic south)
The first prototype of magnetic stripe card created by IBM in the late 1960s. A stripe of cellophane magnetic tape is fixed to a piece of cardboard with clear adhesive tape
Front side of the first magnetic stripe plastic credit card. Note that the narrow magnetic stripe is on the front of the card. It was later switched to the back side.
Back side of the first magnetic stripe plastic credit card
Back of early magnetic striped encoded paper card. The narrow magnetic stripe in the center of the card was applied using a magnetic slurry paint.
Example of a card from the late 1980s used in food vending machines in the UK
Detailed visualization of magnetically stored information on a magnetic stripe card (recorded with CMOS-MagView, dark colors correspond to magnetic north, light colors correspond to magnetic south).

2: International interchange, use IC (chip) where feasible

Payment terminal

Device which interfaces with payment cards to make electronic funds transfers.

PAX Technology S90 credit card terminal with a Visa card inserted.
A typical fixed install card terminal from 2006
A typical counter-top payment terminal from 2007
An older generation Ingenico credit card terminal and separate keypad from 2006
Legacy generation payment terminal
A touch screen based VeriFone MX 915 series payment terminal.

There have also been incidence of skimming at card terminals and this led to the move away from using the magnetic strip to capture information using EMV standards.

Contactless smart card

Contactless credential whose dimensions are credit-card size.

Universal contactless smart card reader symbol
Size comparison of chip compared to a Canadian penny
RF smart card schematic
The plastic inlay (right) that contains IC and antenna inside paper contactless smart card used in public transportation in Singapore (left)
Novosibirsk (Russia). Transport fare collection terminal CFT
Smart card being used to pay for public transportation in the Helsinki area
An electronic ticket machine used to read prepaid cards and issue tickets in Mumbai

In general there are two classes of contactless bank cards: magnetic stripe data (MSD) and contactless EMV.

Point of sale

Time and place where a retail transaction is completed.

Points of sale at a Target retail store
The counter of a café at the new Centrum department store in Tampere, Finland in 1961
McDonald's POS device by Brobeck
1986 Eugene "Gene" Mosher introduced the first graphical point of sale software
Points of sale at a grocery store in Ilorin, Kwara
Reception desk POS
Restaurant POS
Tablet-based POS

Regarding the payments, mobile POS can accept all kinds of payment methods from contactless cards, EMV chip-enabled cards, and mobile NFC enabled cards.

Europay International

Financial company.


The EMV payment system, now a de facto standard for debit and credit cards, was named from Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, the three companies that proposed its usage.

ISO/IEC 14443

International standard that defines proximity cards used for identification, and the transmission protocols for communicating with it.

A passive proximity card for door access.

EMV payment cards (PayPass, Visa payWave, ExpressPay)

Near-field communication

Set of communication protocols that enables communication between two electronic devices over a distance of 4 cm (11⁄2 in) or less.

The Secure Element chip, an NFC chip that contains data such as the Secure Element identifier (SEID) for secure transactions. This chip is commonly found in smartphones and other NFC devices.
NFC Protocol stack overview
N-Mark Logo for NFC-enabled devices

EMVCo for the impacts on the EMV payment applications

Debit card

Payment card that can be used in place of cash to make purchases.

Example of two credit cards

This imbalance dates from the unilateral introduction in France of Chip and PIN debit cards in the early 1990s, when the cost of this technology was much higher than it is now.