Submitted by goossun  •  January 6, 2005

Credit card

What is the little machine called that one slides one’s credit card through it when one wants to pay. And which verb do you use when you do this act? Is it called a “printer” the part that prints out the receipt? Or has it a specific name in this case. What is it called when one hands ones credit card to the shop keeper for instance and then have to sign the receipt and what is it called when one just uses the machine and enter one’s PIN code? What is the old machine called that used to be used (it rarely still is) that makes a carbon copy of the credit card surface by placing it inside and sliding a part over it. I would appreciate if you could provide a wider glossary of credit card usage please.

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The credit card processing machine may be called a credit card terminal, especially those little ones with telephone keypards on them, also, terminal/printer for those with paper tape print output. The old style sliding machine that takes carbon copy receipts is called a credit card imprinter, sometimes, more specifically, manual credit card imprinter. Printers are simply called credit card printers. PIN pads are called, er, PIN pads.

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> When you hand the card to the cashier, there's no special term. You're just paying with a credit card.

Don't forget: The term for paying for something via credit card is called "charging." Not to be confused with the term for running at someone, but an old joke goes along the lines of this:

Q: How do you stop a rhino from charging?
A: Take away its credit cards.

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I agree with your assessment. However having worked in many retail stores, the term "POS", while meaning Point Of Sale, usually refers to the machine or computer making the actual sales receipt. And because people still pay with cash, you cannot give them a receipt from the credit card machine for their cash purchase. Hence, point of sale applying to the register computer.

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That's "produced." Dyske, can we have a preview mode? Please? :)

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hey Goossun... Happy New Year :) I'll give the common terms as they are used by retail clerks and shoppers. If you want more technical terms, my dad once consulted for a company that producted the machines, and I can ask him for you.

- The machine is called a POS machine. (POS stands for "point of sale.") Many people don't know this term, though, and they just refer to the "credit card reader" or "that credit card thing."
- You "swipe" the card through the slot.
- The receipt is printed out by the receipt printer. I'm not aware of a more specific name.
- When you hand the card to the cashier, there's no special term. You're just paying with a credit card.
- When you use the machine and enter a PIN, you're using a "debit card" that acts like an electronic check, rather than a credit card (though the credit card companies usually issue them). The money comes out of your checking account instead of a line of credit.
- The little, fussy, low-tech apparatus that makes an impression of the actual card is called an "imprinter."

Additional words? Hmm.

- When someone sends you an e-mail or calls you, pretending to be your bank or a merchant and asking for your credit card information, but their true purpose is to steal from you by using your credit card number to buy things, it's called "phishing." This is a hacker spelling of "fishing."
- The carbon copies made by an imprinter on a multiple-part form are referred to as "carbons." The form itself is often referred to as a "slip."
- When someone calls their bank to say their card is missing, it's "reported stolen" whether it's really been stolen or not. If the bank then refuses to honor the card, the card is "rejected."
- The credit card issuer is a "creditor," and the credit card holder is a "debtor." The United States law that regulates the creditor-debtor relationship is called the FCRA, "Fair Credit Reporting Act."

I personally don't use credit cards, because I can't understand why anyone would want to continually spend money before they have it, as opposed to taking a loan out for a specific purpose.

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