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Credit Card Glossary: Terms and Definitions

Confused by credit card terms?'s glossary of credit card definitions will help. From account holder to Regulation Z, we have defined the most-common and most-confusing credit card terms.

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Chip-and-PIN cards

A type of "smart card," chip-and-PIN cards use computer chips to store and process information instead of, or in addition to, a magnetic stripe. A personal identification number (PIN) is required at point of sale to verify the cardholder's identity. The technology has replaced old-style magnetic stripes in Europe and has been adopted in much of the world. The United States card industry instead chose to move mainly to chip-and-signature technology, which uses the cardholder's signature as its additional means of verification.