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Welcome to our Glossary

Discover the terms that change the financial technology industry.

Interbank Card Association (ICA)

Interbank Card Association (ICA) Number is the term used by Mastercard for the four-to-six-digit account number used to identify each of the financial institutions and third-party processors that operate within the Mastercard network. It is the Mastercard equivalent to the term “BIN” or “Bank Identification Number” used by Visa. The ICA Number is usually located by the credit card’s expiration date. The name comes from the group of California banks that released The Interbank Card, later rebranded Master Charge and finally Mastercard, in 1979.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Acronym for the “International Organization for Standardization,” a non-governmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, ISO is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial, and commercial standards.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a system of interrelated, internet-connected objects (“things”) that have embedded sensors, software and other technologies for the purpose of collecting data and connecting to exchange this data with other “devices” without human intervention. There are 4 different types of IoT Networks: Cellular, Local/Personal Area networks (LAN/PAN), Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) and Mesh Networks.


A financial institution that issues prepaid, debit and credit cards for consumers on behalf of card networks, providing bank accounts and credit lines to those consumers and backing or guaranteeing their card transactions. The bank or financial institution handles the consumer’s financial information and account data. Issuers are a fundamental player in the four-part payment process (customer, issuer bank, acquirer bank and merchant), serving as an intermediary between costumers and the acquiring banks (merchant bank). Issuer banks perform authorizations, sending information to the card network determining if a transaction will be accepted or rejected, depending on whether there is enough balance to cover the cost of a purchase. The issuer bank or financial institution is ultimately liable for the cardholder’s card payments or line of credit debt. It is important to point out that while the account belongs to the consumer, the card remains a property of the issuer bank for the time it is valid, and the consumer is only the cardholder. Issuer banks are responsible for consumer financial information and data and must offer key functions and services such as card renewals, card limit setting, blocking or activation of accounts and cards, balance reporting and account and information security.