Commerce Glossary

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What is a Credit Card?

cred - it card
noun
A thin plastic rectangle with an information-holding magnetic strip that is issued to a cardholder, for the use of purchasing goods and services through a credit account.
How does a Credit Card work?

Credit Cards contain several informational and security features: usually, on their front, is a 16-digit embossed card number, an expiration date, and a hologram. On the reverse side is a magnetic stripe, signature panel, and 3-digit Card Verification Value (CVV). Some payment systems use non-standard alternatives such as key fobs and miniature cards.

Credit cards are linked to lines of credit, so their use signifies an obligation to pay the credit issuer, as opposed to a direct withdrawal from existing funds. The credit card holder is usually required to pay an interest on outstanding credit that is not paid back within a month.

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