Spreedly Terminology

Spreedly tries to adhere to standard industry terminology when possible. However, there may be exceptions to this rule, or concepts you are not yet familiar with. We’ve tried to collect any non-standard or interesting terms here to provide a more complete understanding of Spreedly.


Term Definition
Access Secret A private token that authorizes the holder to all environments within an organization. An access secret is required for all API calls as part of the API credentials.
Alpha Alpha features are in active development. Their use has yet to be verified in production by Spreedly customers. They should be fully tested before use and are subject to change before general availability. It is best to contact Spreedly to indicate your interest and use of the alpha feature to ensure appropriate communication.
Add-on Spreedly is implemented as a set of components around a core payment storage and processing system. Each component that provides some unique set of functionality is an add-on. By default, all environments have access to the “Core” add-on which provides card storage and processing via the Spreedly API. In the future, a greater selection of functionality may be available via additional add-ons.
Core Legacy term for the default add-on available to all environments which provides card storage and processing via the Spreedly API. The current practice is to refer to just “Spreedly” instead of “Core” since in most practical cases the two are synonymous.
βeta Beta features are those in active development. These features are production caliber, though not yet used by many of Spreedly’s customers. As with all new features, they should be fully tested before use and are subject to change before general availability. It is best to contact Spreedly to indicate your interest and use of the beta feature to ensure appropriate communication.
Direct Gateway A gateway that provides a programmatic API that Spreedly can execute directly. This differs from an offsite gateway in that the user does not have to leave the merchant site to complete the transaction. The majority of gateways are direct gateways.
Environment A logical grouping of payment data contained as part of an organization. The most common example are test and production environments. When using the Spreedly API, all transactions are scoped to a single environment. Read more about environments in navigating your account.
Environment Key A publishable (not secret) and unique string identifying a specific environment. An environment key is required for all API calls as part of the API credentials.
Inactive Gateway Due to a prolonged period of inactivity, this gateway is no longer supported. Merchants can transact against existing instances of this gateway, but no new gateways of this type will be allowed.
Offsite Gateway A gateway that requires the user to navigate off-site (to a gateway page) to complete the transaction. PayPal is the most well-known offsite gateway.
Organization A company or business group. An organization contains one or more environments and each user can be a member of one or more organizations. Read more about organizations in navigating your account.
Payment Method A general term referring to all forms of payments that can be securely stored and processed by Spreedly, including credit cards and bank accounts.
Payment Method Distribution The ability to send stored payment methods to a third-party API (called receiver endpoints).
Receiver A third-party endpoint that is able to receive payment methods as part of payment method distribution.
Redacted A storage state indicating that the item is no longer active and any sensitive data such as credit card numbers or gateway credentials have been removed. Redacted items cannot be used to transact against. Redaction can occur automatically with cached payment methods, or explicitly via the API.
Retained A payment method and gateway storage state indicating that the item is securely vaulted by Spreedly and available to use for production transactions. Gateways are automatically retained when created, but payment methods must be explicitly retained in order to be preserved.
Signing Secret An auto-generated secret used by Spreedly to cryptographically sign some requests. Your signing secret can be found in the Environment Settings page of your environment.
Storage State The current state of a gateway, receiver or payment method in the Spreedly database. Can be one of cached, retained, or redacted. Payment methods also have two additional states, used and closed.
Token A unique string generated by Spreedly to identify a gateway or payment method. Similar to an id, it is used to reference and operate against a gateway or payment method stored in an environment.
Tokenization Technically speaking, tokenization is the process of storing an entity, such as a gateway or payment method, and returning a unique identifier to the storer for future reference. In the payment processing industry, however, it is a more general term used to describe the ability for a merchant to securely store and transact against credit cards at a third party. PCI scope is minimized since the merchant doesn’t need to handle the sensitive data at any point during the collection or transaction process, only having access to the identifying token and not the data itself.
Transaction A record of an operation executed against the Spreedly API. Every time an event is executed in Spreedly, a transaction is recorded which details the transaction properties and status. The list of transactions for your account is like its audit trail.
Transcript A record of the communication Spreedly has with a gateway or receiver when executing a transaction. Transcripts are useful debugging tools but are not suitable for machine parsing.