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I am a software programmer developing a system for a theme park, which take orders from multiple travel agents.

Before the travel agent can make any order, the agents have to pay certain amount of money to the theme park first. When the theme park process the order, the amount is deducted from the balance.

My questions:

  1. Should I call this system "Prepayment Management System"? one of my colleague suggested "Credit Management System" and "Account Balance Management System"
  2. Should I call the balance "Prepaid Balance" or "Credit Balance"?

Why I ask this question is because I feel weird to call it "Credit Management", it sounds like the theme park is taking order "on credit", like the park take the orders first and then send an invoice to the agent, so the agent owes the park some money.

  • Prepayment Management System is good. I wouldn't use Credit Mgmt System unless they are extending a form of credit to the travel agents (doesn't sound like they are). Account Balance Management System is also very good. I would use Account Balance or Prepay Balance for your second question. I probably prefer Account Balance Mgmt System or Accounts Receivable Mgmt System and Account Balance. Or – Kace36 Jul 28 '17 at 10:00
  • @Kace36: For your mention of no credit being extended, is that not a disambiguation of "credit" meaning a debt you owe (credit card), or meaning a debt that is owed to you (store credit)? It seems correct to say that the company who has paid the OP upfront now has store credit with the OP. – Flater Jul 28 '17 at 13:07
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I would rely on the more common usage of "debit" and "credit".

Given further examination, we can separate this into two different actions.

1. The company pays upfront

This is a debit transaction.

OED link

1.1 A payment made or owed.
‘a further debit of £21 had been received from the Locomotive Department’


2. The company then receives a balance on our platform.

That balance is a form of credit that they can spend towards things on your platform.

Notice that this is not "credit" in the sense that you provide services and the company only pays afterwards, like how it is used in "credit card".

It is more closely related to "store credit", i.e. a debt which is owed to you (not by you).

OED link

2.2 Entitlement to a set amount of a particular company's goods or services, typically paid for in advance of use.
‘she had £15 credit on her account’


Conclusion

You need to distinguish between the money (legal tender) that is transferred, and the balance (fictional representation of the money that was paid to you) that is shown on the account.
If you were building a free-to-play game, and a player would send you money in exchange for gems/gold/...; then you would have already made that distinction quite clear. But because you are expressing the fictional credit of the company's account in real world currency, you are wrongly assuming that they are the same thing.

Even if they are always of equal value, it is still important to be able to distinguish between the two, as they represent different things.
Just because these two concepts are related, and may be of equal value, that does not prove that they express the same thing. My house number is currently the same as my age, but that doesn't mean that they express the same value. Funnily enough, this is the third time in my life where my age equals my house number, yet there is no direct correlation between the two.

Therefore, it would be correct to say that the debit sent to you by your customer (company), extends credit to the account of that customer (company).


But that doesn't help me with finding a name for the combined system.

Good point. Let me answer your two questions more directly:

  1. Should I call this system "Prepayment Management System"? one of my colleague suggested "Credit Management System" and "Account Balance Management System"

Externally, towards the customer (company), I would refrain from giving this system a name. It is a feature of your framework, not a standalone product or concept.
I would simply refer to the user as having an "account balance", and provide the option to "add credit" (to their account).

Internally, for your personal work situation, I would be okay with using either "Credit Management System" or "Account Balance Management System". Both are adequately descriptive, it is clear what the intention of the system is.

  1. Should I call the balance "Prepaid Balance" or "Credit Balance"?

I would opt for "Account balance". It's more correct in the user's context. It seems the most correct to say that the user will add credit to their balance (which is logically bound to their account).

  • thanks Flater for the detailed explanation, so when the customer (company) make a purchase, should I say add debit to their balance, debit their balance or remove credit from their balance? – ysl Jul 28 '17 at 13:06
  • @ysl (I initially misread your comment) I would call that "spending credit", just like how you would spend store credit. But you can also just call it "buying" or "purchasing" without having to explicitly refer to their store credit. Making a purchase is technically not the same as paying for the purchase. My suggestion is to not mention their credit and use the same terminology that any shop would use. Buying, purchasing, ... – Flater Jul 28 '17 at 13:14
  • I m not a native english speaker so I might not be able to put it correctly. But just want to clarify, so when the company pay upfront, it's a debit to my bank and I should add credit to their balance. and then the company make a purchase and pay for the purchase by the credit (decreasing the balance), how to say it correctly? – ysl Jul 28 '17 at 14:03
  • @ysl "how to say it correctly?" There is no need for you to explicitly refer to the credit when the customer buys something. I would simply omit it, and refer to it as buying, purchasing, ... (like how you usually would). If you do want to explicitly mention it, then I would refer to it as "spending [your] credit". But as I said before, I wouldn't mention it explicitly. – Flater Jul 28 '17 at 14:21
  • when putting money into the account then call it "deposit"? Also I have just posted another question related to this one, I m confused with "credit limit", would you mind to take a look and comment at english.stackexchange.com/questions/403240 ? – ysl Jul 28 '17 at 15:16

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