How to Find a Business Merchant Category Code

Sep 17, 2020

Any business taking customer payments must focus on merchant category codes because your MCC can impact the interchange rate and the cost of card processing.

MCC also impact taxes and the way the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) categorizes your business.

The merchant category code is simply a 4-character number that credit card firms use to organize businesses into segments. The code shows the various products or services a brand sells to customers.

For companies that trades in both products and services, the category code often represents the business that rakes in the most sales.

Where to Get a Merchant Category Code

To get an MCC, contact your credit card processor, whether MasterCard, Visa or any other, to get the details about their category codes.

You can also visit your card brand’s official website. Many times, these codes vary depending on your processor, but some resemblances exist, as we shall see.

Merchant Category Codes for Visa

Below is a list of category codes for the various merchant segments.

5611 Men’s and Boy’s Clothing and Accessories Stores
5621 Women’s Ready – to – Wear Stores
5631 Women’s Accessory and Specialty Shops
5641 Children’s and Infant’s Wear Stores
5651 Family Clothing Stores
5655 Sports Apparel, Riding Apparel Stores
5661 Shoe Stores
5681 Furriers and Fur Shops
5691 Men’s and Women’s Clothing Stores
5697 Tailors, Seamstress, Mending, and Alterations
5698 Wig and Toupee Stores
5699 Miscellaneous Apparel and Accessory Shops
5712 Furniture, Home Furnishings, and Equipment Stores, Except Appliances
5713 Floor Covering Stores
5714 Drapery, Window Covering and Upholstery Stores
5718 Fireplace, Fireplace Screens, and Accessories Stores
5719 Miscellaneous Home Furnishing Specialty Stores



Household Appliance Stores

5732 Electronic Sales
5733 Music Stores, Musical Instruments, Piano Sheet Music
5734 Computer Software Stores
5735 Record Shops
5811 Caterers
5812 Eating places and Restaurants
5813 Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages), Bars, Taverns, Cocktail lounges, Nightclubs and Discotheques
5814 Fast Food Restaurants
5912 Drug Stores and Pharmacies

 Why Business Owners Must Pay Attention to MCC

MCC is important because it determines whether a merchant can report given payments on IRS’s Form 1099-MISC.

The code also determines whether or not a company can add a convenience fee on payments made via credit cards.

Category codes also have an impact on a business’s risk profile. For instance, some credit card firms have high-risk codes meant for risky businesses. Businesses with a high risk merchant account fall in these groups and pay higher processing fees.

Lastly, businesses with specific category codes like non-profits or certain schools are entitled to relatively lower interchange fees.

Final Words

With too much at stake, business owners must strive to get the right classification. Accurate categorization will help you avoid extreme fees, ease tax payments and streamline your business’s payment experience.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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