Skip to content

Merchant ID (MID) | All There is to Know

Are you a new merchant account holder trying to get a better idea of what a merchant identification number (MID) is? What’s this MID that’s come with your account? No worries! Just read the article below and you’ll know!

Merchant Identification Number (MID): What It Is

A merchant identification number is defined as a unique code that you, as a merchant, receive from your payment processor. You can find it very often abbreviated as “MID.” Along with cardholder information, the MID is being transmitted to involved parties for transaction reconciliation.

The merchant identification number is helpful in identifying a merchant when communicating with his/her processor, as well as other parties. You can think of it as a simple code. Though it’s a little code, the MID has a vital importance in transactions.

So, when you open a merchant account with an acquiring bank, you’re going to receive an MID. Before getting your MID, you’ll be required to verify your business.

Be aware that you won’t receive an MID when working with Square, PayPal, or other services like these for payment processing. This is because you won’t need a formal merchant account to use them. Also, remember that you can have more than one MID, but the majority of businesses consider a single MID enough.

Besides, it’s important not to confuse different account numbers: each account number is different from the other. So, you, as a merchant, can have one MID, and several TIDs or Terminal Identification Numbers.

More particularly, you’ll receive a unique TID for each of your card terminals. However, you can still have them grouped together under a single MID. Moreover, you can even have multiple merchant accounts and have them grouped together with the same merchant identification number.

It’s also important to know that the most widespread reason why a merchant may lose this unique number he/she has to do with excessive chargebacks.

Merchant ID: Interesting Things to Know

First of all, a merchant account is like a business arrangement between you (merchant) and your credit card processing company. This number allows you to accept payment cards, including credit/debit cards, ATM cards, EBT, gift cards, as well as electronic payment of other types.

Thus, it’s critical to work only with a reputable payment processor like to enjoy the most secure and reliable credit card processing for your business. EMB, voted the top high risk processor in the US, carries an A+ rating with the BBB and an A rating with Card Payment Options.

What merchants like most about is that EMB always talks to them so to know their pain points well. This helps EMB offer the right payment processing solutions to merchants. So, EMB can help you with all your questions concerning a merchant ID, and just anything related to payment processing and merchant funding.

While talking about MIDs, it’s important to also note about fraudulent activities. In case, you’re faced with them, the provider can correctly distinguish the involved business from the rest of its customers and take the necessary measures. Beyond that, MIDs allow the owners of multiple businesses to properly authorize, deposit, and qualify transactions.

According to Special Agent Brandon Mercer of the FBI’s Albany Division, unfortunately, it’s not too hard to take over on stolen credit card numbers. Mercer has investigated cases concerning this issue. As Mercer notes, hackers and other criminals put this information on the dark web, so its’ readily available there.

Sometimes, merchants can do nothing to prevent becoming a victim of fraudsters. The reason is that thieves can put the fake cards in their own names. So, even if a cashier asks for identification, the name on the credit card may match with their IDs.

Mercer adds that credit card fraud schemes are important investigations for the FBI. They may be large scale, involve many credit card numbers, and, e.g., thousands of dollars stolen.

To avoid fraud, Mercer recommends doing at least the simple things, such as checking bank statements and your credit report on a regular basis, as well as ensuring you receive any suspicious transaction alerts from your bank or credit card issuer.