Merchant Identification Numbers (MID) | What You Should Know

Feb 08, 2017

Many questions new merchant account holders often have, involve the numbers that come with their accounts; and one such number is the MID. Of course, we have industrious companies such as eMerchantBroker, where calling customer support will immediately get you the answers you need, but sometimes you just want to read and get done with it.

What is a MID number?

Every new merchant account comes with a unique number – called the Merchant Identification Number, or MID – that singles it out throughout all processing activities. The MID uniquely identifies an online merchant that is processing payments through a network. Because there are millions of retailers on the internet, this number guarantees that a dealer is recognized correctly and transactions are routed through the appropriate channels.

The importance of a MID number

Correctly identifying a merchant in the vast sea of online retailers is vital for the convenient and secure handling of sensitive information. In the case of fraudulent activity, a merchant provider can correctly pick out the involved business among its customers and take the appropriate action.

Moreover, with MID numbers, owners of multiple businesses can properly authorize, deposit and qualify transactions. The entrepreneur can track network-based transactions of each profit center, and manage the processing of payments made to each business separately.

Not to be confused with other account numbers

While names can seem indistinguishable, no account number is the same as the other. For instance, a similar the Merchant Account ID is used to identify accounts when they are all under one gateway. If you run several different but similar businesses under an umbrella corporation, each operation would have a specific ID, but since they are all on one network, the MID will be the same.

There can also be other numbers that identify merchants to the equipment they use for processing transactions. An example of these is a Terminal Identification Number (TID), which specifies each payment terminal a business uses. A merchant can, therefore, have one MID and several TIDs. Besides MID and TID numbers is a Gateway Identification Number (GID), which is used to refer to the particular network a merchant will use to process orders.

A merchant account is, therefore, not complete with just a MID number. These three numbers collectively tell the account provider who is being paid, how they are being paid and what network they are processing their payments on.

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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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