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What Is a Merchant Identification Number?

The whole procedure of processing an online or other transaction involves a number of variables to ensure safe and secure payments. These measures are implemented to ascertain that all payments are channeled to the right accounts and through the correct network. For that reason, every merchant must possess specific identification data to enable safe and timely processing of sensitive confidential information.

That explains why every online merchant is allocated a merchant identification number (MID) for their credit card processing activities. Through these numbers, computer networks can identify the merchant behind every processed transaction. And since, millions of companies are processing payments worldwide, an MID is a must-have as this is the only way to augment merchant identification across networks and have all transactions channeled through the appropriate routes.

Is It The Same As My Merchant Account ID?

It’s easy to confuse your merchant identification number for your merchant account ID as these names are almost similar. But be aware; they completely different.

Merchant account IDs are assigned to merchants who run different types of transaction or businesses under one payment gateway.  For instance, if your company has several brands then each business will be given a specific merchant account ID. On the other hand, the merchant identification number will remain the same for the whole company.

What Else Do I Need To Know?

Your merchant account is not good to go with just the merchant ID number; you’ll also need a terminal identification number (TID) and gateway identification number (GID).

TIDs identify the facility responsible for the completing each transaction. (Each merchant often holds more than one TID)

GIDs refer to the specific networks merchant use to process their orders.

Using these three bits of info, the network can tell who is being paid, through which medium they are receiving payments, and decide the network on which to process their payments.

What Now?

Every business whether physical or online, needs to be able to process credit card payments. However, you must also make sure you consumers’ confidential data are safe. Every time you process a transaction, your merchant identification number ensures these payments reach the intended destination.