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What Is A Merchant Identification Number? The Complete Guide to MIDs & Credit Card Processing

If your small business has a merchant account, then you will need a merchant identification number in order to process your credit card payments. Keep on reading to find out more about MIDs.

    Noah Miller
  • UPDATED

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Noah Miller

Noah Miller

Expert Analyst & Reviewer
Noah is a writer and content creator currently living in Fairfax, VA. When he isn't writing about IT solutions and innovations that help his clients, he's probably sitting behind a drumkit or adding new hardware to his computer. Since 2017, Noah has worked for federal, state, and commercial clients as a proposal writer, technical writer, copywriter, and analyst. He has a BA in Creative Writing and a Minor in German from Goucher College.

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9 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Thu Nguyen

    Is the ‘MID’ I see on the payment receipt which I sign after the merchant’s cashier swipes my card the same is ‘MID’ mentioned in this article?

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Hi Thu,

      Good catch! However, the MID you’re referencing should most certainly not be the same as the Merchant ID number discussed in the article. Merchant ID numbers are used to route funds into the correct account, and thus they have the same function as a checking or savings account number. They’re private information that should never be publicly disclosed. For the same reason, it’s not possible to look up a business by its Merchant ID number. I hope that helps!

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

        Jim

        How is MID different from MCC?
        Would MID consist of MCC for easy business line identification?
        When a transaction happens does both MID and MCC are passed if there is no linkage between them?

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          Jessica Dinsmore

          Hi Jim!

          Your MID and MCC are not the same thing and are not established by the same business entities.
          Your MID is assigned by your merchant account provider and identifies your business to the processing networks. Note that if you use a payment service provider like Square, you won’t have a merchant account or an MID. Instead, you’ll use Square’s MID to process your transactions.

          MCCs are set by the credit card associations and usually identify the type of goods or services being sold. Each credit card association has its own set of MCCS, adding to the confusion.

          While some businesses might be covered by a single MCC (per credit card, that is), others will have a variety of MCCs that they use. For example, your local gas station might sell snacks and alcoholic beverages in addition to auto fuel. Each of these product categories would fall under a different MCC.

          Both your MID and the applicable MCC are required to process a transaction. Your MID positively identifies your business (i.e., where the funds from the transaction go after processing). The applicable MCC is required to identify the correct interchange fee that applies to your transaction.

          During a transaction — the MCC is included in the information transmitted to determine what interchange rate must be paid. The MID is included so that the banks know where to direct funds. Does that help?

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            FlorianZML

            At this time, TTUHSC Information Technology does not allow the use of mobile solutions because of security concerns and because these options do not integrate with TouchNet.

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

              John Beck

              A friend of mine is looking to lease my Merchant ID #. In return I will receive a monthly payment. Is this a scam? Will it affect my credit or other financial situations?

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                Jessica Dinsmore

                Hi John,

                We would advise VERY STRONGLY against it. If your friend can’t get his own Merchant ID, there is probably a good reason.

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                  Vida Fiorentino

                  I’m still confused on how to obtain a merchant ID number when I don’t get a statement. Is it connected with my EIN number? How can I look it up? Please help

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                    Jessica Dinsmore

                    Hi Vida,

                    The MID shouldn’t have anything to do with the EIN. The EIN is for government/tax use, so it works more like a person’s social security number. Since you don’t get a statement, probably the best way to find out your MID is to just call your processor. Note that if you work with a third party processor like Square, you probably don’t have a MID because they keep track of their merchants differently.
                    Hope this helps.

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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