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Merchant Identification Numbers (MID) | What You Should Know

Many questions new merchant account holders often have, involve the numbers that come with their accounts; and one such number is the MID.

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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