What is a merchant ID?

"A unique identification number sequence associated with a physical or online merchant location, typically allowing payment processors involved in a transaction to know where to send which funds. It’s effectively an address within the payment ecosystem. Without a merchant ID, the networks involved won't know where to send the merchant's money."

A merchant ID or (MID) is Merchant Identification Number. This is a unique code provided to a merchant by their payment processor. Often abbreviated as MID, this code is transmitted along with the cardholder information to involved parties for transaction reconciliation.

Where can you locate a Merchant ID?

  1. Merchants can typically find their merchant identification number on their billing statement from their payment processor or;
  2. Merchants can have access to their MID in their payment processor's online merchant portal or;
  3. The MID may also sometimes be found on the Merchant credit card receipt or;
  4. By running a virtual card transaction
  5. We have a virtual card available in our account settings. However please note that there is a limit (of 5 transactions per day). So this should be only use as a last option
  6. Different Card Brands use unique MIDs.
  7. Mastercard and Visa refer to this unique number as the MID. 
  8. Amex's equivalent to a MID is called a Service Establishment Number.

Why is a Merchant ID important?

When a Merchant consents to allow us to access their MIDs it gives us the ability to return higher levels of accuracy in the data we provide to our clients. Many times locations can be complex to track due to situations like malls or shopping centres where one physical street address can be the site of twenty, fifty or even hundreds of different individual stores. 

What is a Marchant Type or  payment processor?

The payment processor manages the credit card transaction process by acting as the mediator between the Merchant and the financial institutions involved. 

When a you insert, tap, swipe or even type your credit card number in to pay for something that triggers the creation of an auth, (short for authorization).

The merchant's point of sale (POS) software sends this auth through their payment processor who acts as an intermediary for the merchant's payment software system to access the credit card networks and be able to accept credit cards as a form payment.

The auth is a payment event that sends a quick call for verification through to the issuing bank to see if the card is valid (not expired, lost or stolen) and that it has funds associated with it. 

This request goes to the credit card's issuing bank (where the cardholder got the line of credit from) and returns instantly either an "approve" or "decline" response that is sent back through the payment processor to the merchant's payment software.

This entire process happens in just a matter of seconds. If the card gets approved and the transaction gets finalized and settled then the payment processor deposits the funds from that credit card transaction into the merchant's bank account.

As complex as this process is, it makes the ability to pay for things very convenient. In our increasingly digital world not accepting credit cards is like turning away money from people willing to spend it.


Helping Merchants Find their Merhcant Type/ Payment Processor:

To figure out who is processing their credit card payments merchants can look at their deposits that fund from their credit card transactions. In the description of the deposit it should identify who sent the funds. The funds will be sent from the payment processor the merchant is using.


The payment processor is the keeper of the Merchant Identification Number or MID. 

The payment processor charges the merchants regular fees to be able to accept credit cards on behalf of themselves and the card brands. If a merchant has their statement regarding processing rates and fees for credit card transactions that statement should be from their payment processor and the MID (sometimes called merchant number) should be printed on it.