Why it’s important for your business to have its own MID

Person using credit card on computer

The number of businesses processing debit and credit card payments is increasing every year. A 2020 report from Nilson shows that debit card payments accounted for 41% of consumer payments in the U.S., while 22% were credit card payments. Without the right setup to effectively handle card processing and other modern payment solutions, businesses can get left behind.

In general, Americans are more likely to spend higher amounts if they can pay by card rather than cash. The average cash transaction is $22, while the average non-cash transaction is $112, making it clear that even high-risk businesses need to consider setting up card processing solutions for their customers.

All online card processing solutions require businesses to have a MID. Let’s take a look at what this means and why you need to have one.

What is a MID?

MID stands for Merchant Identification Number. When a business sets up a merchant account with a payment solutions vendor, they will be provided with a MID, which is unique to that business. The MID is only for identification while processing payments and isn’t connected to any other identification details, such as business logins to banking apps.

Your payment solutions provider may just refer to the MID as your merchant number. If you’re unsure, ask them if they’re referring to the MID, for clarity. A MID is your unique identifier. You won’t have a MID if you’re using a third-party app like PayPal or Stripe.

Why businesses need a MID

Your MID ensures that the payment flows through the right process to end up in your bank account. When your customer pays by debit or credit card, the details are sent to your account provider.

This information passes to the acquirer, then the issuer. The issuer, meaning the customer’s bank or credit card company, checks the funds are available and either approves or declines the transaction accordingly. If all goes correctly, your merchant account provider then forwards the funds to your account.

Your MID ensures that during these many levels of the payment card processing flow, the funds will always be redirected to you, rather than getting misdirected or lost.

Differences between other business ID numbers

Of course, your MID isn’t the only important identification number your business will have in dealing with payments. It’s helpful to understand the difference between these terms, to operate efficiently and avoid any confusion.


A TID is a Terminal ID and usually refers to the register or payment point used to process the payment in a physical store. The TID allows each of your terminals to have an active, open connection with which to make payments.


A GID is a Gateway ID and allows access to the network used to process payments. The payment gateway ensures that the payment data is safely encrypted and secure. It doesn’t ID your business uniquely like a merchant account ID does, though.

Your flexible MID solution

If you are considered a high-risk merchant, like a CBD shop, vape store, collections agency or tribal business, you need a specialized payment solutions expert to help equip you for debit and credit card processing.

FLEX Payment Solutions understands that being classified as a high-risk business means dealing with traditional financial institutions is a challenge and you need a more customized processor to suit your needs. We provide excellent customer service, so we’re always on hand to help you out with any payment queries you might have and offer solutions for unique challenges you may come across.

FLEX has a unique compliance background, with expertise in a range of solutions for unique businesses of all sizes and types. We can set you up with the tools you need for effective card processing, contactless payments and other merchant account needs, including your MID, to ensure fast and secure payments for you and your customers. Since customers get their own MID, they can control their own gateway and reporting options.

More than ever, consumers want to trust that they can make payments safely, effectively and rapidly – and, especially now, with minimal contact. FLEX can make that a reality for you, helping boost your brand reputation and loyalty, keeping your customers happy and growing your business. Contact us to learn more about our flexible payment solutions and financial services for high-risk businesses.

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