How to Find a Merchant with an ID Number

by Ashley Adams-Mott; Updated March 02, 2018

Merchant ID numbers are used within the credit card processing industry to properly move funds through banks and back to merchants accepting card payments. Because of this, the ID numbers are the business equivalent of a bank account number, and, as such, they are not a public record capable of being searched through a legitimate outlet. However, a large business with multiple merchant account IDs may use internal tools or invoices to identify a subordinate unit by name when only an ID number is presented. If you are attempting to locate the merchant ID for your business, the process will differ based on a variety of factors.

Credit Card Processing

Smaller businesses generally rely on payment processing through a money transfer system such as PayPal, Square or Google Pay due to reduced barriers to entry and no upfront costs for account setup. Some of these services provide an in-house merchant account ID while others do not. PayPal and Google Pay both provide an individual account identifier classified as a Merchant ID. Square does not provide merchants with an individual ID. Instead, the email address assigned to the business account is used as its identifier through the system.

To locate your secure merchant ID with PayPal, you must log into PayPal, click "Profile" at the top of your home screen followed by "My Business Info." An individual merchant ID is presented next to the "Merchant Account ID" section. This code can be used when building HTML PayPal buttons for a business website.

Find your Google Pay merchant ID by clicking the "Settings" menu after logging into your business payment profile. Click "Settings" and look under the "Public merchant profile" heading. Your merchant ID is displayed here above your business information.

Merchant Account Hierarchies

A merchant account identification is assigned to smaller business units underneath a larger account with a designated merchant identification number assigned by a bank. For example, a theme park with amusements, hotels and restaurants may operate with a single merchant identification number but assign a merchant account ID to each revenue generating unit to separate payment processing. If you receive a document identifying funds only by ID number, consult your registration documents with your ban. Find the ID number in your account information to locate the business unit the account is assigned to.

If you are an employee at a business and encounter a merchant ID number you are not familiar with on company documents, flag a superior and request additional information before attempting to contact the merchant services provider for the business. Due to the sensitive nature of merchant accounts, access to all account information will be limited to certain employees.

About the Author

Ashley Mott has 12 years of small business management experience and a BSBA in accounting from Columbia. She is a full-time government and public safety reporter for Gannett.

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