What is a Card Acceptor ID?

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Quick Hits: 
  • A card acceptor ID is the identification value used by card brands and banks to identify the location of the card acceptor terminal.
  • Card Acceptor IDs differ from Merchant IDs in that CAIDs identify location while MIDs identify the merchant attached to the payment.
What is a CAID (Card Acceptor ID)? 

A card acceptor ID identifies the location from which a money transfer originates. They are alphanumeric values 1 – 15 characters long and unique to a particular transaction origin point. Card acceptor terminal IDs, also known as CAIDs, are assigned to individual store locations for tracking and security purposes. 

Do I need to know my CAID? 

CAIDs are useful for acquiring banks as they not only identify the origin point of a transfer but also determine which end client receives funds. These IDs are credit card processor unique and are mostly useful for communication between card brands and banks. 

If a merchant needs to see a CAID for any reason, it can be determined by asking the merchant’s acquiring bank. 

How do CAIDs get used? 

Card Acceptor IDs are sent to the respective payment card brand with a transaction, and the card brand passes this ID on to the bank to identify the point of the transaction.  

Card Acceptor ID vs Merchant ID 

As discussed above, a Card Acceptor ID identifies the point of transaction and helps banks properly process transfer requests.  

Merchant IDs are a bit different than CAIDs. Merchant IDs are unique values that identify merchants when credit cards are being processed. A MID is needed in order for payments to be sent to the merchant after the payment has been processed. MIDs are used to identify the merchant account as the payment request travels from the merchant account provider to the acquiring bank.  

Simply put, a card acceptor ID identifies the location of a transaction, while a merchant ID identifies the merchant to whom the transaction is attached. Both are important for card brands and banks to know as they process transactions. 

Card acceptor IDs are an important piece of information needed for a transaction to take place.

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