EFT blog merchant number

If you want to get EFTPOS set up and running, you'll need to get a merchant number. In this blog, we explain what a merchant number is, why it’s absolutely necessary for taking payments, and how you can get one.

To get EFTPOS set up you need:

EFTPOS NZ can provide you with a terminal and connection to a payment network, however, the merchant number is the only thing we can’t take care of for you because it is provided by your bank.

What is a Merchant Number?

Also known as a Merchant ID or Terminal ID, your merchant number is an important unique identifier associated with the merchant facility provided by your bank and the payment network you choose to connect to. EFTPOS terminals in NZ can only connect to either the Verifone or Paymark network, depending on the software and merchant number loaded on the machine.

If you're choosing Eftpos NZ as your terminal provider, or would otherwise like a Verifone terminal connected to the Verifone network, you will need to ask your bank for a Verifone merchant number.

What does a Merchant Number do?

Your merchant number is extremely important as it connects the transactions made through your EFTPOS terminal to your bank account. Without a merchant number, you won’t be able to process payments on your EFTPOS machine!

Think of it as like a mobile telephone number. Just like you need an active mobile number for your phone to connect to a network, your EFTPOS terminal needs an active merchant number to connect to a payment network.

Where do I get a Merchant Number?

Merchant numbers are issued by 'acquirers'. An acquirer is an organisation or institution that collects funds on behalf of merchants. In New Zealand, the most popular merchant acquirers are ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, and Westpac. To issue you with a merchant number, your bank will need to collect specific information from you via an application form.

Requesting and receiving your merchant number from the bank is free. 

How do I get a Merchant Number?

  1. If you come to us first, we'll offer to send an official referral to the bank of your choice (preferably the bank you are already doing your business banking with) for a Verifone merchant number.
  2. The bank will send you an application form to fill out. It's important to get this form back to the bank ASAP, as we cannot set up your EFTPOS terminal without a merchant number. The longer it takes you to pull this information together and get it back to the bank, the more likely it will cause delays with getting your EFTPOS terminal. Banks rarely follow up on outstanding application forms, so the onus is on you to remember to fill in and return the form.
  3. Once you get your forms back to the bank, it can take up to a week for the bank to issue you a merchant number.
  4. Once you have your new merchant number, send it to your Eftpos NZ rep so we can load it on your EFTPOS terminal. From there we can dispatch your terminal to you so you can start taking payments!

The more prepared and proactive you are, the faster you’ll get your merchant number. We can work with your bank to expedite the process and will always help our customers as much as we can, but the time it takes to get a merchant number comes down to the individual banks and their internal timeframes. The faster you get your ducks in a row and get the application forms back to the bank, the faster you’ll get your merchant number and ultimately your terminal.

Ready to get started with Eftpos NZ? Want to speak with one of our team? Get in touch today!