Terminal Identification Number (TID)

Terminal Identification Number, also known as a TID or TIN, is a unique number assigned and linked to a specific point-of-sale (POS) terminal or workstation that can be used to identify the merchant operating the terminal during credit card sales transaction processing. This number is required to set up online processing through online payment gateways, and is created and provided by the bank or merchant service provider with which a company has set up a merchant account. The number not only identifies what company is using what specific terminal, but also tracks each POS processing transaction made at that specific location. Typically, the number is seven digits long not including any leading zeroes.

For banks, there exists equipment for organization of terminal ID numbers in a communications system, which includes a “center” and a number of terminals connected to that center. The TIDs of these terminals, registered ahead of time, are attached to the data that travels between the center and the respective terminals. Each of the terminals acts as a terminal-side memory channel for registering the terminal ID numbers within, the ID numbers first registered and the channel for communicating with the center. There also exists the means for erasing the initial ID numbers registered in the terminal’s memory if new ones are needed.

There are several types of POS processing terminals that exist in such retail settings as service companies, restaurants and hotels. In these environments, there are several ways to identify a terminal with a TID number. After going through setup and hardware preferences, the terminal ID number can usually be seen in the corner of the screen. An employee using the terminal can use the pre-set numbers or enter a number in the custom text box. The custom number will replace the one already assigned by the bank.

Most merchants recognize a credit card processing terminal at work at local restaurants, markets or other venues. Such a device is a direct connection to your credit card processor. It has an internal serial number that singularly identifies the POS machine to the card processor at the time that a connection is made. Such an identifier connects the terminal, through the verification steps of the processor, to a merchant’s actual account.

At the time that someone engages in a “virtual” computer-only scenario, some type of specific identification has to come with any transaction, which is sent to the credit card processor. Again, this is the way that the processor understands where the transaction came from as well as that it is being transacted on your account. You will receive additional information about identification matters from the card processor at the time that one sets up your account. Such “client numbers” assist in identifying you to a processor, but they aren’t the same as the number of the terminal ID.

The reason for having each is that client ID information is typically one-of-a-kind to a credit card type and customer. Therefore, you can receive several client numbers, one for every credit card type that you wish to accept. At the same time, you might have several POS machines – one at a front desk and another in the rear office, as well as a virtual terminal being created for online processing. Every one of these also has a unique identifier.

A portion of this procedure of “signing up” with a processing agency partner is to provide that entity with a terminal identifier for your, the merchant’s, “virtual” terminal, which was provided by a card processor. It is crucial to request and retain this identifier with the processor account information.

Recently, TIDs have been applied in the field of cellular telephones. The concept is supposed to fix an inadequacy that is apparent with many cellular terminals. The SIM card element involves a recognition code that makes a personal identification for the terminal owner. Yet, without this feature, cellular terminals are especially prone to thievery. The unit may still be lifted and recovery could be challenging or impossible, even with the SIM capability. The use of a TID with the unit reduces the number of units stolen while also helping return stolen units to the original owners.

This is accomplished by the use of a microchip that is placed within the unit and programmed with a specific code, one for every terminal. The code is transmitted in addition to the SIM number to an operator. This code is given to the owner of the unit separately, and in written form, when purchased, along with the normal documentation that comes with the product. If the unit is subsequently stolen, the owner could tell the operator, who then can block the SIM card. The operator, alternatively, can figure out where the processing terminal is, and whether it is used again with another SIM. As SIMs are personalized, the operator can figure out who the new user is, increasing the likelihood that the stolen unit can be sought and eventually recovered.

The TIN microchip is a PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory) that can’t be erased after being programmed by the manufacturer. The code is ten numbers, internationally accepted and recognized. From left to right, the number sequence 1-2 would indicate the brand name and 3 the type of unit or model. The number 4 may be joined to number 3 or numbers 5 through 10, as the brand picks numbers 5,6,7,8,9,10 to create distinct serial numbers for every unit. The manufacturer places the PROM in the control area and programs it with numbers that make up a code. This code will never be altered.