MCC is an acronym that stands for “Merchant Category Code.” The major card companies and banks break down the merchants who accept their cards into categories and assign each merchant, accordingly, a corresponding code consisting of four numbers.
These code numbers are consistent between the card companies and banks. For example, “1731” is always the MCC for “Electrical Contractors.” And for that code number, that’s the only merchant to whom it applies. However, some code numbers cover several merchants within their category. For example, “4214” could refer to a local delivery service, a freight carrier, a trucking company, or a moving and storage company. That’s a pretty wide range of services, all under just one category.
The categories and codes were created so that the card companies could more easily track the different kinds of industries that are accepting their cards for transactions. It’s the responsibility of the card companies to assign a category to each merchant. Occasionally, a merchant might request to be under a particular category. But in the end, the card company or bank ultimately decides under which category a vendor will be placed.
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