Blog » Why you need a Merchant Category Code to sell online 

Why you need a Merchant Category Code to sell online 

When you sign up for a PayFast account, one of the requirements is to let us know what kind of service or product(s) you intend to sell. This is so we can allocate your business a Merchant Category Code (MCC) to share with banks on your behalf. This code is used by banks to determine your primary business activities and classify your industry type. 

In the video below, Lindi Brogneri, Head of Operations at PayFast and PayGate, explains what MCCs are, why we need them and how we can assist you in getting your business ready – even if you’re still deciding what to sell online.  

Key things to know about Merchant Category Codes

  • Banks use MCCs to identify which goods and services you sell. 
  • Every time one of your customers transacts on your online store through PayFast, send your assigned MCC along with the transaction’s details to the bank. 
  • Banks use MCCs to look at your risk profile and to see if the goods match the code. 
  • Sending the incorrect MCC can result in failed transactions or delays in settlement due to the bank having to investigate.  
  • If you have multiple online stores, let us know so we can allocate the correct MCC to each store.  
  • If you don’t know what goods or services you want to sell, you can still open an account with us. Just let us know when you’re ready to go live and we’ll allocate your MCC at a later stage.  

For a list of items and services that you can’t sell through PayFast, check this Knowledge Base article. If you have any other questions about MCCs or signing up with PayFast, get in touch with our Customer Services team and they’ll gladly assist. 

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