Value-added reseller (VAR) sheet: What it is and why businesses need one

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  1. Introduction
  2. What is a value-added reseller (VAR) sheet?
  3. What information is included in a VAR sheet?
  4. Do I need a VAR sheet?
  5. How do I get a VAR sheet?

An essential part of any business is the ability to easily accept payments from customers. All businesses must make sure that the different components of their payments system are fully integrated and able to communicate to process customer payments.

If your business uses a separate merchant account and payment gateway, having a value-added reseller (VAR) sheet is an essential part of an integrated, functional payment system.

We’ll cover what you need to know about VAR sheets, the information they include and how to get one.

What's in this article?

  • What is a value-added reseller (VAR) sheet?
  • What information is included in a VAR sheet?
  • Do I need a VAR sheet?
  • How do I get a VAR sheet?

What is a value-added reseller (VAR) sheet?

A VAR sheet is a file that contains key information about a business which is used for payment processing. A VAR sheet helps support communication between a business’s payment gateway and their merchant account. They’re also sometimes referred to as tear sheets or parameter sheets.

VAR sheets help businesses bring their payment gateway provider up to speed on the basic information about their business, from a payments standpoint. Where and how you input your VAR sheet information will depend on where you do business: Retail businesses that operate in person can usually input the file directly into their physical point-of-sale (POS) terminal, whereas e-commerce businesses will submit their VAR sheet online to their payment gateway provider.

What information is included in a VAR sheet?

A business’ VAR sheet typically contains:

  • Merchant Identification Number (MID)
  • Merchant account information
  • Business details
  • Payment processor information
  • Industry code or merchant category code (MCC)

If you own multiple distinct businesses and your payments setup requires you to have a VAR sheet, then you’ll need separate VAR sheets for each business. For example, if you own a coffee shop and also sell handmade ceramics online – and these are unique businesses with their own MIDs and merchant accounts – then you’ll need to create a VAR sheet for each.

Do I need a VAR sheet?

It depends. If you have a merchant account and use a third-party payment gateway, then you probably will need a VAR sheet to integrate the two and allow them to communicate with each other to process your payments. VAR sheets contain essential information that a payment gateway will need in order to work with your business and liaise with your merchant account.

However, if your business uses an all-in-one payments solution like Stripe that offers businesses the combined functionality of both a payment gateway and a merchant account, then you do not need a VAR sheet.

How do I get a VAR sheet?

Different payment gateways have different requirements for what information needs to be included on a VAR sheet. Putting together a VAR sheet is not the endless, time-sucking task it may sound like, since the file contains basic information that you should have readily available. But it is important that you are precise and accurate with the information that you include, since any errors could result in disrupted payment processing.

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