No business owner wants to be found on the MATCH list. MATCH (Member Alert to Control High-risk Merchants), also commonly called the TMF (terminated merchant file) list, is a database of merchants that includes a lot of information on merchants who have applied for, or accepted credit cards. One very important piece of data maintained on the MATCH file is a list of merchants whose accounts have been shut down for “cause” within the past five years.
Getting a merchant account for your business is not easy if your name is flagged as terminated on the list. All legitimate U.S credit card processors will run your name in the MATCH database before doing any business with you. In other words, being on the MATCH list is like being on a ‘blacklist’ that prevents a high-risk category business from opening an account with another credit card processor. This is very far from an ideal situation for any merchant. However, there is hope: there are ways off the list and, although rare, it’s possible to continue accepting credit cards while you’re still on it.
What Does it Mean to be on the MATCH List?
When you are added to the MATCH list, all your business information, including name, principal, and names of other partners involved, is recorded on a file. Acquiring banks and credit card processing companies use this list when they evaluate whether or not they want to open a merchant account for you.
Processors are also allowed to contact the former bank or credit card processing company who placed the merchant on the list and ask them the reason for doing so. Afterward, they will decide whether to accept your application, deny it, or provide a conditional acceptance with certain restrictions.
Being on the MATCH List is Not the End
Being on the MATCH list doesn’t always mean that you cannot get a merchant account elsewhere. That said, the only condition is that merchants must not owe the former processor any money. All outstanding bills to former processors must be taken care of. Ideally, you would want a high risk merchant account from the beginning to help you avoid this issue altogether.
How Merchants End up on the MATCH List
There are various reasons that merchants are placed on the MATCH list. The most common include:
- Having too many chargebacks
- Participation in any fraudulent activity
- Money laundering
- Nonpayment of a bill
- Identity theft
- Noncompliance with PCI data security standards
- Data compromise
How You Can Get Off the MATCH List
If your name is on the MATCH list, then there are only two ways to deal with this situation. Either wait five years for your time on the list to expire, or contact the company that put you there in the first place. If you are there due to fraudulent or criminal activity, there is no way out. However, if your placement on the list is due to some problem or error, clerical or otherwise, then you may be able to work with the company which placed you on the list and try to solve the issue.
Chargebacks as the Main Problem
If excessive chargebacks are the problem, then wait for six months until all chargebacks are rectified. After that, start working with your former processing company to remove your name from the list. If the case is non-payment of a bill, then pay what you owe, and you’ll solve the problem at its core. Similarly, with the previous issue, contact the company that placed you on the list and attempt to resolve it.
Clerical Errors or Mistakes
Sometimes it turns out to be a mistake, misunderstanding, or clerical error. If you believe that’s the case, then the first thing to do is to call the company that put you on the list and ask them for details and find a solution to the problem. There will be some investigation and related paperwork. Be patient, handle the situation professionally, and approach it with a respectful attitude. Once the company finds out that you were put on the list erroneously, they will make an immediate correction. Depending on the situation, we are often able to assist with situations like this. Feel free to contact us anytime for help.
In most cases, merchants don’t even know if they are on the MATCH list. The best way to find this out is to call the company which terminated your merchant account and ask them if they put your name on the MATCH list. If that’s the case, then try asking them the reason and how you can rectify the problem. Meanwhile, the most important thing is to be patient, diligent, and professional in your approach to find the specific problem that put you on the list and correct what is in your power to correct.
How to Deal with Being on the List
While getting off the MATCH list is a complicated process, you cannot let your business suffer for an unnecessarily long period. To get your business up and running again, you’ll need to be able to accept payments and process credit cards as soon as possible. Getting a high risk merchant account is an excellent way to start you off on the right foot. After all, high risk merchant accounts are expertly designed to deal with situations that standard merchant accounts struggle with. Therefore, you need to get in touch with a company, like us, that specializes in high risk merchant accounts. You’ll want a company that specializes in dealing with such situations and can help you when conventional processors are unwilling to do so.
How E-Commerce 4 IM Can Help
E-Commerce 4 IM is one such service; we provide excellent e-commerce solutions. We specialize in working with high risk merchants. Even if a business is on the MATCH list, we can often help them find a provider and offer other services like a chargeback mitigation program to help keep them off the list in the future. Contact us today at 1-800-570-1347 or on our website.