A match is usually a good thing. We all want to find the socks that match, the accessories that match, the job that’s a match – we even look for a romantic “match.”
But when it comes to e-commerce, finding yourself on the MATCH List doesn’t end in a candlelight dinner. It more likely ends in a frustrating and fruitless search for a merchant account from credit card processors who want nothing to do with your business. This is one of the most serious things that can happen to a merchant and can be devastating to business that rely on credit card processing to serve their customers.
This is because the MATCH (Member Alert To Control High-risk) list is a list of everyone whose merchant accounts have been shut down for cause in the last five years. It’s maintained by the card labels and is considered an authoritative blacklist. All mainstream and most other legitimate U.S. credit card processors will run your name and/or the name of your business through this database before accepting or denying your request. If your name comes up, your request will be denied. No amount of extra fees will be enough to compensate for your presence on that list.
How Did I Get On the MATCH List?
Merchants can be placed on the list for a number of reasons. If your credit card service forcefully shut down your account, always contact them and ask if you were also put on the MATCH list and if so, for what reason. This will help you prepare to get off the list and make the necessary change to stay off.
The most common reasons merchants are placed on the list include:
• Non-payment of a bill
• Data breach
• Fraud or criminal conviction of the business owner
• Identity theft of the business owner
How Can I Get Off the MATCH List?
Your only recourse, if you find yourself on the MATCH list is to work with the company that put you on it in the first place. If the reason for your presence there is fraud or other criminal activity, you are probably there for good (or at least for the next five years until the old records are removed). However if you’re like most upstanding merchants, this does not have to be the case.
In the case of non-payment of a bill, for instance, you can often get removed once you pay what you owe. If the problem was excessive chargebacks, you will usually have to wait six months until the window for chargebacks has closed and then start working with the initiating company to have your name removed. Sometimes, your presence on the list is simply a mistake. In all instances, the first step is to call the company and ask what you did and how you can remedy the solution.
When you do this, remember to be patient. Getting your name off the MATCH list is not an easy process and is not possible in all cases. However in most cases, if you satisfy the company’s conditions, they will remove you. Hand in all the paperwork they ask for, answer all their questions, wait on hold as long as they put you there, and prepare to talk to a lot of people without complaint. A positive and respectful attitude coupled with prompt compliance to all the company’s requests is your best ticket
In some cases, you may not even know that you’re on the MATCH list. The best way to find out is to call the company who terminated your merchant account and ask. If they answer in the affirmative request information about why you were put there and how you can remedy the situation.
What Do I Do In The Meantime?
Getting off the MATCH list is not a quick or easy process and in some scenarios, you may have to wait the full five years until your account ages out of the system. So what can you do in the meantime to keep your business afloat?
The first thing you need to do is contact a company that specializes in high-risk merchants and tell them up front that you’re on the MATCH list. While it may seem counterintuitive to expose this information that has kept you from being eligible for service from other companies, it will be worse for you if they find out the hard way. Let them know upfront what the problem was and what you’ve done to remedy the situation. While mainstream processors will not be able to help you, businesses that specialize in high-risk accounts often can.
Call E-Commerce 4 IM To Get Started
E-Commerce 4 IM is one such service that is skilled at working with high-risk merchants, even those who have ended up on the MATCH list. To see if you can be matched with a provider as well as help with services such as fraud or chargeback prevention to keep you off the list in the future, give us a call at 1-800-570-1347.