In short, the MATCH list is a record made by MasterCard of all of the high-risk merchants that are not allowed to process credit cards anymore. They may have been put there for any of a handful of reasons we’ll mention below. Getting off the list can take years, hoop-jumping, and of course, patience. Here are the answers to all of the questions wary business owners should know:
What does MATCH stand for?
Member Alert to Control High-Risk. The list is also known as TMF, or Terminated Merchant File. If your business is on this list, you’ll likely not be able to open a merchant account for a minimum of 5 years.
Who uses the MATCH list?
The MATCH list is used by payment processors during the underwriting process when a merchant goes to apply for a merchant account. The general public doesn’t have access to the MATCH list because it is not meant to defame troubled business owners. It is instead used as a kind of buddy system between processors to keep each other safe.
What kind of businesses are on the MATCH list?
The majority of businesses on this record are not fraudsters. They tend to have a business model that makes them likely to excessive chargebacks. Online pharmaceutical companies that falsely promise weight loss or hair growth are a prime example of the kind of business on the list.
What did my business do to get on the MATCH list?
Money laundering, fraud conviction, account data compromise, the owner’s identity was stolen, and bankruptcy is all common ways to have your payment processing revoked.
Should I Be Worried About the MATCH List?
If you’re not a high-risk merchant, you shouldn’t be worried at all about being put on this list. It’s simply a precaution that should be taken by payment processors when dealing with payments. If your business has a growing number of chargebacks, then you should be concerned. If your chargeback ratio exceeds 1%, your merchant accounts may get terminated and subject you to being added to the MATCH list. Be warned though, many processors can add to it and the list has very little accountability in terms of proof of wrongdoing. Just make sure you have the healthiest business processes possible so that opening a merchant account is a breeze!