The MATCH List What It Means For High Risk Merchants
If you’re a “high risk” merchant within any industry, the last place you want to find yourself is on the MATCH list. As you know, being “high risk” in and of itself, creates lots of challenges for business owners to deal with, not the least of which is having to obtain a merchant account.
Though definitely a daunting task, it can certainly be accomplished. Being on the MATCH list, on the other hand, can be likened to the kiss of death, when it comes to obtaining a “high risk” merchant account.
What Exactly Is The MATCH List?
MATCH is an acronym for “Member Alert To Control High-Risk.” Prior to the MATCH list, it was known as TMF or “Terminated Merchant File”. The list was created and is managed by Mastercard and is used by other credit card processors, such as Visa and American Express, as well.
The basic purpose of the MATCH list is for banks to be able to identify merchants whose accounts have been previously terminated for various reasons. Companies are not alerted when they’ve been placed on the list, so most merchants have no idea they’re on the MATCH list until they’ve applied for a merchant account and been rejected. It’s at that point that they’re given the reason for the denial and thus are made aware of the situation.
If you find yourself on the MATCH list, you can pretty well consider yourself blacklisted for obtaining a merchant account.
Reasons For MATCH List Placement
A merchant doesn’t end up on the MATCH list by accident. There are many reasons for a business being placed on the list. The most prevalent is excessive chargebacks. If a company has surpassed what’s considered to be an acceptable number of chargebacks, and every credit card processor has its own acceptable amount, it will surely be placed on the MATCH list.
This serves to identify a company as far too high a risk for credit card processors and banks to take a chance on.
The second most common reason is the commitment of fraud of any kind. Banks and credit card processors run in the opposite direction when they come across a merchant that has breached “fraud-to-sales dollar volume thresholds.” In addition, if a merchant has practiced “money laundering” by having processed transactions that didn’t involve legitimate and authentic customers, they too, will be placed on the MATCH list.
Truth be told, when businesses are placed on the MATCH list, it becomes extremely difficult for them to obtain a “high risk” merchant account.
Per Mastercard rules, once a firm is on the list, it will not be removed for five years and may very possibly never be deleted, depending on the reason why it was put on the list in the first place. Although chargebacks may be eventually forgiven, fraud may not ever be. Merchants on the list are, of course, permitted to contact the specific bank responsible for their Match list placement, in order to dispute the situation.
Once in a rare while, this can actually bring positive results. However, more often than not, disputing a MATCH placement turns out to be an exercise in futility, resulting in the merchant no longer being able to accept credit and debit card payments. This can not only put a company out of business, but can actually prevent the business owner(s) from ever receiving a merchant account again, for any businesses whatsoever.
Joyce Hope is a writer who specializes in merchant accounts. She has worked for First Card Payments since 2017.