Can Merchants Survive Life After the MATCH List (aka the TMF listing)?

November 19, 2018 | Financial Problems | Jessyka Lee

how to survive the MATCH list (aka TMF listing)

If you are reading this, then it’s highly probable you’ve found yourself on the MATCH list or TMF listing. Searching the MATCH list or initiating a TMF list search could find you in a situation every business owners dread. You could be wondering what these lists are being used for and what the consequences are.

Most of all, you’re probably hoping to find a way for your high risk merchant account to survive despite this disappointing realization.

What is the MATCH list Mastercard?

Quite simply, the MATCH (Member Alert to Control High Risk Merchants) record was created by Mastercard as a way of compiling information on companies and their owners as to if their merchant accounts have been terminated. With the MATCH list, Mastercard combined a list with the TMF listing (Terminated Merchant File), so each list is used interchangeably.

The list is used by acquiring banks to help screen applicants and determine if businesses ought to receive credit card payment processing privileges.

Merchants who’ve been added to the MATCH list are perceived as high risk business ventures and are likely to encounter problems when applying for new merchant accounts.

What About TMF?

Terminated Merchant File (TMF) has been a designation, which predated the MATCH list, and has been used to track blacklisted companies. TMF list removal is just as important as MATCH list removal. If you’ve come to this article you’re probably wondering how to get off the TMF list as well as the MATCH listing. Sorta good news, you don’t have to worry about it anymore since the TMF listing was replaced with the more comprehensive MATCH list.

Reasons Business Owners Have Been Added to the MATCH List

The most common cause of a retailer landing the MATCH list is chargebacks. Merchants need to know how to check MATCH list because those that exceed the chargeback thresholds will most likely see their companies appear on the MATCH list. This means that they will wind up with a frozen merchant account and, finally, a canceled merchant account.

According to the Mastercard Security Rules and Techniques, when the acquirer has reason to think one of the earlier mentioned conditions has come to be, then the acquirer may add the retailer into the MATCH list.

All developments to the MATCH list are made by the acquirers that deal with the merchants. Mastercard stipulates that “acquirers must behave reliably, reasonably, and in good faith to abide by the MATCH system requirements.”

However, the listing is dependent on acquirer discretion and is wholly without checks and balances.

How Can High Risk Merchants Get Off The List?

In order to search the MATCH list you need to know how to check MATCH list and what you’re looking for. While a list exists, the Mastercard MATCH list can’t be searched by anyone not authorized by Mastercard to do so. But there is a way to search the Mastercard MATCH reason codes. If you suspect your merchant account lost payment processing due to any of these Mastercard MATCH reason codes, then you will want to come up with a strategy for MATCH list removal.

Acquirers that are searching the MATCH list Mastercard can get information that is saved and has been reported within the previous five years. Here’s how you can search the TMF/MATCH list. 

Any merchant added throughout that timeframe will generate a MATCH list outcome. After five years, the retailer’s information will be taken out of the MATCH list – assuming that no additional MATCH list entrances were produced during this time period.

There is minimal chance of MATCH list removal before the five-year minimum.

There are only two circumstances that would enable a TMF list removal:

  1. The acquirer contacts Mastercard on the retailer’s behalf and reports that the initial addition was created in error.
  2. The merchant was inserted using MATCH list Mastercard reason code 12 (PCI-DSS Non-compliance) but has since become compliant.

High risk merchants aren’t necessarily forbidden from processing credit card transactions during those five years, the business just must obtain a payment processing agreement with an acquirer that’s eager to accept the added high risk. TMF list removal will allow the merchant to resume payment processing.

PayKings specializes specifically in approving high risk merchant account applications, which means that despite the added risks, we can get you approved in as little as six hours. As leaders in the industry, we have established 24+ acquiring banking relationships to become experts in getting high risk merchant accounts accepting online payments.

MATCH Listing Merchant Account Solutions from PayKings

Getting placed on the MATCH list is a challenging hurdle and also a profit-hindrance. Seeking solutions for TMF list removal or getting a MATCH listing merchant account is the only way to get out of this predicament. Given the fact that a majority of possible clients do their shopping via credit card payments, being able to process their transactions is critical to running a successful business. If you’ve searched the MATCH list or TMF listing and found that you are on there, PayKings can help secure you a MATCH listing merchant account to accept credit card payments.

Oftentimes, the time lapsed is the only real solution TMF list removal. Merchants optimize profitability to compensate for processing fees and must minimize risk to the best of their abilities.

If you dread the MATCH list Mastercard placement (it has not occurred yet, but it may), it’s important to concentrate on chargeback prevention and strategic representation.

It’s imperative to maintain chargebacks in a low ratio and confirm that your company doesn’t breach the networks’ chargeback thresholds.

Merchant Compliance Review

A substantial number of chargebacks are caused by the retailer’s own mistakes and oversights (our proprietary study indicates as many as 40%).

These errors — and the chargebacks — are entirely preventable. What’s more is understanding how to check MATCH list and what to do to avoid being on it.

PayKings can assist retailers to join our partners to implement policies and reduce the risk of chargebacks to rectify these mistakes.

Chargeback Alerts

In some cases, there’s minimal time for effective chargeback accounting. Merchants expecting to quickly and efficiently lower their chargeback-to-transaction ratio due to the impending danger of becoming MATCH listed should consider registering for chargeback alerts.

When a trade has been contested by a consumer, based on criminal activity, chargeback alerts are issued. Merchants are given the opportunity to refund these unauthorized transactions, thereby avoiding a chargeback.

Getting the Help You Need

As one of the causes of MATCH list positioning, chargebacks can be an expensive issue for retailers. Not only do they result in earnings reduction, chargebacks can hinder a company’s ability to process credit card transactions and ultimately jeopardize longevity.

Additionally, if you’ve found yourself in a situation where you are paying high rates for credit card processing, or a payment processor has frozen your high risk merchant account and are holding funds outright, get in touch with us about high risk payment processing solutions. Our team of experts can help negotiate the best rates for your high risk merchant account. We can even help secure you a MATCH listing merchant account. Click for a free quote.

November 19, 2018 | Financial Problems | Jessyka Lee