Every few days, several businesses report to us that they have been added to the Terminated Merchant File (TMF) or what is commonly known as the MATCH (Member Alert To Control High Risk) List. It can be a very trying period especially if you have never even heard about TMF and how it works. Many times you don’t even know what to do or how to react.
Unfortunately, most businesses only learn that they have been added to the TMF or MATCH list during their application for a new account with a different financial service provider. The application will be denied and that’s when you’ll discover that you have been TMF’ed or MATCHed. Hopefully, you’re reading this before you receive the bad news. However, even if you’ve already been added to the MATCH or TMF list, there are still a number of things you can do.
Basically, MATCH is a database created and managed by MasterCard. The database contains information about million of businesses and the business owners whose credit cards have been terminated by MasterCard.
MATCH is often used by acquiring/merchant processing banks when screening applicants to see whether the merchant has been added to the list before. The banks themselves also have the powers to add you to the MATCH list.
Unfortunately, it appears MasterCard has granted the processors too much power when adding merchants to the MATCH list. According to a statement on MasterCard’s website, the card company says that it takes completely no responsibility for the information reported or listed in MATCH. Therefore, a processing bank can add you to the list for whatever reasons and MasterCard won’t even bother.
One reason every merchant strives to avoid being on the MATCH list is because once you’re on the list, it becomes extremely challenging to open a new merchants account with any bank. Moreover, according to MasterCard regulations, once added to MATCH, you will remain on the list for at least five years. This can be a huge blow for merchants who often need new accounts to cater for any new lines of products or services.
The good news is that you can still get a merchant account even if you’re on the MATCH list. Of course, the grounds for your appearance on the TMF/MATCH list have to be reasonable. You can start by contacting EMB, who can help you open a TMF Merchant account.