Former merchant account holders are often taken by surprise when their application for a new account is rejected because they have apparently been added to the MATCH list. They, therefore, result in scrambling to find out what this list is all about.
If you are reading this now, chances are, you are one of these unlucky merchants. Nonetheless, you can breathe a little less heavily because here, we break down what it means to be on this list, and how you can get out.
What is the MATCH list?
MATCH, or Member Alert to Control High-Risk, is a tool created and managed by Mastercard for use by credit card processing companies to screen potential merchants before signing them up for s merchant account.
Formerly known as the Terminated Merchant File (TMF), the MATCH list contains information about businesses whose card processing privileges have been revoked. Merchant processing banks then use this list to determine whether a new applicant is worthy of an account. If a trader’s name is on the list, the bank is allowed to contact the previous provider and inquire why that particular account was shut down.
Why do merchants get MATCH listed?
MasterCard outlines the reasons for being added to the MATCH database under coded categories on their website. It is overly common for merchants with high-risk accounts or excessive chargebacks to end up on the list.
Other reasons include:
- Account data compromise
- Money laundering
- Violation of card processing standards
- Merchant collusion
- Noncompliance with PCI data security standards
- Identity theft
- Illegal transactions
In the past, it was easy for banks to add names to the list, but nowadays, MasterCard has become stricter with their regulations. That said, it still doesn’t verify or confirm the accuracy of the information presented to the MATCH database by the reporting bank. This is stated in section 11.1 of MasterCard’s Security Rules and Procedures.
“MasterCard does not verify, otherwise confirm, or ask for confirmation of either the basis for or accuracy of any information that is reported to or listed in MATCH. It is possible that information has been wrongfully reported or inaccurately reported. It is also possible that facts and circumstances giving rise to a MATCH report may be subject to interpretation and dispute.”
The decision on which names to add to the list therefore solemnly lies with the bank.
What to do when you’re MATCH’d
The only way to get off the MATCH list lies with the same bank that put you on it. Getting off can be easy or impossible depending on the reason you’re in the database. If you suspect you have been listed in error, work with the bank to get to the bottom of the case.
Alternatively, you can sign up for a merchant account from high-risk providers who consider applicants even when they are on the list. eMerchantBroker, for example, will sign you up for an account, as long as your reason for being on the list is within their guidelines.
Although it might not mean the end of your business, being on the MATCH list is an unfortunate situation that should be avoided at all cost.