The MATCH list: Why Your Application for a Merchant Account Can’t Get Through

Jan 06, 2017

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Merchant File (TMF), the MATCH list contains information about businesses whose card processing privileges have been revoked.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
  • Fraud
  • Bankruptcy
  • 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.

Let us help you get a TMF merchant account today!

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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