Global Legal Law Firm

What is the MATCH List and How Does it Affect You

Have you been MATCH’d?

MATCH or TMF List Issues

What is the MATCH or TMF List?

MATCH – Member-Alert-To-Control-High-Risk – or Terminated Merchant File (TMF) is a database of previously terminated merchants created and maintained by MasterCard Worldwide, and relied upon by the payment brands to screen and regulate merchant access to the payments system. It's maintained by MasterCard, but Visa, Discover, AMEX, and all financial institutions rely on it, This is a way for acquiring banks (aka merchant processing banks) to screen potential applicants to make sure that they’re not a high-risk merchant. Acquiring banks also have the ability to add or remove merchants to or from the MATCH database.

What Happens When You’re MATCH’d?

When a merchant is placed on the MATCH list, the business name, principal, and any business partners are all recorded on file and banned from opening any new merchant accounts elsewhere. Once on the MATCH, it is extremely difficult to obtain a new merchant account.


How Does One Get Off the MATCH list?

Acquirers who are searching the MATCH list can access information that is reported and stored during the previous five years. Any merchant added during that time will generate a MATCH result. After five years, the merchant’s data will be removed from the MATCH list, assuming no additional MATCH entries were made during that time frame. MasterCard will remove a merchant when the acquirer reports that it added the merchant in error. Acquirers loath to take that step, however, because they face liability to subsequent acquirers for losses caused by any merchant they should have placed on – or improperly removed from – the MATCH list. It is no easy task to get off this list. But it can be accomplished through diligent advocacy in some cases.

What Do You Do If You’re Business is on the MATCH List?

When your merchant account is terminated:

  1. Ask your payment processor if you’re MATCH-listed or not. If yes, find out the reason.

  2. Find those credit card service providers that specialize in the high-risk industry and offshore payment processing. Contact them.

  3. Tell them you’re on the MATCH list and provide all the details and documents required by them.

  4. Your prospective processor will need to know the reason you’re placed on the MATCH list and your 6 latest processing statements. If your monthly volume is less than $100.000, you won’t get approval.

  5. After getting approved, you should fill out the application forms and provide additional documentation.

  6. You’ll be asked to apply some changes in your business practices so to better the situation your business is in.

  7. Now, you are already in the underwriting process, which requires lots of patience.

  8. During the underwriting process, the payment processor will be too cautious with your business. The processor will ask you to submit certain documentation from time to time.

  9. Al last, your account is established. The processor will keep your account, transactions, and invoices under review. You should always act in accordance with the terms of your merchant agreement.


MATCH List removal Process - What Global Legal Can do for You to make the process easier

We can help with this.  If it’s time for you to come off, and it could be a relatively simple fix. 

We will need the information that you have on the original triggering event, including your agreement with the company that put you on the list, and any documents related to that, and any information that might be helpful.

From there we will facilitate working with the past processor to be removed.

Global's reputation often precedes itself.  Global’s MATCH demand letters are often given great weight.  And that has been earned through representation of several financial institutions and other entities and organizations that operate in the electronic payments industry for over ten years.  Global also works heavily in the compliance field, including advising businesses engaged electronic payments and related products and services on the applicable laws, rules, and regulations, whether from: a state or federal governmental organization or enforcement body; state and local laws, rules, regulations and ordinances; the Card Brand Rules; the rules, policies, and standards enforced by processors; the NACHA Rules; and the standard in the industry (collectively, the “Rules”). 

Your Partner for MATCH Issues

Global’s founding partners, James C. Huber and Christopher R. Dryden, are widely recognized as expert attorneys in the electronic payments industry.  Further, Mr. Huber and Mr. Dryden sit on the board of multiple organizations engaged in the electronic payment processing industry.  Global’s attorneys’ vast experience and exemplary performance in ensuring sales organizations, processors, banks, software providers, technology companies, resellers, and other financial institutions’ compliance with the ever-changing regulation of the electronic payments industry compliments its ability it to navigate the rapidly-evolving legal landscape related to merchants engaged in the business of providing or related to non-traditional or high risk products and services.  Our clients, and advisory boards alike, have come to place a tremendous amount of confidence in Global’s expert opinions on electronic payments companies and their practices.  Thus, a similarly high degree of trust in our assurances is warranted in this instance.