PEP Episode 002 – What Is The MATCH List?
- May 2, 2023
In this episode we discuss what the MATCH list is. And no, it’s not a dating site, it’s worse. Running a business can be exciting but when a merchant lands on a list that can put one’s entire business in jeopardy, it’s worth discussing potential solutions. Expert payments attorneys, James Huber and Bryce Van De Moere, talk all things MATCH list (sometimes known as the TMF list). Today learn the how’s and why’s merchants end up MATCH’d, and what payments lawyers can do to help.
Jeremy Stock (00:00):
Welcome to the Payments Experts Podcast, a podcast of global legal law firm ISOs, FinTech, pay fax agents, merchants, processors, acquiring banks and card brands. If these terms mean something to you, this podcast is for you. If these terms aren’t so familiar, this podcast is even more for you. We hope you enjoy this episode of pep, the Payments Experts podcast.
Jeremy Stock (00:39):
Welcome to this episode of the Payments Experts podcast today, talking about the MATCH list. We have Bryce Van De Moere, senior associate attorney at Global Legal Law Firm, and managing partner James Huber. Welcome, gentlemen.
James Huber (00:53):
Bryce, start us off. Pop Quizz. What does Match Stand for?
Bryce Van De Moere (00:58):
Member Alert to Control High risk.
James Huber (01:02):
Jeremy Stock (01:03):
We need an applause button, don’t we? Pause.
Bryce Van De Moere (01:05):
I spent all day making sure
James Huber (01:07):
It is that right. So we, for a little history, we have been dealing with merchants placed on MATCH since roughly 2008 or nine. And when people would come to us about match issues saying, Hey, how do I get off this list? Uh, our understanding was good luck and our experience was good luck. Maybe we would get a couple people off. But back then, uh, it was, you know, it’s probably not worth your time. How about you just, you know, do something a little different, you know, reorganize, reorganize your business, or, you know, some other tactic, uh, that started to change, uh, during the Obama years, the beginning of the Obama years, our theory is here comes regulation, uh, and we’re gonna start looking and, you know, putting people on a list that’s gonna put them out of business might invite some scrutiny. Uh, and then, you know, after those years, things started to change again, and we had a little bit more trouble getting people off, but then Covid came around and people were getting matched for all sorts of things because for the first time ever, you know, a lot of online merchants got matched because all of a sudden, a good example we have is a pool supplier who’s selling online pool supplies.
James Huber (02:33):
His business goes up by, you know, 8,000 x and buying pool supplies is, I’m told, very difficult because you need a certain kind of filter, a certain kind of chemical. No, people had been doing it in a store and now they’re trying to do it online. And so they got a lot of chargebacks and, you know, there’s problems with fulfillment and supply chains issues. So, uh, people were getting through something that they did not do. And we were getting, we were getting, I don’t know, 20 merchants a month contacting. And our success rate for a while was, what would you say it is, Jeremy
Jeremy Stock (03:15):
Over 85% for a while
James Huber (03:16):
Over 85%. So we were right outta
Jeremy Stock (03:18):
Right out of COVID
James Huber (03:18):
I, you know, we’re smiling ear to ear because the, you know, we all have these issues with MATCH, and that’s continuing. We’re continuing to see, uh, I wouldn’t say our percentage of success is high because our volume has gone up so much dramatically. Um, but we’ve really enjoyed this fight because we have a really big problem with the MATCH list and how it’s run. And, you know, Bryce joined our firm shortly before this time where we’re having a huge influx of MATCH and quickly started, you know, flexing on this. And, you know, Bryce, what’s your, what’s your biggest beef with the Match list?
Bryce Van De Moere (04:00):
Well, my biggest beef is just the fact that, you know, we have so many clients who just come to us and they just don’t know what’s going on. Uh, and so you have a uneducated, uh, customer base, uh, that we’re dealing with. And at the same time, there’s just too quick of a rush by whatever entity is putting them on MATCH to just do it. If they, you know, they, there’s even an inkling that they might be behaving badly, they’ll just, they’ll just MATCH them just to be on the safe side. They won’t really do any legwork. Um, and then you’re out of business for five years. And if I can back up a little bit, you know, uh, one of the things that I learned about MATCH is that it’s extremely difficult to be a merchant nowadays. The, the, the the cards are, are really stacked against you.
Bryce Van De Moere (04:47):
Now, online entrepreneurship was something that I really wasn’t that aware of until I, I came to work for this firm, but it’s evidently a, a really big thing. And, and at once Covid came along, it, it really took off because you had brick and mortar stores. You know, they, their customer base dried up. They gotta move their product, they gotta make their rent, they gotta, they gotta make their overhead. What are they gonna do? Well online, uh, entrepreneurship was the answer. So they’re, they’re rushing to these payment processes. They’re rushing to these, uh, independent sales organizations, otherwise known as, as ISOs. And they’re, they want to get set up as quickly as possible. They’re cutting every corner. And so as a result, uh, you know, they’re, they’re getting set up and they’re signing all the documents and they’re getting running, but they don’t know what it is they’re supposed to do, and more importantly, what they’re not supposed to do.
Bryce Van De Moere (05:37):
And so, nine times outta 10, our client is calling us up saying, I’ve been put on this list. I’ve never heard of it before, and I don’t know why. Nobody will tell me, and nobody will, will show me what I’ve done, and I don’t know how to get off it. Please help me. And that’s, you know, kind of the biggest part of the success that we’ve had is just reaching out to the, the, the processor or the bank or, or whoever, and just getting them to just take a look at the, you know, whatever the transgression is here that got them matched. And once they take that look and we ask them to, you know, really evaluate how strongly you feel about the evidence that you’re using to support this MATCH placement. I mean, we’re, we’re talking about five years of no payment processing, which is just a death sentence for companies. And so you really should be sure that you’re doing the right thing before you, before you pull that trigger. And so, you know, we come along, we get them to take a look, we get them to evaluate their position, and nine times outta 10, they’ll, they’ll say it was an error and they’ll push Master Card or Visa or whoever to remove them
Jeremy Stock (06:47):
To that point, I’m sorry, James, I don’t wanna pose a question to the both of you.
James Huber (06:51):
Yeah go ahead
Jeremy Stock (06:52):
Because Bryce, you make a a, a great point there. The match list was intended, and correct me if I’m wrong, to catch bad actors in the payment space, generally speaking, can you speak to that, James? Uh, and, and Bryce in terms of, I think what Bryce is kind of alluding to is most of our clients are not bad actors, and yet they’re ending up on this list anyways, talk about that.
James Huber (07:13):
All of our clients are not bad actors. Um, but no, I mean, the purpose is, yeah, to protect card holders. And there’s an argument, you know, we’ll run into, and maybe we’ll get into it later of, one of the reasons that the processors won’t take a merchant off of MATCH is because there’s language in the card rules. The, I think it was like two years ago, it got put in there. Um, if you take somebody off of Match and they do something bad later, you’re gonna be liable as the processor. Now, I’m relatively certain that’s never, ever happened. Um, but, you know, why would you want that liability? So one of the issues we run into is we have a merchant that’s been placed on match. We’re going, Hey, what, you know, here’s the reason code. Um, what, why did you put them on Match?
James Huber (08:12):
And, you know, let’s say it comes out something saying, oh, you know, hey, they’re selling Bitcoin and you’re not supposed to be doing that. And we all know that you’re not supposed to be doing that under the rules. So we’re going, no, that’s not this, you know, it’s coding to this website. It’s not their website. So we show them that and they go, you know, okay, we’ll take ’em off, or No, we still won’t cause we’re just feeling worried about it. Then we’ll sue ’em. And we get into discovery and through discovery, you know, we, that’s where we ask them for documents and information and maybe depose somebody, they do the same thing to our guy. And let’s say they find out, oh, there is something wrong here actually that was going on. It’s not why we matched you, but there some trouble going on.
James Huber (08:56):
We’re gonna look at it and, you know, no, you should be on MATCH. You know, we thought it was cause of this stuff. We had a hunch, but you know, it turns out we were right or we were wrong. And there’s something over here. I look at that as, you know, I arrested the guy, beat him up and put cocaine in his pocket. You know, I found the evidence later, or I went to his house and it turns out, you know, there was, you know, drugs at his house. So, you know, he should go to jail. Anyways, um, the difference of course is in the scenario that I was just stating there’s due process requirements and all of that evidence that they got later, everything, you know, a good criminal defense attorney, we’ll get that all excluded in case with MATCH. There is no due process. In fact, most of our clients find out that they’ve been placed on match when they go apply for their next merchant account. And I see that as a huge, we see that as a due process violation.
Bryce Van De Moere (09:51):
Well, and, and, and there’s like, like a, a reasonable reasonableness standard right at play here. And that’s about as vague a standard as it gets. I mean, you know, what, what is reasonable to one person may not be reasonable to another and certainly does not warrant a five year lockdown on your ability to payment process. But go, going back, uh, just a little bit, um, you know, these, these don’t be swayed by how friendly these payment processors may be when they’re, um, looking at your chargebacks or looking at your processing. They’re looking at it at, with the mindset that you’re already doing something wrong. They’re not looking to find out, you know, wh why is this person, um, uh, approved to, um, sell, uh, umbrellas and yet this this customer is, is is, um, trying to, to move a charge back saying that you sold him a laptop.
Bryce Van De Moere (10:56):
Uh, they don’t, they don’t like jump to the conclusion that maybe the customer is just saying whatever he needs to, he thinks he needs to say to get the charge back approved. They’re saying, oh my gosh, this merchant is clearly transaction laundering and transaction laundering is basically processing a payment for a product that you were not approved for originally. And by the way, we were talking about bad actors earlier. That is what is basically will get you, um, called a bad actors fraud or transactional laundering. And when you look at it closely, it’s not intentional fraud. It’s not intentional transactional laundering. They just don’t know what they’re doing is wrong. And unfortunately un under the current system, you don’t find out that what you’re doing is wrong until you get caught. And I think that, um, if the, the processors and the other entities that handle these merchants, if they would just take the time to educate these merchants as to a, again, as to what they’re, what they can and cannot do, you cannot process payments for a product that you were not originally approved for that’s gonna get you nailed every single time.
Bryce Van De Moere (12:04):
Um, I think that their merchants would get terminated, uh, uh, less, sorry, that’s kind of, it’s kind of slaughter to that. But, um, their merchants get terminated, uh, uh, less, and they get more, they get more profit from the processing.
Jeremy Stock (12:21):
So what’s, why win? What’s, so what’s the disconnect then? Why aren’t these processors educating their merchants more? What’s going on in the real world why this doesn’t happen? Well,
Bryce Van De Moere (12:30):
I think it’s, I think it’s a double edged sword. A i I think that the merchants are predo that work online are predominantly young people. Uh, they got stars in their eyes, they’re gonna make millions and they just don’t have time. And, and then you have a system where the, uh, the processor or the ISO is, you know, thinks that they’ve done their due diligence by putting a link in merchant application in like 10 point font that says, Hey, you know, by the way, click this link cuz this lays out all the rules that you have to follow. And they feel like they’ve, they’ve, they’ve done enough. Uh, they clearly haven’t. And then the second problem is that MATCH is a, you know, is a, is an archaic rule and it clearly needs to be updated. And, and, and you know, quite honestly the, the processor are kind of in a no one situation and they, they can get, you know, nailed by the card brands themselves. If a merchant is not, um, matched and then good down the road, you know, they, they break a rule again. So, I mean the, what is the, the processor gonna do? They’re gonna, they’re gonna MATCH the merchant and not run the risk of that merchant nailing them again down the road.
James Huber (13:42):
Well, I think it’s, it’s, there is an antiquated system on both sides. I think a lot of the merchants that are on MATCH, aside from, you know, the just mom and pops that, you know, for whatever reason they got a bunch of chargebacks or whatever. But if we’re talking about, you know, high volume online merchants, which are the ones that, you know, get matched, they have a huge reserve balance. Um, and you know, really creates issues for everybody is the name of the game years ago for these online resellers was get ’em amid, get it approved, let’s get it live for three months. Get ’em, everybody cashes out. Yeah, great, we’re doing great. Now, that might be good for the processor short term, but what these, you know, the processors who really popped the system and were cranking e-commerce, doing free trial, doing Nutra, their banks started getting popped and now they’re shut down and you’re having to find a bank.
James Huber (14:37):
Are you having to, you know, go back to these merchants and educate ’em on the back backend, excuse me, of how to, you know, process this without trial or try to make it not look like trial or, you know, chargebacks 9 1 1 just had an FTC complaint against them. I mean, in the allegation it says that, you know, they were running friendly transactions for ’em, so, which is micro transactions to offset the chargebacks. So, you know, that’s a whole separate issue. But that’s a way bigger problem than, as Bryce was saying, is what the processors and the ISOs really need to do is talk to the merchant about structuring their business the correct way. Most processors and ISOs have multiple different banking and processing relationships with different risk tolerances who will take their business as is. And if there’s an issue, you know, hey, you got this other business or whatever that sells Kratom, let’s get into it and make sure that these are separate businesses.
James Huber (15:41):
You know, here’s your name. This really sounds like somebody selling, you know, Bitcoin. Let’s take a look and structure your business to make sure that that doesn’t come through. So the front end education will get you way more longevity and will preserve your bank and processing relationships and make you more money. And then the same thing for your merchant is get a merchant who will jump through those hoops to set their business up and you’re gonna have a better partner. And that’s gonna help you with your underwriting too. If they’re going, no, I don’t want that. Fine. Let ’em go. You know, run crazy somewhere at a, you know, relationship you don’t care very much about or whatever. But, you know, there is, you know, a level of merchant advocacy that I think there is, you know, a tremendous opportunity of having it be done right.
James Huber (16:35):
You know, a lot of we work that we do, uh, on the front end and sometimes after someone’s on match is we write an opinion letter and we go, Hey, you know, here’s all the concerns related to this business. Here’s how they’re in compliance with that business. And I’ll tell you what, if you do that for your clients, one, if you get, you know, help get them off match or get them approved while they’re on match, you know, you’re the messiah, you’re, they’re, you know, they’ve got a, you know, picture of you in their room and they’re kissing it on the way out the door because you’re making them a ton of money. Because if you can get them qualified at lower rates cuz they’re compliant or get them qualified at all or get them, you know, traditional onshore processing, they’re sitting pretty, cuz a lot of these merchants, that’s their biggest barrier. Most of these guys, you know, they have their fulfillment, they have their shipping, they have all of that figured out. Processing is their biggest problem.
Bryce Van De Moere (17:30):
And, and the merchant that does have some personal responsibility, i i I know that nobody is really making them aware of what they’re getting themselves into. But these merchant applications are no joke. And the ramifications for screwing up are, are very real. Um, they’re usually for about three years and if you’re terminated within that three years, you’re still on the hook for all the processing that the, uh, that would’ve been enjoyed by the ice over the processor if you had not been terminated. So, you know, you’re signing the contract that you don’t fully understand, uh, you’re not being told how to process. And so if you get terminated, uh, how do you, how does being 22 and being su sued for like $500,000 sound? Yeah, I I mean that, that, that’s not a good way to start your career.
James Huber (18:20):
No, and it doesn’t work out for our processing clients all the time either, especially if it’s a one and done, you know, these, these blowout merchants that jump from shop to shop. Sure, we can get them, you know, when we’re representing the process or we can get money from these individuals, but a lot of these guys, you know, they blow out, they, you know, blow out the account. Maybe you get an early termination fee, um, but you know, your bank’s pissed off because you, you know, jumped above the threshold. Now they’re getting a Visa investigation and it, we’ve seen it, you know, a lot of times the, you know, the bank or the processor will say, you know, it’s all this one client’s fault and we’ll get into it and go, well no, you were, you know, you had a ton of these ISOs. It’s not our one client’s fault, but in some cases we’ve seen it where no, it was, it was this one merchant who exploded. Great. You shut ’em off after, you know, even a matter of days. But how did these guys get through? You know, the, the underwriting for these is should be rigorous.
Bryce Van De Moere (19:22):
It, it, it it’s not, it’s clearly not rigorous.
James Huber (19:26):
Well, not, I mean, for clients that aren’t ours, but all of our clients, underwriting of course is very rigorous. So
Bryce Van De Moere (19:33):
Well yeah. Our, our ours is what we see when, when, when we’re hired, when we get into it, it’s, it’s very clear that there’s a a lot of looking the other way and
James Huber (19:42):
The bank is supposed to be doing some of its own underwriting too. And we almost never see that
Bryce Van De Moere (19:48):
Yeah we almost never see that.
James Huber (19:49):
Typically it’s the bank who, um, is at least providing the access to put someone on MATCH.
Bryce Van De Moere (19:58):
And, and I don’t know if every, any, I I assume that everybody realizes this, but the bank has the ultimate responsibility for the behavior of the ISO and the processor. They’re supposed to every, everybody involved in this, in this transaction,
James Huber (20:13):
Bryce Van De Moere (20:14):
The buck stops there, the
James Huber (20:15):
Buck, they’re the ones with all the license and all of that. But usually when you get up to them and, you know, we’ve deposed many, you know, bank board members and all of that, and they’re, they’ll they’ll straight out admit, no, we weren’t really looking at
Bryce Van De Moere (20:28):
That. Yeah. But, but getting back to the actual placement, when we get into it with, with, um, it, it’s, it’s clear that they’re not in, in, in some cases, and with some processors in ISOs, they, they do their investigation before. Well, I assume they, they do the investigations before they place them because we had one,
James Huber (20:49):
But they don’t, they do it on a hunch. Yeah.
Bryce Van De Moere (20:51):
We had one where they, they terminated him and they made the decision to terminate him in four hours, four hours. And then they did a bunch of investigation after they terminated him.
James Huber (21:00):
So, and even conscripted, you know, services to have these reports to go, look what we did was correct, and we’re looking at the dates, we’re going, you did this after. And they’re like, no, we got it all done in that four hours. Right. Yeah. Well, it’s dated after.
Bryce Van De Moere (21:14):
Yeah. And, and what, what if all your investigation had led to the wrong result? I mean, what would you have done then? The door’s already
James Huber (21:21):
Closed. Maybe pick up the phone and call the merchant. To see what they have to say.
Bryce Van De Moere (21:25):
Yeah. That that’s a, that’s a novel concept. <laugh>
James Huber (21:26):
That is a, but that, that, oh, I’ve almost never, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen.
Jeremy Stock (21:32):
I don’t think we have, no.
James Huber (21:33):
Where they contact the merchant prior to putting them on them on MATCH. No, never seen that.
Jeremy Stock (21:36):
Like you said it earlier, James, the vast majority of our, of our clients, if not all of them, never even knew what the MATCH list was until they find out that they’re on it.
James Huber (21:46):
And they often times don’t get noticed that no notice. Sometimes they do, they send out, you know, Hey, we’ve terminated your file, we’re putting you on, you on match. We’re not talking about TMF much, but TMF, I do know what that stands for. It’s terminated merchant file. That’s Visa’s list. Yeah. Um, but these are separate lists with different criteria. Uh, I don’t think everybody checks TMF. Um, I do think it’s worth noting also, is that a processor we’ve been saying, you know, it’s a, you know, touch of death if you’re placed on MATCH. But the card brand rules still say, and always have, I don’t know, always have, since I’ve been looking at them, that be a merchant’s placement on the MATCH list, if they’re on it cannot be criteria, the sole criteria for denying the account. Yet we’ve found that they all do that. You can’t get approved if you’re on matched generally. Oh,
Bryce Van De Moere (22:45):
We’ve actually been privy to, I think, uh, internal employ employment manuals where it just says, if they’re on matched, we won’t take you, period. It’s just to treat ’em, you just treat ’em as like, they don’t exist.
James Huber (22:58):
The other thing that I, I think is really important that we’ve learned through this was we watched a training video from MasterCard that says, you know, a lot of merchants get charged back, I’ll back up. A lot of merchants get ch uh, placed on MATCH for high chargeback levels. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, for MATCH, you’re only supposed to count the MasterCard chargeback levels. Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that, that was news to me. And I think that was news to a would be news to a lot of people.
Bryce Van De Moere (23:29):
It’s, uh, if I understand it correctly, it’s $5,000 in MasterCard charges and you go over 1% in a month. Right. And then you, you, you might get tagged. I I, and
James Huber (23:39):
That’s a hard criteria to meet for smaller accounts that we see get matched cause they’re doing it off. I mean, most people, I think Visa is the predominant card. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, for all transactions. And they’re counting all, they’re saying the whole charge by, we had to match ’em cuz they’re above the threshold or they above the threshold for MasterCard.
Bryce Van De Moere (23:56):
Well, and, and, and the story is always the same from the merchant. I, I was early in my business, I didn’t know what I was doing. I’ve put in these remediation plans. I’ve got, I’ve, I’ve hired like a chargeback 9 1 1 to help me manage my chargebacks. I promise him I won’t do it again. But MasterCard sits up on its mountaintop and, you know, does not communicate with anybody. Which is actually another, another problem that, you know, MasterCard ultimately controls all this. They, you know, the, the processors and the banks can recommend to MasterCard that they be removed. But MasterCard has the ultimate decision.
James Huber (24:32):
I’ve never seen ’em say no.
Bryce Van De Moere (24:33):
No. And I, and I never had. Well, no, they, they did once
James Huber (24:38):
MasterCard said no, even though the processor said, well,
Bryce Van De Moere (24:40):
The guy, the the client, uh, embezzled.
James Huber (24:44):
Bryce Van De Moere (24:45):
He embezzled some, he embezzled some money, but he, it was like, like remember that one? He was like, it was like 10 years ago and he’d gone into like a treatment program. Yeah, I remember that one. He totally turned his life around and they were just like, Uhuh. So, so, but, uh, my my point was that, you know, MasterCard hires companies and one of them is called, I don’t think I’m speaking outta turn, I think everybody knows this, but it’s called G2. And what G2 does is it just scours the internet for any, you know, what it perceives as bad behavior that it can, it can hang on on a merchant. And, um, when MasterCard sees something that it, it says it thinks is wrong, it’ll, it’ll contact the processor or the, the ISO and say, Hey, you know, terminate this guy
James Huber (25:25):
And Visa does the same thing.
Bryce Van De Moere (25:27):
Yeah. And, and then, and so we’ll get in, we’ll get involved and, and we’ll be like, Hey, provide us to the documentation that you’re using to justify the MATCH placement. And they’ll say, well, MasterCard told us to do it. And I’m like, okay, well then go tell a MasterCard to give it to you. And MasterCard just refuses to communicate with anybody or provide anything. So again, you have due process violations all over the place being committed by a major corporation. And nobody really seems to care. It’s just business as usual. I mean, you’re, you’re guilty and so proven innocent and you’re never gonna get the proof that’ll exonerate you ever. And so you’d have to sit there and wait for five years or get enough scratch to take on what one of the biggest companies in the world, good luck. I mean, we, we have many, many cases that are just ripe for litigation and, and they, they just, they just don’t have the money.
James Huber (26:16):
Well, I touched on this earlier. A lot of our litigation goes because they’re saying, no, we won’t take you off. And we’ve had cases where they’ll litigate, litigate it and still say no. And in those cases, we’ve gotten, you know, nice size checks for our clients. And by this point, you know, they contacted us maybe a year later, um, when they found out they were on match. Because I mean, sometimes a processor will approve somebody on match and without knowing, cause maybe they didn’t check the list, but they, uh, you know, so it’s been enough time now we’ve been litigating and there’s maybe two years left and the processor will still go, no, we won’t recommend removal, but we’ll pay you for all of your lost business. We’ve had cases where we’re, but we’ll go forget the money. Just take ’em off of MATCH. Yeah.
James Huber (27:09):
And the processor still goes, no, we would rather write a very large check that, you know, compensates for this rather than admit we did something wrong. And I amazing think they, you know, they’re off the record arguments are, you know, if, you know, we admit that we’re making a mistake over here. What other mistakes are we making? And we all know tons of them. So what’s one more? And this is one single account. And you know, I’ve even had an attorney for a processor off the record, you know, we’re heading into trial and he’s going, you know, he’s worried about his case. We’re in arbitration and you know, he’s going, look, we all can agree that the MATCH system is fatally flawed and broken. It, it is, you know, shoot first, check later. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, put somebody on the list on a whim, put somebody out of business on a whim
Jeremy Stock (28:08)
And ask questions later.
Bryce Van De Moere: (28:09)
If at all.
James Huber (28:07):
And so, you know, it is unfortunate. We do run into clients where they’re saying no, and we’re saying, you know, go ahead. You know, you have to sue. And they’re going, I don’t have the money. A majority of our clients get dropped off the list if, if at all upon a letter or two. You know, if sometimes it’s the first letter, sometimes, you know, we send the letter and they say no. And we go, yeah, take a look at all this. And then they go, okay. And so one thing that we’ve tried to do different from our competition is, you know, some of our, you know, the other law firms out there, you know, they charge 10 20 k a pop to get these merchants off of MATCH. We charge a fraction of that because we know, and they’ll flat fee it will to do way less because one, we do more volume than, you know, any other attorney out there.
James Huber (28:59):
All the processors have told us. And they say Bryce again, <laugh>, because I hear from ’em all the time, <laugh>. And, um, so, you know, we do it much less because one, you know, most of the time the, the processor who brings these to us, you know, they’re a client or the ISO who brings us to us as a client and we want to, you know, make the, make it affordable. But it’s two because, you know, why we’re a business trying to make money. We also, you know, have always taken ourselves as the Key Stones cops and the electronic payments industry. You know, there’s not a lot of regulation in this industry. There are some bad actors and we would like to, you know, see it clean up because this is a remarkable industry where people can, you know, careers for themselves. So we like to take volume on these cases to push that change needs to happen.
James Huber (29:51):
You know, we’re doing enough of these, ensuing enough of these that eventually, well, they’re already sick of hearing from Bryce, but eventually they’re gonna get really sick of, you know, seeing our letterhead over and over and over making the same arguments until someone gets win and goes, all right, let’s just change it. So that’s our ultimate goal and why we say, you know, Hey merchant, come on in, let’s discuss how we’re gonna do this. And it’s much less than the other people. And we’re told we’re much more successful than the other ones too. Not to toot our ho horn too much, but that’s, you know, straight from the processor’s mouth.
Bryce Van De Moere (30:25):
Absolutely. Yeah. Most of the time it’s just getting somebody to look. Yeah. Because we’re going to the legal department. The merchant is just talking to some customer service rep and they’re, they’re just doing what they’re told and, you know, I mean they, they, they want to keep their job and, and ultimately they don’t care. Uh, you know, I, I had a call with a, a square representative, um, and I just got a taste of what a merchant has to go through. Uh, I had a hell of a time even finding a phone number in regard on their website in their terms and conditions. I mean, I spent like an hour just pouring through it, trying to figure out how to even to get ahold of these people because sending ’em an email, good luck. I mean, I mean just, you just might as little, you know, just sending it off into the net void.
Bryce Van De Moere (31:15):
Um, and, and so finally I got a hold of somebody, uh, he didn’t want to, he clearly did not want to talk to me. Um, even though I offered to, uh, he, you know, his thing was, well, I only talk to the merchant and I’m like, well dude, why do you think you’re talking to me? Um, the merchant has made like five attempts to talk to you. And so he gave up and got a lawyer and I offered to give him proof of my representation several times. He wasn’t interested. He wouldn’t gimme a name, he wouldn’t gimme an email for the, for the, uh, legal department. Um, he just basically told me to send letter snail mail, uh, to the agent for service of process. And then I went to the terms and conditions and I actually filed a demand for arbitration. I’m hoping that will get their attention. Um, but I’m just like, God, if I have to, I have to go through this. What does a merchant have to go through? I I’ve got no chance. It’s just, yeah. And, and I understand why most of the time they just give up.
Jeremy Stock (32:08):
Can I tell you from, you know, again, we’ve been doing this a long time now, get a lot of calls from potential clients who are interested in getting off the match list. And you know, they, we have our call, we kind of talk about what our process is, and they hear about what you were describing, Bryce, Hey, we’re just getting their attorneys to take a closer look at these. And they think to themselves, I can do that. Sure enough, one month later, two months later, three months later, they’re calling us back because that’s what’s happening, Bryce. They’re getting nowhere. They’re sitting on hold for hours with customer agents. We go directly to their legal department. We’re dealing with their decision makers. It makes a difference.
Bryce Van De Moere (32:44):
Well, and there are legal departments that some of these ISOs that they just won’t talk to non lawyers. Right. And, and ultimately that’s the only, only way you’re really gonna get any movement is if, I hate to say it as if a lawyer looks at what, you know, they’ve done and says, Hey, this is just not cool. You, you gotta cut this out. You gotta let these guys off. Um, but to change the subject a little bit, cause I, I assume that we’re, we’re kind of running low on time. I mean, we,
Jeremy Stock (33:11):
We we’re getting, we’re getting towards there, but this has been great information and there’s still a bit more to give.
Bryce Van De Moere (33:16):
Uh, I just want to give, I be remiss if I don’t just mention my biggest beef with the match list and that is being matched for identity theft. That one, that one drives me absolutely insane because, um, I still haven’t figured out how to get around it. Uh, being matched for identity theft means that somebody took your personal information and tried to open a merchant account, you know, somewhere with it, and they figured out that it was a fraudulent account. So they, they, they shut it down, but then they also blacklist your personal information so that, you know, so you’re a victim twice, you didn’t do it, you didn’t do anything. You’re a victim twice. Yeah. But I’m still gonna put you outta business for five years. Uh, and nobody seems to be doing anything to help them. The innocent merchant, they’re just not interested. And, you know, so that’s just an another example of how the match list is just antiquated and quite honestly just ridiculous.
James Huber (34:15):
Well, right. And the, I mean the, the theory I’m guessing on that one is, well, you know, they’re a liability cuz they’re not protecting their personal information. But at that point, there’s enough stuff in place, you know, you get the free credit repair and all of that stuff, uh, to make sure that it’s not happening anymore. And we, we go to them and are saying, this won’t happen again. If it does, it’s just as likely as anybody else out there to happen. Actually less. Because, you know, I, I haven’t heard of many people that get, you know, the massive identity theft multiple, multiple times anymore because the tools exist to prevent it. Yeah.
Bryce Van De Moere (34:53):
So, but why is, why is a merchant being shut down by his own processor or his own ISO, right? When for, for identity theft,
James Huber (35:02):
It’s really Me
Bryce Van De Moere (35:03):
When they’ve confirmed already that your identity has been stolen, but,
James Huber (35:08):
And usually they still we’re still that the identity is stolen before it’s even approved. You know, so it’s not like that other account went live and went rampant. It was just like, oh, nope, fraudulent account, because, you know, driver’s license doesn’t match the social, he’s been identity theft MATCH him..
Bryce Van De Moere (35:26):
Yeah, and they, and they always tell us, you know, again, like, you know, being matched is not a prohibition on payment processing and being matched for identity theft is really not a prohibition on, uh, payment payment, being able to get payment processing. Oh, I’m like, oh, oh really? Because you, you, you’re shutting him down right and left and you’re confirming for me that the, the merchant didn’t do anything wrong. But you won’t touch him with a 10th foot bull. I mean, that’s just not right.
Jeremy Stock (35:50):
So Bryce, James, as we come to the end here, the match list is antiquated. It’s a net that’s far too wide. There’s no due process. There’s almost no notice. At least not always, someone listening to this right now, very likely is probably in a very similar situation where they’re angry, they’re on the list, they’re trying to figure this out. They’ve found our website, found Global Legal Law Firm. Where is their hope? Is there hope for them?
James Huber (36:19):
Yeah, I think absolutely. I mean, yeah, a lot of times it’s, you know, it’s, the processor is going, oh, you’re unmatched. Instead of going, Hey, we can’t take your business. It’s, Hey, call these guys. They can probably help you out. And a lot of our clients go, Hey, we’ll pay, we’ll pay for it too. Because they know if we get ’em off, they’re good to go. Then the other thing we do, we can also do is when somebody’s on match, we’ll write an opinion letter saying, one, we’re disputing this, it was wrong. Here’s all the reasons why. And then they’ll get an approval going, yeah, oh actually that totally makes sense. We all know that the match list is completely arbitrary and based on somebody’s hunch. Now we’ll go ahead and improve this. We’re gonna be watching you, but we’ll approve it.
Bryce Van De Moere (37:08):
Yeah. But, and you gotta remember, these processors have what thousands of merchants all processing and, you know, providing them revenue. MasterCard comes down and says, you must get matched one, what is the processor gonna say? No MasterCard. Are they, are they gonna bite the hand that feeds them over one merchant?
James Huber (37:29):
Well, they do have obligations
Bryce Van De Moere (37:31):
Which they, which they don’t. Which they don’t follow. Yeah. I mean, so, so they’re, they’re going, they’re gonna, you know, uh, they’re going arrest on a set of caution and they’re just gonna MATCH him. And so that’s why you get us involved because we stick up for you and say, Hey, you need to take another look at this. Um, and there’s, and there’s always the, the danger of litigation. And I think we’ve proven that we’re not afraid to litigate these cases at all. Um, I’m, I’m ready <laugh>.
James Huber (38:00):
Well, the other thing, the other thing too is when you have, you get a notice from Visa or MasterCard saying, Hey, what’s up with this merchant? Instead of going, oh, we matched, I’m sorry. In my opinion, I think that that arguably makes you look a little bit worse cuz why didn’t you catch this on the front end? And they’re going, oh, I blame it on the merchant. I think that there is room to go back to Visa and say, I hear you. Thank you for that information. We’re looking into it. They give you enough time to look into it. Two weeks usually. No,
Bryce Van De Moere (38:33):
I I I, I’ve seen those letters where it literally says, you do not need to take any further action at this time, but as soon as
James Huber (38:38):
You get that letter, they MATCH them
Bryce Van De Moere (38:39):
Just investigate it. And then they like backdate the termination to before they even got the Letter.
James Huber (38:43):
Right. So I would say exactly <laugh>. So I would say actually look into it and do the work and, you know, maybe do push back and say, Hey, this is at, this was an okay merchant. I hear what you’re saying. Here are the reasons and I don’t know, what do you guys think? Do you still think we should do something? And they’ll won’t take a stance of course. But I think that that would give you, you know, one, a really good, you know, working relationship with your merchant base and let’s say it is an affiliate marketer. If he sees you going to bat for him and his cousin and his brother and all of the other people he got merchant accounts for, you’re gonna have a friend for life.
Bryce Van De Moere (39:22):
I, I just think that ultimately, you know, when you’re signing up a merchant y you owe it to that merchant to give them an education that, you know, encompasses more than just a tiny hyperlink to a website on a piece of paper.
James Huber (39:40):
Don’t get chargebacks
Bryce Van De Moere (39:42):
And don’t get
Jeremy Stock (39:42):
Chargebacks. The great point to close this out, James, you talked about what sounded basically like business advisement even for merchants, merchants who are interested in saying, Hey, I don’t wanna end up on the match list. Should they give global legal a call?
James Huber (39:56):
Yeah, absolutely. And I think there should, there should be a conversation with your processor. Don’t be so excited about getting your mid and getting live. Take a minute because choosing one, the wrong processor or two, you know, the wrong website. And quite literally we see a lot of these, it’s just like your website sounded exactly like this one. Change the, change the name of the website, at least keep your business name.
Bryce Van De Moere (40:19):
There are tons of processors out there. At least it seems like it’s a amazing because
James Huber (40:22):
It’s G2 crawling. Yeah. And that’s where it’ll air, I’m guessing it just uses some kind of AI to crawl around. That’s all it does. Look for stuff. Yeah. And it’ll pop you because like, hey, calling your, you know, I’ll say pool supply again for an example, you’re calling your pool supply, you know, green leaf pool cleaning.
Bryce Van De Moere (40:43):
Yeah. Stay away from cannabis. Like names <laugh>. I mean, it may be, it may be legal in California, but the credit card companies are not with it. They
Jeremy Stock (40:55):
Just it. And that’s, and that’s great advice. Bryce Van De Moere, senior associate attorney Global legal law firm, James Huber, managing partner, global Legal Law Firm. Get off the MATCHlist.com, global legal law firm.com. We can help you get off the match list. Gentlemen, thank you very much for your time today. Thank you. Thank you for listening to this episode of the Payments Experts podcast. New episodes first and third Thursdays. If you’re interested in learning more about PEP and how Global Legal Law Firm may be able to assist you, please visit us at global legal law firm.com. To schedule a free consultation, give us a call at (888) 846-8901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. And once again, thank you for listening. 1, 2, 3, come.
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