Decoding Mastercard MATCH List Reason Codes Understanding High-Risk Merchant Accounts

Safeguarding Merchant Integrity in the Payment Processing Landscape

In the world of payment processing, maintaining a clean track record is essential for merchants to operate smoothly. However, for some, the journey isn’t always straightforward, especially when it comes to the Mastercard MATCH list. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on Mastercard MATCH code 11, providing insights into high-risk merchant accounts, terminated merchant files, and navigating the complex landscape of payment processing.

An image of two young people at a dispensary, which can be one of many high risk merchant accounts that are flagged on the MATCH list

Mastercard MATCH Reason Codes: Demystifying High-Risk Merchant Accounts

Understanding High-Risk Merchants

High-risk merchants are those categorized by payment processors and acquiring banks as having an elevated risk of chargebacks, fraud, or other potential issues. Industries such as adult entertainment, online gaming, and travel services are often considered high-risk due to factors like high chargeback ratios or regulatory complexities.

The Role of Merchant Accounts

A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept credit and debit card payments. It serves as a conduit for funds from customers’ credit card transactions to be deposited into the merchant’s bank account.

Terminated Merchant File (TMF)

The Terminated Merchant File (TMF), also known as the MATCH list, is a database maintained by Mastercard that stores information about merchants whose merchant accounts have been terminated due to various reasons, including excessive chargebacks, fraudulent activities, or violations of their merchant agreements.

Deciphering Mastercard MATCH Reason Codes

Navigating the Mastercard Questionable Merchant Audit

Mastercard conducts audits on merchants listed in the MATCH database to ensure compliance with payment card industry standards and regulations. These audits aim to identify any potential risks or fraudulent activities associated with the merchant’s operations.

Understanding Excessive Chargebacks

Excessive chargebacks occur when merchants receive an unusually high number of chargebacks from customers, indicating dissatisfaction or potential fraudulent transactions. High chargeback ratios can lead to placement on the MATCH list and subsequent termination of the merchant account.

Acquiring Banks and Financial Institutions

Acquiring banks plays a crucial role in the payment processing ecosystem by facilitating transactions between merchants and card networks like Mastercard. They assess the risk associated with merchant accounts and may choose to terminate accounts or place merchants on the MATCH list if deemed necessary to mitigate risk.

High risk merchants like dispensaries can often get added to the MATCH list without knowing it, causing them potentially huge profit loss or credit limitations

Navigating the Mastercard MATCH List

How do I get off my Mastercard MATCH list?

To get off the Mastercard MATCH list, merchants must address the issues that led to their listing directly with the processor or bank that placed them, such as resolving outstanding chargebacks, improving business practices to reduce fraud, and demonstrating compliance with payment card industry standards.

MATCH code 11

What is the match code 11?

Match code 11 refers to a reason code indicating that a merchant’s account has been terminated due to excessive chargebacks.

Understanding Excessive Chargebacks

Chargebacks occur when customers dispute transactions with their issuing banks, leading to funds being reversed from the merchant’s account. While some chargebacks are legitimate, excessive chargebacks can signal underlying issues such as poor customer service, product dissatisfaction, or fraudulent activities.

The Impact of Reason Code 11

When a merchant receives reason code 11, it signifies that their account has been terminated by their acquiring bank due to a pattern of excessive chargebacks. This designation not only affects the merchant’s ability to process payments but also tarnishes their reputation within the payment processing ecosystem.

Addressing Excessive Chargebacks

Merchants facing reason code 11 must take immediate action to rectify the underlying issues contributing to excessive chargebacks. This may involve improving customer service, enhancing product quality, implementing fraud prevention measures, or disputing illegitimate chargebacks with compelling evidence.

Repercussions of Reason Code 11

Being flagged with reason code 11 can have far-reaching consequences for merchants, including difficulty obtaining new merchant accounts, higher processing fees, and damage to their creditworthiness. It underscores the importance of proactive chargeback management and maintaining a positive relationship with customers.

Mitigating Risks and Moving Forward

To mitigate the risks associated with reason code 11, merchants should prioritize proactive chargeback prevention strategies, such as clear communication with customers, transparent refund policies, and robust fraud detection measures. Additionally, partnering with reputable payment processors and staying abreast of industry best practices can help merchants navigate the complexities of payment processing and safeguard their businesses against future chargeback issues.

How do I know if I am on the match list?

Merchants can check their status on the MATCH list by requesting a report from Mastercard or contacting their acquiring bank.


Mastercard MATCH reason codes provide valuable insights into the factors contributing to a merchant’s placement on the MATCH list. Understanding these codes and addressing the underlying issues is crucial for merchants seeking to maintain a clean track record and continue accepting credit and debit card payments. By partnering with reputable payment processors and adhering to industry best practices, merchants can mitigate risks and safeguard their businesses against the pitfalls of high-risk merchant accounts.

Just as Global Legal Law Firm possesses a comprehensive understanding of the intricate realm of electronic payment processing and its associated regulations, we have also extensively explored the complexities of the financial world, particularly within the domain of payment processing. Our commitment aligns with our mission in electronic payment processing litigation: to offer invaluable insights and expert guidance. In an industry grappling with the challenges of excessive chargebacks and the Mastercard MATCH list, our seasoned experts are poised to provide steadfast support. Rather than navigating this evolving landscape alone, rely on our expertise to illuminate your path forward. Our dedication is to ensure that you remain informed and protected in this dynamic environment, safeguarding your interests at every step.

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