If you’re scouring the internet for ways to survive The Match List, it is because you have been placed on it. Take a deep breath: While the news that you’re on this industry blacklist is shocking and, certainly, not ideal, it is not the end of the world and there are ways you can get off of it. Surviving The Match List and having the experience become a distant memory all too forgotten is possible, and we are here to help you each step of the way. Keep reading to learn more about The Match List, questions you likely have about it, and ways to survive and get off The Match List.
The Match List was created by Mastercard to serve as an industry blacklist. According to their own website, The Mastercard Alert to Control High-risk Merchants (MATCH) List allows an acquiring partner to lookup whether another acquiring partner has terminated a merchant in the past and the reason for that termination to aid in an onboarding decision. This will provide acquirers with the opportunity to develop and review enhanced or incremental risk information before entering into a merchant agreement. The API also provides the facility for an acquiring partner to add a merchant termination event to the system. Further, the API allows an acquiring partner to identify when other acquiring partners have inquired about a given merchant.
How it works:
MATCH uses customer-reported information regarding merchants and their owners to offer acquirers the following fraud detection features and options for assessing risk:
Also according to their website, Mastercard states that if an acquirer wants to evaluate the risk of onboarding a new merchant, they can collect the following information from the merchant to be onboarded:
The acquirer makes a Termination Inquiry Rest API call to Match Service to find out if the merchant had been terminated by another acquirer in the past. Match Service compares the data provided by the Acquirer with its Database and sends a response back. The response includes an inquiry reference number for future reference.
If the processor decides that the merchant is too high-risk to work with after seeing them on The Match List, they will likely not onboard them. If they decide to onboard them because they accept high-risk merchants, the merchant will see an increased fee, longer contracts, and other safeguards.
Mastercard makes it pretty simple for processors to add merchants to The Match List. Because of this, it is possible that you could have been placed on The Match List by mistake or by no fault of your own.
There are 13 reason codes for why you can be placed on The Match List, and some of them can happen without your knowledge. For example, if your identity was stolen, a data breach by hackers has occurred, or employees with bad customer service cause too many chargebacks, you can be placed on The Match List. Luckily, there are ways to prove your innocence and campaign to get off The Match List.
Just because you’ve been placed on The Match List, doesn’t mean you are stuck there forever. You have options. Three tips for surviving the Match List include waiting it out, proving it was a mistake, or proving your compliance. In order to start tackling any of these tips, you need to know the reason you were placed on the list in the first place. Usually, this can be done rather easily with a call to your processor to ask them why you were placed on the Match List.
The first way to survive The Match List is by waiting it out. Sounds easier said than done, because the waiting period is five years. Merchants that have been placed on the list will automatically age out and get off The Match List five years after being placed on it. You can find ways to continue conducting business in the meantime, or you can take action by following one of the other tips. You can also fight back by finding a law firm, like TFM Law, to help you get off The Match List before the five-year waiting period is over.
After the five-year waiting period is over, all trace of being on the list is erased as if you were never on it. Your name, your business name, and all of the other details on the list, will now be free and clear of any icky blacklists.
If you operate your business by the book and have absolutely no reason, to your knowledge, to be placed on The Match List, you can contact your acquiring bank to attempt removal. Just be ready to support your innocence with paperwork and proof, as well as an expert by your side. Speaking with your bank and proving your innocence can be a more difficult task than it sounds, especially making sure that you have all the right documentation in place. TFM Law can help you prepare, act on your behalf, and expertly guide you through this process.
One of the ways you can be placed on The Match List is due to PCI non-compliance. PCI compliance stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). It is a set of security standards designed to ensure that ALL companies that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) was launched on September 7, 2006, to manage the ongoing evolution of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards with a focus on improving payment account security throughout the transaction process.
If you were deemed non-compliant, an easy way to get off The Match List is by proving your compliance. You will be able to do this by obtaining a certificate and showing your processor that you are now compliant. If you’re unsure of how to obtain this certificate, become compliant, or do not believe you were ever non-compliant, our law firm can help you. We can act on your behalf, campaign for your removal from The Match List, and help you gather all necessary documentation to receive your compliance certificate.
If you have found yourself on the Match List, we can help you. The Law Offices of Theodore Monroe focuses on litigation and counseling in the areas of payments, credit card processing, e-commerce, direct response marketing, and Federal Trade Commission enforcement. Last year the firm got 100% of the people who came to us off the MATCH list.
Theodore F. Monroe, Founder of TFM Law, has successfully:
Before opening his firm, Mr. Monroe practiced law with Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May (now Reed Smith LLP) and Lewis, D’Amato, Brisbois & Bisgaard (now Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith), where he defended numerous accounting and law firms in professional liability actions, and insurance carriers in bad faith actions.
Before becoming a lawyer, Mr. Monroe worked as a forensic accountant at Coopers & Lybrand, which provided him with a background in forensic accounting and financial analysis that is unique among litigators in Los Angeles. Mr. Monroe studied at Duke University Law School, achieved a BS with Honors, Accounting, University of Kentucky, and is a member of the California State Bar and the Kentucky State Bar.