As a merchant, being placed on the MATCH List can mean the end of your business if you don’t act. It is an industry black list of merchants that have been deemed high-risk through inappropriate conduct and business ethics. Your business, your partners, associates, and you, will no longer be able to process payments for five years. The severity of the MATCH List makes it very important to do everything you can to avoid being placed on it in the first place. Keep reading for three ways to avoid the MATCH List and three ways to get off the MATCH List if you have found yourself on it.
MATCH stands for Member Alert to Control High-Risk Merchants. This list is a comprehensive database chock-full of information about your business and you, making it impossible to find a loophole to keep your business running. It was created by and is still managed by Mastercard. Inquiring banks check the MATCH List to screen merchant applicants before working with them. It helps determine their risk prior to opening a merchant account for them.
As a merchant, one of the best things you can do for your business is avoid being placed on the MATCH List. Ignorance of the rules does not make you innocent — it is essential to do your due diligence as a business owner. Ways to avoid the MATCH List include understanding the regulations, staying compliant, and minimizing chargebacks as much as possible.
There are a total of 14 reasons why merchants get placed on the MATCH List. Knowing these will be the first step to avoid being placed on the MATCH List. Make sure you refer to them often, and keep up-to-date with everything.
The 13 reason codes are as follows, according to Mastercard themselves:
Of the above thirteen reasons you can be placed on the MATCH List, number 12 (PCI Data Security Standard Noncompliance) is one of the easiest ways to get off the MATCH List. It is also the easiest way to avoid getting on the TMF List (another name for The MATCH List) in the first place. All you have to do is become compliant, stay compliant, and prove yourself. If you become compliant and stay compliant, you significantly reduce the risk of ever being placed on the MATCH List.
In addition to reason code 12, reason code 4 is the next most straightforward way to avoid being placed on the MATCH List. Excessive chargebacks can quickly place you on the MATCH List for a variety of reasons. Chargebacks will happen, but minimizing them and keeping your chargeback rate to under 2% is ideal. Ways you can minimize chargebacks include:
If you have been placed on The MATCH List, you will have to wait five years before you are removed. This process is called being aged out of the MATCH List; however, it is almost impossible for a small business to survive five years without a merchant account. As such, you will need to focus your efforts on finding how to get off the MATCH List.
There are three primary ways to get off the MATCH List, other than waiting out the five-year aging out process. They include:
You do not have to wait the five year aging out period in order to get off the MATCH List. With professional help from The Law Offices of Theodore Monroe, we can help get your business back up and running quickly. Our firm 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 and we can help you too.
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.
For more information and to start the process of removal from the MATCH List, visit howtogetoffmatch.com.