The MATCH List is a scary blacklist that can bring your business to a screeching halt. It can cause you to no longer have the ability to process credit card payments, which is the lifeblood of most businesses. If you find yourself having an issue with repeated chargebacks and are in danger of getting placed on The MATCH List, it is important you learn how to turn things around. Or, if you have been placed on The MATCH List due to excessive chargebacks, you’ll need to learn what your options are and how to avoid it happening again in the future. Keep reading to learn more about The MATCH List, chargebacks, and how you can get off The MATCH List.
MATCH stands for Member Alert to Control High-Risk Merchants. The list is a powerful national database that contains information about merchants and their principals whose credit card processing privileges have been terminated for cause. MasterCard Worldwide created and maintains the MATCH list, which is also commonly referred to as the Terminated Merchant File (TMF).
It exists because it serves as an industry blacklist that identifies merchants whose payment processing services have previously been terminated for certain enumerated reasons. Acquirers consult this list when evaluating whether to take on a merchant’s business. For acquirers, Mastercard Alert To Control High-risk Merchants (MATCH) lets an acquiring partner look up whether another acquiring partner has terminated a merchant in the past and the reason for said termination, to help with an onboarding decision.
The 13 reason codes for getting placed on the MATCH List, according to Mastercard, include:
As mentioned above, excessive chargebacks are one of the reasons that will get you placed on The MATCH List. In fact, it is one of the most popular reasons that businesses end up on the list. If you deal with a lot of chargebacks, you are in danger of getting placed on The MATCH List, and it is important you start to turn things around.
According to Investopedia, a chargeback is a charge that is returned to a payment card after a customer successfully disputes an item on their account statement or transactions report. A chargeback may occur on debit cards (and the underlying bank account) or on credit cards. Chargebacks can be granted to a cardholder for a variety of reasons.
In the U.S. chargeback reversals for debit cards are governed by Regulation E of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. Chargeback reversal for credit cards is governed by Regulation Z of the Truth in Lending Act.
Key takeaways regarding chargebacks include:
Avoiding chargebacks completely can be near impossible. Most people do not understand the implications it places on businesses, and find it easier to simply open a chargeback with their bank instead of calling the merchant to get to the bottom of the charge. Mastercard understands this, which is why they allow a chargeback rate of up to 1%. Once it creeps up closer to 2%, you’re likely to get placed on The MATCH List.
Luckily, there are things you can do to avoid getting chargebacks. They include:
If you have been placed on the MATCH List due to excessive chargebacks, your business is in danger and it is important that you take action as immediately as possible. This is because once your business information, personal information, business partner’s information, and associate’s information have been placed on the MATCH List, they remain there for a period of five years until it is aged out.
When a business ages out of the MATCH List after five years, all traces of having been on it have been erased and you can go back to “normal”. However, waiting this long of a time period can be devastating. Luckily, there are more options than just waiting the five-year waiting period.
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.