Check MATCH List as a Smart Business Practice

The Complexities of Checking the MATCH List

The dreaded Mastercard MATCH List is not something to be ignored or even taken lightly. If your name is on it, the results could be devastating for your business. Most businesses run their companies honestly and transparently, but unfortunately, the MATCH List does not rate you by the quality of your character, but rather by sheer actions, whether intended or not.

You may believe you are handling your card processing “by the book” when the MATCH List is telling a much different story. The intent here is not to frighten, but merely to recommend periodic checking of the list because, once you’re on it, getting removed from it can be a complex, arduous task. In that case, the sooner you contact an expert in this area for counsel, the better.

Understanding MATCH

For those not totally familiar with MATCH (Member Alert to Control High-Risk Merchants), the list provides acquiring banks with a catalog of high-risk merchants, as defined by Mastercard. In actuality, Mastercard has very little oversight on the list, leaving much of the screening to the discretion of the banks.

While the most common cause for inclusion on the list is excessive chargebacks, you can also be placed there for bankruptcy, violation of Mastercard brand standards, or even fraud. There are numerous so-called Code Reasons, and you can even be placed there if your merchant identity is stolen and then used for a fraudulent merchant account – something completely out of your control. Good luck with explaining that to the arbiters of the list.

A Path Full of Potholes

So how do you check the MATCH List, to see if your company’s name is on it? First of all, you should know that the list is very comprehensive, highlighting business names in their various forms, the business owners, and even, in some cases, associates. Altering your business name will not get you off the list if you are already on it. That loophole has been closed. Once you are on the list, you will have to wait five years before your records are erased. But that kind of waiting can kill a business, so your best alternative is to utilize someone like TFM Law, who has vast experience and remarkable success in getting clients removed from the list.

Unfortunately, finding out if you are on the MATCH List is nearly as nebulous as figuring out how to remove your name. First of all, there is no official notification. It’s possible that an acquiring bank or processor could alert you, but if you sense that there may be a problem, you may have to approach them directly. And it’s not uncommon for many merchants to discover their MATCH List dilemma only after an acquiring bank denies them a merchant account.

Needless to say, spending time on the Mastercard MATCH List has been the death knell of many businesses. Adding to the difficulty, it’s not that easy to check the MATCH List, if you suspect you may have landed there.

Know Your Different Options

It is reassuring to know that if you do end up on the list, however, you have options. Those options do not include trying to wade through this minefield by yourself. What you need is a real advocate…someone with years of experience and a sterling track record for success in helping clients extricate themselves from the MATCH List.

TFM Law has fought for numerous clients seeking removal from the list. Our success rate is phenomenal and, in most cases, we are able to get clients removed without going through litigation. Your reputation is your business’ greatest asset. Don’t let it become your biggest liability, as it will be for each day that you remain on the list.

The best advice is to stay vigilant. Run your company honestly and transparently. And watch for warning signs that could put you on the list. When in doubt, call the acquiring bank or processor. Most importantly, if you do wind up on the Mastercard MATCH List, let a professional do the untangling for you.