If you are no longer able to process payments with your merchant account, you may have landed on the MATCH List. It’s not a good list to be on—in fact, it can be a death sentence to your business and any future businesses you might want to open if you don’t act quickly. If your processor has terminated you because they found a reason to place you on The Match List, we can help. Keep reading to learn more about The Match List, how you may have ended up on it, and what you can do now to get off The MATCH List.
The MATCH in The MATCH List stands for Mastercard Alert To Control High-risk Merchants. The MATCH List 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 MATCH List can also be known as the Terminated Merchant File. It was created by Mastercard and is still managed by the company today. It is essentially an industry blacklist that deems you as high risk. This can make it nearly impossible to continue conducting business regularly, by design.
The MATCH List is very comprehensive and leaves no room for loopholes. Altering your business name will not get you off the list if you are already on it. Unfortunately, landing on the MATCH List is done by actions that may not even be your fault at all. If your business is placed on The MATCH List, the following information is also part of the list:
You and your business have been placed on The MATCH List for violating one of the thirteen reason codes. These are:
The most common reasons people are placed on The MATCH List are excessive chargebacks and PCI Data Security Standard Noncompliance. Other reasons, such as account data compromise or identity theft, may not be your fault at all. Hackers, disgruntled employees, and thieves can get you landed on The MATCH List.
In order to have all of your information cleared and no longer on record with The MATCH List, you must complete a five-year waiting period. At that point, you will be aged out of The MATCH List, and any trace of ever being on it will be gone. However, this is very unrealistic for most. Luckily, being placed on The MATCH List doesn’t necessarily mean you need to wait out the five-year waiting period, and you can seek other options for removal. Other than waiting to age out, you can find ways to continue conducting business, call your processor, or reach out for professional help to get off The MATCH List.
While you figure out your options, or if you have run out of options, you can find ways to continue conducting business while you’re on The MATCH List. These include:
Who placed you on the MATCH List and why? It is important to find this information out. Usually, the ISO or processor overseeing risk monitoring for your account makes the call as to whether or not you get placed on the list. Unfortunately, that information is not readily available to the public. And, most processors are tight-lipped about who put you there, as well as the circumstances surrounding that action.
However, it is important that you give your processor a call to at least try to find out why they (if it was them in the first place) determined you needed to be on The MATCH List. In some instances, they will be able to tell you the violation you made and which of the 13 reason codes you may have broken. If you’re lucky enough to receive that information from your processor, you can work to prove yourself and get back in their good graces from there.
Some tips for speaking with your processor include:
It can be difficult to find the correct evidence to support your innocence to your processor or even know what to say when speaking to them in the first place. There is no clear blueprint for how to get off The MATCH List, which can leave many business owners in a confusing place. Luckily, you do not have to navigate this trying time by yourself, and you do not have to wait out the full five-year waiting period.
Honestly, there is no incentive or advantage for your processor to work with you to remove you from The MATCH List. In fact, they will want nothing more than to keep you on. Any iota of risk is too much risk for many, and they do not wish to reverse their process.
The bottom line is that your business future can be bleak if saddled with a MATCH List Merchant Account. Unless you ally yourself with a seasoned pro who knows how to operate within this bewildering netherworld, such as the professional consultants like TFM Law, you won’t be getting back to business any time soon. We seize the opportunity to take on these seemingly insurmountable tasks – and do it successfully. So while placement on the MATCH List can be daunting, it is a battle that, with the proper representation, can still be won.
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 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 forensic accounting and financial analysis background 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.