The Mastercard MATCH List and Data SecurityJune 1, 2023
The MATCH List Reason Codes FAQJuly 31, 2023
I Want To Check The Mastercard MATCH List
Were you just denied a merchant account from an acquiring bank? Did an acquiring processor let you know you’re on the MATCH List? Or, maybe you have a feeling that something might be wrong? The Mastercard MATCH List is a difficult list to be on, one that could—effectively—mean the end of your business as you know it. But how do you know that you are on the MATCH List? Wondering if there is an easy way to check? Keep reading to learn more about how to check the Mastercard MATCH List, what to do if you’re on it, and how to win successful early removal.
What Is The Mastercard MATCH List?
The Mastercard MATCH List stands for Mastercard Alert To Control High-risk Merchants (MATCH). This 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. Acquirers and Acquiring Third Party Processors will add terminated merchants to MATCH to alert other acquirers in the ecosystem of the potential risks associated with the merchant.
How it works:
- Prior to executing the merchant agreement, the Acquirer submits an inquiry to the MATCH API that includes information on a merchant and the associated principal owner(s)
- MATCH searches the database for possible matches between the merchant information provided in the inquiry and information related to merchants added to MATCH during the past five years, as well as matches to inquiries performed by other acquirers during the past 360 days
- MATCH returns details of all merchants found listed in MATCH; the response indicates if each search result is based on an exact match or phonetic matches to each of the data elements provided by the acquirer
Terminated merchants are added to the Mastercard MATCH List through this process:
- Within 5 days of the decision to terminate a merchant that meets one of the MATCH reasons codes, the acquirer submits an additional record to the MATCH API that includes information on the merchant and associated principal owners, and the applicable reason code
- The record is added to MATCH and made available to all other acquirers in real-time
- MATCH returns a confirmation to the acquirer that the merchant was successfully added and provides a MATCH Reference Number
How Do I Know If I Am On The MATCH List?
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to find out that you have been placed on the Mastercard MATCH List. It is almost as difficult as it is to get off of it once you find out you are on it. There is no official notification to let you know that you have been placed on the Mastercard MATCH List. Your bank or processor does not have to alert you or give you any kind of warning that you may be getting close to placing on it.
The only way to know you are on the MATCH List is if an acquiring bank or processor alerts you. If you sense that there is an issue with your merchant account, you may need to approach them directly in order to find out that you have been placed on the Mastercard MATCH List. Additionally, it is not uncommon for merchants to discover that they have been placed on the MATCH List only after an acquiring bank denies them a merchant account.
Have any of these things happened to you? You can jump to the bottom of this blog or click right here to reach out to us so that we can help you seek early removal from the Mastercard MATCH List as soon as possible.
Why Am I On The MATCH List?
There are many reasons you can be placed on the Mastercard MATCH List. In fact, there are exactly 13 reasons you may be on it. Whether you have filed for bankruptcy or are a victim of fraud, no matter how by the book you may run your business, you can end up on MATCH.
The 13 reasons your business may have ended up on the MATCH List include:
- Account Data Compromise
- Common Point of Purchase
- Fraud Conviction
- Excessive Chargebacks
- Excessive Fraud
- Mastercard Questionable Merchant Audit Program
- Violation of Standards
- Merchant Collusion
- PCI-DSS Non-Compliance
- Illegal Transactions
- Identity Theft
What Information Is On The MATCH List?
So, you’ve found out that you are on the MATCH List, and you’re trying to find a way out. Can’t you just simply change the name of your business and carry on? Unfortunately, the MATCH List is extremely comprehensive, which closes that loophole of changing your business’s name.
The information listed on the MATCH List includes:
- Business Legal Name and DBA
- Business Address
- Business Phone Number
- Business Tax ID
- Business URL
- Principal Owner Name
- Principal Owner Address
- Principal Owner Phone Number
- Principal Owner Tax ID
- Account Opening Date and Termination Date
- MATCH Reason Code
How Can I Check The Mastercard MATCH List?
As we mentioned previously in this blog, there is no easy way to simply check the MATCH List and see if your business is on it. There is no notification to you, and your bank or processor does not need to tell you that they placed you on it. As such, the only way you can find out for certain that you have been placed on the MATCH List is by giving them a call.
How Do I Get Off The Mastercard MATCH List?
Once you have been placed on the Mastercard MATCH List, you are not on the list forever. Your information will be aged-out in five years. This means that, for five years, you will not be able to use your merchant account unless you sign up with a high-risk processor. These high-risk processors charge exorbitant fees and lock you into very long contracts.
You may be able to speak with your bank or processor to find out why you have been placed on MATCH and what needs to be done to satisfy a removal. Some processors and banks do not have the ability to remove you from MATCH, so no matter how much you try, you still may not be able to get removed.
Luckily, there is a way out of the MATCH List well before the five-year waiting period is over. You can seek early removal by working with merchant law professionals, such as the office of TFM Law.
Early Mastercard MATCH List Removal with TFM Law
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:
- Represented merchants recovering funds from processors
- Structured processing relationships to comply with Card Brand requirements
- Drafted and negotiated contracts involving payment facilitators and ISOs
- Represented continuity merchants in compliance and litigation issues
- Fought for numerous companies in suits brought by the Federal Trade Commission and obtained excellent
- results for firms in the digital products, loan modification, government grant, and nutraceuticals industries
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.