So, you have just found out that you are on The Match List. As of right now, you are unable to process payments through your merchant account. This makes conducting business virtually impossible, as most people pay with a card. In fact, 80% of people prefer card payments over cash, putting your business in a vulnerable position. Luckily, there are ways to get off The Match List and get back to business as usual. Keep reading to learn more about The Match List, how you may have ended up on it, how to keep your business open, and the two ways to get off The Match List.
The TMF list was created by Mastercard. It is a list of merchants who have had their accounts terminated within the last five years for a variety of reasons. You can think of The Match List as a blacklist to warn processors about high-risk merchants. It is referred to by every processing company before deciding to do business with them. If you’re on it, you will more than likely be dropped by your current processor and unable to get a new account with a new one.
The Match List goes by different names. These include:
There are many reasons you may have been placed on The Match List. For the full list of rules and procedures to follow, check out this guide from Mastercard. However, the most common reasons that merchants get placed on The Match List include:
The reason The Match List exists is to warn payment processing companies about merchants who are high-risk. This leaves it up to the payment processing company as to whether or not they still want to do business with you. If they have decided to no longer do business with you, you will end up in a difficult position as far as accepting payments. As mentioned, most people pay with cards. Eliminating that ability will damage your business, and you will undoubtedly see a significant hit in your sales. However, there are still some ways you can accept payments, such as:
The thing about the TMF List is that it is very comprehensive. It includes:
This is very damaging to not only a business but to the individuals involved in it. You will not be able to simply move on and open another business under a different name while you are on The Match List. There are no loopholes with The Match List — once you’re on the blacklist, it is almost impossible to keep doing business.
Luckily, The Match List only has your information for five years. Once the 5-year waiting period is over, any trace of ever having been on the list is virtually erased. You are able to open another merchant account without having that dreaded high-risk flag pinned to your name.
However, this is much easier said than done. Not accepting credit cards for a 5-year period is essentially a death sentence for a small business. You will more than likely go out of business and, even then, you won’t be able to open anything new in your name until the 5-year waiting period is over. For those who depend on their small business for their livelihood, it is devastating.
Surviving the 5-year waiting period isn’t an option for most people and businesses. Another way you can get off The Match List is by simply calling your credit card processor and asking why you have been placed on The Match List. In many instances, it is something that can be quickly cleared up. Some of these can include:
Waiting for the five-year period for removal isn’t possible for most people. If you are one of those people, 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.