Fraud and identity theft are extremely difficult to navigate and undo. This is especially true if your business has become the victim of fraudulent activity and identity theft. One of the worst things that can happen is that your business can be placed on The MATCH List. That’s right—even when it is no fault of your own, you can suffer very severe consequences for fraud and identity theft. If your business has been a victim of fraud and you have been placed on the MATCH List, this article is for you. Keep reading to learn more about the MATCH List, why businesses are placed on it, and how you can successfully win early removal.
An article by Stripe describes the MATCH List as card networks, such as Visa and Mastercard, operate databases known as Terminated Merchant Files (TMFs) that contain information about accounts that have been closed by credit card processors around the world for high chargebacks or violations of card brand rules.
All payment processors must check these databases when accepting a new user, and must also add merchants to the database if they close the account and it meets TMF criteria. Being placed on a TMF can have serious effects. While they’re only supposed to be informational tools during the account application process, many entities refuse to accept businesses or individuals listed on a TMF. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of TMF criteria and ensure you avoid becoming eligible.
The most common list—and the only one with global reach—is Mastercard’s MATCH, or the Mastercard Alert to Control High-Risk Merchants. In the following sections, we describe how MATCH qualification works and what happens to MATCH entries.
One of the major downsides of the MATCH List is that it is very comprehensive. There is a lot of information that gets placed on it to ensure that no loopholes can be made as far as opening up another business or changing the business’s name.
The information on the MATCH List includes:
It may also include any associates and their phone numbers, addresses, and more. This can be very devastating to everyone involved in the business, which is why seeking early removal is essential when it comes to dealing with the MATCH List.
Mastercard and other card networks want to ensure that their customer’s information is as safe as possible. This is one of the major reasons the MATCH List exists so that security is as tight as can be, and there are penalties if it is not. If you are a victim of fraud, that means that there has been a security breach somewhere that you need to patch up. Even though it is no fault of your own that you have become a victim of fraud, there are still things you can do to tighten security to ensure this never happens to you and your business again.
If you follow the security compliance checklist to a T, there should be no breaches in security. However, it does happen from time to time as hackers and criminals become more sophisticated. Unfortunately, the MATCH List does not have a lot of mercy, especially for merchants, which makes security a top priority when it comes to having a merchant account.
One of the most common reasons that businesses get placed on The MATCH List is through PCI Data Security Non-Compliance. When a business has been placed on The MATCH List due to this reason, it means that the Merchant failed to comply with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard requirements. These exist to ensure the safety and security of card members.
According to Tokenex, the PCI DSS consists of 12 requirements, or demands, each made up of several more specific, related controls for a grand total of more than 300 security checks. For example, PCI Requirement 1 covers the construction and maintenance of a secure network infrastructure. Meeting this overall requirement entails confirming the presence of properly secured firewalls, routers, and other applications to prevent unauthorized access to the cardholder data environment.
Credit card processors have a standard of rules to follow, which means they must ensure all their merchants adhere to 13 very important codes. If a merchant breaks one of these codes, they will likely be placed on the MATCH List so that the processor does not get penalized. The 13 reason codes for being placed on the MATCH List include:
The 13 reasons your business may have landed on the MATCH List include:
When you are placed on the MATCH List, it means you cannot use your merchant account for a period of five years. This can be a death sentence to many businesses and can be very devastating to families and livelihoods. Luckily there are ways to still run your business while you are on the MATCH List and seeking removal. These include:
There are only two ways you can get off the MATCH List. They are:
The MATCH List is devastating and difficult to get removed from early. This can be especially heartbreaking when you, yourself, are a victim of fraud or identity theft. These crimes can cause large tidal waves of headaches, bad consequences, and hardship, including being placed on the MATCH List.
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 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.