What is MATCH?

The MATCH List Is a Blacklist

An acronym for the Member Alert to Control High-Risk Merchants, MATCH is a powerful national database. It contains information about merchants and their principals whose credit card processing privileges have been terminated for cause. MasterCard Worldwide created and maintains the MATCH list, which also commonly referred to as the Terminated Merchant File (TMF).

It serves as an industry blacklist that identifies merchants whose payment processing services have previously been terminated for certain enumerated reasons. Acquirers consult this list when evaluating whether to take on a merchant’s business.

A Difficult Road to Payment Processing

The significance of being placed on the MATCH list cannot be overstated. Once added to the list…or TMF’d…you will find it extremely difficult to find payment processing support. Almost all credit card processors and ISOs will refuse to work with companies on the MATCH list or individuals associated with MATCHed merchants.

Avoid a 5-Year Sentence

Visa and MasterCard prohibit Payment Facilitators from working with MATCH-listed merchants. Accordingly, companies such as Square and Stripe cannot accept such merchants.

When a merchant is placed on MATCH list, MasterCard records various fields of information in the databaase, including the legal name of the entity, DBA(s), URLs, principal owner(s) and address information. Branded as a risky business venture, you and/or your partners will find it nearly impossible to open any new merchant accounts elsewhere – for 5 years! Only after that time, will your data be removed from MATCH.


Theodore F Monroe answers the most commonly asked questions about Mastercard’s MATCH List.

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