Terminated Merchants Files or MATCH 101
In the world of business, it becomes imperative for those involved in the merchandising/retail end of businesses to have knowledge of the merchant terminated file (TMF). Typically used by credit card processing firms to ward off merchant accounts with problematic histories, today the TMF is commonly used by credit card companies such as MasterCard International, Visa USA and most recently, American Express.
In more recent times, however, the TMF list is commonly called Member Alert to Control High-Risk Merchants (MATCH). While not directly resulting in any punitive repercussions, merchant accounts should avoid being put on such lists at all costs.
Some Basic Facts of TMFs
Once a business finds itself listed on a MATCH list, this does not necessarily mean that it’s forever blacklisted. Neither does this mean that the merchant account is banned from setting its record straight and re-establishing its record in a positive manner. A termination may have occurred due to any one of many possible reasons.
MATCH Acquirer Requirements
Before an acquirer or credit card processing company enters into an agreement with a specific merchant account, it must first contact the MATCH processor and find out why the merchant account was terminated. Sometimes, a merchant’s name or address is confused with another merchant, for example, in a large commercial building. In today’s world, the possible MATCH listed business could be a global entity with a similar name. At any rate, the acquirer needs to further reinforce its investigations by additional follow-up inquiries before making a final decision as to the merchant account.
Common Reasons For Being On A MATCH
Violations of their term agreements and charge-backs in which credit card processing firms suffered some loss may land merchant accounts on the MATCH. Other reasons for finding merchant accounts on the MATCH may be…
A Credit/debit card fraud conviction.
Excessive deposits for counterfeit transactions.
Excessive deposits for unauthorized cardholders.
Deposits for goods or services generated by another merchant–also known as laundering.
Being suspect by Visa USA or MasterCard International of conducting any fraud-related activity.
An acquirer’s own discretion in self-protecting itself from possible future loss.
What To Do If A Business Finds Itself On The Match
One must patiently work with the acquirer that added the account to the MATCH file. Being that only that acquirer can request a change or deletion of that merchant account’s name, great patience and diligence will be needed here.