Terminated Merchant File
March 11th, 2019

Beginner’s Guide For Understanding Terminated Merchant File

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How many of you know having your business in terminated merchant file can restrict you from availing merchant account services?

Having your name in this file is dubbed as the worst nightmare of merchants in current business landscape. It will render inability to open a new merchant account and all your business goals can shatter in a glimpse of an eye. Running a high risk business, not following the norms and having a large number of chargeback in preceding processing can put you under knife of the MasterCard.

The MATCH List And Its Goods & Bads

The MATCH stands for Member Alert To Control High-Risk. It was earlier known as Terminated Merchant File (TMF) but with eventual amendments in the rules, the name also got changed to the current one.
This list generated and maintained by MasterCard contains the data of the comparatively high-risk merchants. It is noteworthy for merchants that other networks including Visa and American express can also access the list. While MATCH list proves to be a great scrutinizing tool for the acquiring bank, at the same time it brings tough time for many businesses.

It is good because:

Pitfalls include:

  • It is globally trusted but 100% accuracy cannot be guaranteed, since possibility of data error is always there.
  • The merchant whose name is there on the list remains unaware by the time he switches payment processing services, or applies for a new merchant account.

Why Merchants Are Added To TMF List?

There can be sundry reasons that can add your business to the list. Over the years, MasterCard has got strict with their guidelines. Chances are that you have recently got to know about being MATCH’d. Instead of fumbling up, find out which code imprisons you from availing merchant account services.

If we look at the basic reasons they are always the careless businesses. Also, merchants either running their businesses illegally or owning illegal businesses qualify for the list.

MATCH List Reason Code

Here goes the table that gives you the codes as given in the TMF/ MATCH list and brief description for your understanding:

Code Title Code Description
01 Account Data Compromise The Merchant has disclosed the customer account information.
02 Common Point of Purchase The merchant caused or facilitated unauthorized access to customer’s credit card info.
03 Laundering The merchant has processed a transaction sans bona fide card holder.
04 Excessive Chargebacks The merchant exceeded the chargeback thresholds as decided by the network.
05 Excessive Fraud The merchant has crossed the fraud-to-sales thresholds in a calendar month.
07 Fraud Conviction There was a criminal fraud conviction of principal owner or partner of the merchant.
08 MasterCard Questionable Merchant Audit Program The merchant has been assigned the label of questionable merchant account by MasterCard.
09 Bankruptcy, Liquidation, Insolvency The merchant was either unable to is unlikely (?) to discharge its financial obligations.
10 Violation of Standards The merchant has not adhered to the standards of the card network.
11 Merchant Collusion The merchant participated in merchant collusive deeds.
12 PCI-DSS Non-Compliance The merchant did not comply with payment card industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) requirements.
13 Illegal Transactions The merchant was engaged in illegal transactions.
14 Identity Theft The merchant made use of fake identity to obtain merchant license.

You Are There In The List? What Would Happen Next?

You have been denied to open a new merchant account due to your irresponsible or unlawful business conduct. Your business will be listed in MasterCard database for next 5 years.

The merchants listed or rather we can say, blacklisted; their applications for new merchant account applications are out rightly denied by any bank. It is not only the business name but principal and any business partners involved are confined from taking merchant account services.

When an acquiring bank finds that a merchant account applicant is there in the MATCH list, they are free to contact the prior bank and dwell the history of the merchant. Manipulating the seriousness of the risks involved in opening merchant account for particular merchant, they choose between declining and giving conditional acceptance to the merchant. They can levy upon certain special conditions in order to prevent the similar kind of scenario.

Plan Of Action For The Merchants On MATCH List

Let us assume you have not been involved in any unlawful activities but the fact of the matter is you have ended up getting placed in the MATCH list. Would you mind knowing what can be the best course of action for getting out of here?

As soon as you discover you are on the list, follow the below given steps:

If you believe you are mistakenly placed in the file, you can discuss this with the bank and request them to remove your business name from there. There are chances that after investigating the case, they immediately do the needful.

But if you do not receive the expected response from the bank’s end, seeking legal advice could be the last option for you.

Prevention Is Possible

As they say “prevention is better than cure,” instead of getting into the above discussed hassles, you can keep it simple for your business.

  • Minimize the number of chargebacks
  • Do not attempt any kind of fraud
  • Pay your rent, bills on time
  • Pay back any bank loans you have within stipulated time period.

Make sure you take care of the above mentioned things in your business to avoid getting MasterCard into action. Have best payment processing services by your side to rise and shine.


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