MATCH List – Credit Card Processing Issues You Must Know

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Person holding a blue colour payment card and a laptop on a desk in front of him and exercise book,pen,mobile phone beside it - MATCH List - Credit Card Processing Issues You Must Know.

If you have just received notice that you have been put on the Terminated Merchant File otherwise known as the MATCH list, you probably are trying to figure out just what that means. Well, you are not alone in fact many merchants or business owners have no idea what the Match list is. So, in this article, we will break down everything you need to know about the Match List especially when it comes to Credit Card Processing.

What is the MATCH list?

This a system that is handled and made by Mastercard that is a database of information that keeps a list of businesses that have had their credit card processing capabilities discontinued for a multitude of reasons. This database is a way that banks that process merchant accounts can verify if that merchant has had their credit card processing abilities turned off at any point. These banks can also use their discretion to add and remove entries if they have the proper validation.

This is the equivalent of being blackballed and these merchant banks can use this blackball list to make sure that any merchant applying for an account is in good standing. (Note: Mastercard does not research the claims brought to them by the banking institutions.)

How Do You End Up on the List?

Their rea may reasons why institutions will place a merchant on the list. The guidelines to place a merchant on this list used to be very lacking, but over the past few years, Mastercard has begun making it a more difficult prospect. Though they have made it difficult there still are some major infractions that will automatically get you on this list in the blink of an eye. Here are some of the reasons that you could end up on this list:

  • Compromised Account Data
  • Common Point of Purchase
  • Laundering activity
  • Consistent and excessive chargebacks
  • Disproportionate Fraud
  • Being convicted of fraud
  • Standards violation
  • Collusion by the merchant to commit fraud
  • Identity theft

So, as you can see many of the reasons for merchants ending up on the MATCH list are quite serious. Though once again Mastercard through making a more concerted effort now, does not wholly research the claims of the banks that place merchants on this list. This means that many merchants may end up on this list wrongly. So, the best practice would be for any merchant to keep an eye on this list so that they do not end up having to waste time trying to remove themselves from the list.

The Consequences of Being on the List

At the end of the day when you as a merchant ends up on this list, it will be hard to acquire a merchant account which in turn will make it incredibly hard to process credit cards at your POS. This part of merchant banking is such a high-risk proposal for banking institutes that these institutes use this list to decrease the risks. Your merchant account is the means by which the issuing banks authorizes the final purchase and then moves the money for that transaction into the said merchant account. So, as you can imagine, it is crucial to the banks to be cautious when issuing new accounts.

The good thing is that once the banks have this information, they can use the info to do more research. So just because you end up on this MATCH list does not mean that it is the end of the road for you. In fact, many banks will reach out to the prior bank that put the merchant on the list. This could lead to denial of accounts, or a conditional acceptance or approval.

Is Getting Remove Possible?

If you want to be able to get a merchant account so that you can process credit card transactions and you end up on this list you may want to know how you get off of it or even how long you will be on this list. For the last question, Mastercard has the answer right of the I sight. Typically, you will remain on this list for 5 years. After this tie has elapsed if there have been no more infractions you will be removed.

But what if you want to get off the list now? You can begin the long process by simply starting with a call to the bank that placed you on the list. This may lead to a lot of phone calls to several departments eventually with a little patience you will find the right person who can give you the code and reason of why you were placed on the MATCH list. Once you know why you can begin the process of trying to get yourself removed. The contact you reach should be able to give you an idea of the process by which you need to complete your goal. Some reasons will be easier to overcome than others. For instance, chargebacks can be corrected but if there is fraud then this may take a little extra legwork and potentially a lawyer.

If you feel that you have been placed on this list wrongly you will have to partner with the bank until they have completely investigated the claim. If these steps don’t work hen you may need to obtain a lawyer and go that route.

In the end, as we stated above some merchant banks will still allow you to open an account if they feel the reason for you being on the list is not major.

Final Words

The best rule of thumb to ensure smooth credit card processing is to simply avoid being put on this list. By maintaining your morals and scruples you will easily stay off it. If, however, you find yourself on the list you will need to follow the process to ensure your removal. By being on this list your credit card processing will be stopped moving forward and in a world that is increasingly moving toward card transactions being the only way to pay is placed on this list could damage your business for years to come.


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