How High Risk Merchants Can Survive Life After the MATCH List

How High Risk Merchants Can Survive Life After the MATCH List

The Member Alert to Control High Risk Merchants(MATCH) list is a fear for most businesses. Having your business blacklisted from acquiring payment processing solutions can harm your progress in both the short and long-term. MATCH initially leads to lower conversion rates and, eventually, the downfall of the business.

With the changing trends in business operations, it is common for businesses to appear in the MATCH list. Most reasons are associated with the risks of running online businesses. For most of these companies, avoiding fraud and chargebacks is almost impossible. They are, therefore, in constant breach of the rules of operating a high risk merchant account.

While some of the problems of high risk merchant accounts are unavoidable, acquiring banks find it necessary to protect their business. They do this by flagging the high risk merchants and eventually terminating their accounts. After termination, the acquiring bank places the merchants’ details on the MATCH list to serve as a warning in future agreements with other banks.

Defining the MATCH List

MATCH was created and is maintained by Mastercard. It is also accessible by Visa and American Express providers. The purpose of the MATCH list is to gain information about suspended high risk merchant accounts. It acts as a watchdog, or better still a blacklist, for high risk merchants.

Over the years, payment processors have been using MATCH to obtain merchant’s financial records before offering payment processing solutions. Merchants who are listed in the MATCH are deemed high risk and a threat to any payment processor. The MATCH list has had its success over the years. Payment processors are using it to avoid or minimize the losses in high risk merchant accounts.

But like any other business, there are disadvantages. The downside of the MATCH list is that Mastercard does not take the measures to ensure the information shared by acquiring banks is accurate. They have no mechanisms to protect the merchants from misrepresentation. It is possible to find a merchant wrongfully included in the list because of errors in the banks’ system. Though inaccurately placed merchants could raise a complaint, damage may have been done affecting the credibility of the merchants’ business.

Also, fewer merchants are aware of there presence in the MATCH list. Most learn about it when applying for a new merchant account or switching to a different payment processing company. 

Merchants listed in the MATCH list are deemed high risk. Their options for a reliable payment provider are limited. But, with the right documentation, blacklisted businesses can find payment solutions through ipaytotal.

So, what about TMF, what is it, and how does it relate to the MATCH?

Well, TMF is a precedent of the MATCH list. TMF was the term used in the past, and the MATCH list is the current version. Both serve the same purpose. In some instances, you may find the terms being used interchangeably to mean the same thing.

How A Business Can Get on the MATCH List

The failure of a business to meet the agreed terms and conditions of an acquiring bank can get them on the MATCH list. The most common reason is usually excessive chargebacks. If a business is considered high risk, they likely experience high chargebacks than expected. Some of these businesses include pharmaceuticals, travel, or forex trading. 

In high risks businesses, customers will have reasons to cancel sales and request for refunds. Chargebacks cost much in processing fees. If they are in excess, the payment processor could suffer losses. To save the bank and other payment processors from losses, the account is terminated and listed in the MATCH. 

Other reasons that could get a business in the MATCH list include:

  • Excessive fraud
  • Bankruptcy, liquidation, insolvency
  • Money laundering
  • Illegal transactions
  • Identity theft

Any business trading in the high risk category and illegal products can easily be MATCHed. An acquiring bank views the transactions in the merchants’ account, and if they find risky operations, adds to the MATCH list.

What Happens When A Business is MATCHed

A MATCHed business can no longer process debit and credit card transactions through the acquiring bank. Shifting to another merchant account or opening new accounts becomes difficult. Typically, a merchant experiences a low conversion rate in their card transactions. 

The result of these is reduced revenue because of a lack of payment processing solutions. If not well handled, a MATCHed business can quickly close down. 

How A Business Can Get Off the MATCH List

It is almost possible or impossible to get off the MATCH list. The first step to getting unMATCHed is to contact the acquiring bank that got you in the first place. It is a tedious process that requires numerous conversations and lots of patience. But if you get to know why you were listed, it is easy to get help on how to get out.

Some issues can be resolved like excessive chargebacks. By correcting the past mistakes of excessive chargebacks, the acquirer can try to get you off the MATCH list. Issues like fraud are, however, hard to deal with, and acquirers will mostly not consider reinstating your account.

Consider using a different payment solution like ACH. Automated Clearing House (ACH) is different from other payment solutions and may offer temporary solutions to your needs. If you maintain clean records in ACH for several months, you might get your account reinstated. ACH is also a great alternative to your credit card payments. 

Usually, merchants are put in the MATCH list for five years. If no additional entries, from other processors, are made in five years, the merchants’ details can be removed. However, there are two reasons a merchant account can have their name removed from the MATCH list before the end of the five years:

  • If the merchant was added erroneously and the acquiring bank confirms and processes the removal.
  • If the merchant was reported due to report code 12 PCC-DSS Noncompliance, but are now compliant.

Luckily, even if you fail to get your business off the MATCH list, payment processors are willing to accept your high-risk status. Ipaytotal helps companies acquire payment processing solutions for their high risk merchant accounts.

How to Avoid Getting Matched

Communication is key to a successful working relationship with your acquiring bank. It is also easy to avoid appearing on the MATCH list than getting out after the listing. Also, by abiding by all rules set by the acquiring bank, it is unlikely your business could suffer a sudden MATCH listing. Here is what you can do to avoid being TMFed:

  • Closely monitor the limits set by the bank by continually checking your bank statements. Ensure the maximum limits are not exceeded. If you expect the processing of excess funds, communicate with the provider earlier.
  • Recognize the causes of fraud in your business and learn how to prevent them. Be genuine with what you sell and deliver the right products and services to customers. 
  • It is possible to reduce chargebacks if you understand your customers better. Understand the nature of every business transaction and customers’ expectations when they purchase your products and services. 
  • Have an open communication line for support in case of disputes or complaints from customers.
  • Plan for both the short-term and long-term operations of your business. Have a strategy on your payment processing solutions and how to attain the goals.
  • Reach out for advice from ipaytotal if you are labeled high risk. Avoid the surprises of account freeze or termination with a reputable payment provider
  • Ensure the security of your data and that of your customers ny using the best payment gateway from ipaytotal. 

The Bottom Line

While operating a merchant account, it is essential never to find your business in the MATCH list. This is possible if you avoid violating the terms of the contract. Always keep a close eye on business transactions by regularly checking your bank statements. MATCH listing may be frustrating for you but not the end of credit card processing for your business.

If you are already in the MATCH list, the best solution would be to seek a payment processing solution that accepts your risk status. Research on the challenges of operating a high risk merchant account and the best payment processors for your business. Yes, there are payment processors specialized in high risk businesses, willing to work for you and with you. 

Understand the risks in every business move you make. Ensure you have improved your reputation by amending your previous mistakes. If chargebacks and frauds are the cause of the MATCH listing, develop a plan of keeping them at the bare minimum.

How IPAYTOTAL offers Solutions to MATCH Listed Merchants 

Ipaytotal offers payment processing solutions for high risk merchants in the MATCH list. They offer the best advice to prevent the repeat of the same problems. They are experienced and reputable in dealing with MATCHed merchants. They have the best services and the best rates in the market. Call them for payment solutions of your domestic and offshore merchant accounts.


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