What Does TMF Stand For? Terminated Merchant File or MATCH List

February 25, 2020


What does TMF stand for and what is Mastercard’s MATCH List?

Merchants can often find themselves punished for being on the TMF or MATCH list. TMF stands for Terminated Merchant File. MATCH   stands for (Member Alert to Control High Risk Merchants). The TMF or MATCH list is created by Mastercard to compile information about merchants who have been closed by their credit card processors within the last 5 years for cause. Merchant’s placed on MATCH /TMF  because of either chargebacks, criminal activity, or violations of card brand network regulations.

Being placed on the MATCH list can have a serious effect on their business. Especially when it comes to a new merchant account application process. Acquiring banks will instantly refuse to accept any businesses or individuals that have been placed on MATCH.  Merchants placed on MATCH are extremely high risk to the acquiring bank.

How does Mastercard’s MATCH work?

When an acquirer terminates a merchant account and they can submit that merchant’s information to the TMF (terminated merchant file) MATCH list. Mastercard has set out clear criteria as to what makes a merchant eligible. However, the actual placement comes at the discretion of the acquiring banks and without much oversight from Mastercard. A MATCH listing could have been made in error, the acquirer will need to contact Mastercard on behalf of the merchant to report that the addition was a mistake.

How can merchants avoid the MATCH list?

The most common reasons for merchants being added to MATCH are excessive chargebacks and excessive fraud and without the right tools to keep things under control many merchants can find themselves being penalized by MATCH, without the opportunity for recourse.

If your businesses merchant account was placed on MATCH / TMF list T1 Payments can assist you with a merchant account.

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