Merchants can often find themselves punished for being on a list of high-risk merchants called the MATCH List or Terminated Merchant File (TMF) for circumstances completely out of their control. However, for many of these cases, T1 Payments can provide merchant accounts to allow businesses to continue accepting credit card payments. As a specialist in high-risk processing, we understand the nature of the business and some of the unique challenges that can occur, so we look at merchants on an individual basis.
The TMF or MATCH list was created by Mastercard to compile information about merchant accounts that have been closed by credit card processors within the last five years due to chargebacks, criminal activity, or violations of card brand network regulations.
For merchants, being placed on the high-risk merchant list can have a serious effect on their business when it comes to the account application process. Many acquiring banks will instantly refuse to accept any businesses or individuals in the high-risk industry list, as they are considered extremely risky.
When an acquirer terminates a merchant account, 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, without much oversight from Mastercard. If a MATCH listing was made in error, the acquirer will need to contact Mastercard on behalf of the merchant to report that the addition was a mistake.
Every merchant on the high-risk merchant MATCH list is assigned a reason code that explains why they have been added:
|01||Account Data Compromise||An occurrence that results, directly or indirectly, in unauthorized access or disclosure of account data.|
|02||Common Points of Purchase||Account data is stolen at the merchant and then used for fraudulent purchases at other merchant locations.|
|03||Laundering||The merchant has processed transactions that did not involve the sale of goods and services between the merchant and a bona fide cardholder. Such merchants are eligible to be placed on the high-risk merchant list.|
|04||Excessive Chargebacks||The merchant has exceeded pre-determined chargeback thresholds. For merchants reported by a Mastercard Acquirer, the number of Mastercard chargebacks in any single month exceeded 1% of the number of Mastercard sales transactions in that month, and those chargebacks totaled 5,000 US dollars or more. This is a common occurrence among merchants within the high-risk industry list.|
|05||Excessive Fraud||The merchant’s fraud-to-sales dollar volume ratio was 8% or greater in a calendar month, and the merchant had 10 or more fraudulent transactions totaling at least 5,000 US dollars in that calendar month.|
|06||Fraud Conviction||There has been a criminal fraud conviction of a principal owner or partner from one of the merchant owners. This always results in placement in the high-risk merchant list.|
|07||Mastercard Questionable Merchant Audit Program||The merchant was determined to be a “Questionable Merchant” based on Mastercard’s Questionable Merchant Audit Program.|
|08||Bankruptcy/Liquidation/Insolvency||The merchant was unable or is likely to become unable to discharge its financial obligations.|
|09||Violation of Standards||The merchant was in violation of the card network’s regulations.|
|10||Merchant Collusion||The merchant participated in fraudulent collusive activity.|
|11||PCI-DSS Non-compliance||The merchant has failed to comply with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard requirements.|
|12||Illegal Transactions||Merchants that have engaged in illegal transactions typically end up on the high-risk merchant list.|
|13||Identity Theft||The acquirer has reason to believe that the identity of the listed merchant or its principal owner(s) was unlawfully assumed for the purpose of unlawfully entering into a merchant agreement.|
The global e-commerce market has been predicted to grow to 4.9 trillion US dollars by 2021. In 2018, one in every ten US dollars was spent online.
Unfortunately, this continuous growth in e-commerce has also led to a rise in card-not-present fraud, as mobile and online transactions have become the perfect target for criminal opportunity. According to Juniper Research, online sellers will lose $130 billion to online payment fraud between 2018 and 2023.
The most common reasons for merchants being added to the MATCH list are excessive chargebacks and excessive fraud. Without the right tools to keep things under control, many merchants can find themselves being penalized by MATCH, without the opportunity for recourse. They can also find themselves on the list if they operate in an industry in the high-risk industry list.
As a specialist in high-risk payment processing, T1 Payments understands the increased threat that high-risk merchants can face when it comes to chargebacks and payment fraud. With a T1 merchant account, businesses can utilize our chargeback mitigation tools and fraud scrubbing technology to help maintain good standing with the card networks and prevent the pain of chargebacks.
For merchants who have ended up on the MATCH list for the reason of PCI-DSS non-compliance, becoming PCI compliant is the straight-forward solution to enabling a MATCH removal. A merchant account with T1 Payments includes a secure payment gateway and cart integrations fully compliant with all PCI-DSS statements, which ensures customer credit card data is protected while also keeping merchants off of the high-risk merchant list.
Excluding PCI-DSS compliance, the only way to be removed from the MATCH list is to try and resolve the issue with the acquirer that placed you on the list. Or, you can wait five years, at which point the record will expire and automatically be removed by Mastercard.
Get in touch with T1 Payments today to start growing online sales for your business. Book a consultation to learn more about T1 Payments and our services for businesses on the high-risk merchant list.
Get approved quickly for your high risk business and start accepting credit cards by simply completing the form below or call us at 866-518-2216.