Match List / TMF


TMF or MATCH Merchants

Payment solutions for merchants on the MATCH list

Merchants can often find themselves punished for being on the Terminated Merchant File (TMF) or MATCH list 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.

What is the Mastercard MATCH list?

The TMF or MATCH list was created by Mastercard to compile information about merchants that have been closed by credit card processors within the last 5 years due to chargebacks, criminal activity, or violations of card brand network regulations.

For merchants, being placed on the MATCH 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 that have been listed, as they are considered extremely high risk.

How does Mastercard’s MATCH work?

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.

Why are merchants put on the MATCH list?

Every merchant on the MATCH List is assigned a reason code that explains why they have been added:

Code Reason Explanation
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.
04 Excessive Chargebacks The merchant has exceeded pre-determined chargeback thresholds. 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 totalled 5,000 US dollars or more.
05 Excessive Fraud The merchant’s fraud-to-sales dollar volume ratio was 8% or greater in a calendar month, and the Merchant effected 10 or more fraudulent Transactions totalling 5,000 US dollars or more 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.
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 The merchant was engaged in illegal transactions.
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 rise of online card fraud

The global ecommerce market has been predicted to grow to 4.9 trillion US dollars by 2021 and in 2018, one in every ten US dollars was spent online.

Unfortunately, this continuous growth in ecommerce 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.

When it comes to the reason of excessive fraud, it can be easier than ever for merchants to end up on the MATCH list.

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 penalised by MATCH, without the opportunity for recourse.

As a specialist in high-risk payment processing, T1 payments understands the increased threat that high-risk merchants can face when it comes to chargeback fraud and payment fraud. By having a T1 merchant account, businesses can utilize our chargeback mitigation tools and fraud scrubbing technology, to help maintain a good standing with the card networks and prevent the pain of chargebacks.

Can merchants be removed from the MATCH list?

For merchants who have ended up on the MATCH list for the reason of PCI-DSS non-compliance, becoming 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 whilst also avoiding a MATCH listing for the merchant.

Excluding PCI-DSS compliance, the only ways to be removed from the MATCH list are to try and resolve the issue with the acquirer that placed you on the list, or, wait five years, at which point the record will expire and will automatically be removed by Mastercard.

T1 Payments benefits for high risk merchants

  • Experience and understanding of high-risk credit card processing to help you to quickly open a merchant account and unlock the benefits of credit card acceptance.
  • Sell products globally – buyers can purchase in their native currency and you get paid out in your local currency
  • Secure payment gateway and cart integrations fully compliant with all PCI DSS Statements.
  • Accept multiple credit card brands including Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express.
  • Collect payments in over 160 currencies and settle in 27 currencies.
  • Help prevent chargebacks with the latest technology and maintain good standing for your business with the card networks to ensure your merchant account longevity.

Important Terms

MATCH – Merchant Alert to Control High Risk Merchants
TMF – Terminated Merchant File

Get in touch with T1 Payments today to start growing online sales for your Vape business! Apply Now!

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/379046/worldwide-retail-e-commerce-sales/
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanmckee/2018/09/11/global-digital-commerce-sales-to-near-6-trillion-by-2022/#24017ccf4c5a
  3. https://www.juniperresearch.com/researchstore/fintech-payments/online-payment-fraud-research-report