Match List Explained

Jul 24, 2019

Match List Explained

The Member Alert to Control High-risk Merchants list, known more commonly as the MATCH list, is a database of merchants who’ve had their payment processing accounts terminated in the past. This list was created by MasterCard to help acquiring banks and payment processing companies to determine prior history when considering businesses for new processing accounts. Merchants who are found on the MATCH list are automatically considered high-risk and are likely to find it difficult to obtain processing privileges.

Previously, merchants who had terminated accounts were placed on the terminated merchant file (TMF). The TMF provided financial institutions with a comprehensive list of businesses with previously terminated accounts, but didn’t provide much in the way of detailed information. With the MATCH list, which has now replaced the TMF, acquiring banks can access more information regarding a business’s history. The list includes a reason code with each blacklisted merchant that describes why they’re on the list. This information helps credit card processors and acquiring banks to make sounder decisions about offering processing services to high-risk merchants.


The MATCH List and It’s Reason Codes

As mentioned earlier, each merchant on the MATCH list is paired with a reason code, which explains why they’ve been added to it. The only way for a merchant to be added to this list is if an acquiring bank that’s closed their account adds them. Acquiring banks must adhere to security rules and procedures that are enforced by MasterCard when adding merchants to this list.

01 Account data compromise Account data has been accessed without authorization.
02 Common point of purchase Account data has been stolen and used for fraudulent purchases with other merchants.
03 Laundering The merchant was engaged in money laundering via card-not-present transactions.
04 Excessive chargebacks The merchant exceeded the acceptable agreed-upon chargeback ratio.
05 Excessive fraud The merchant exceeded the acceptable fraud-to-sales ratio.
07 Fraud conviction A business owner has been convicted of fraud.
08 MasterCard questionable merchant audit program The merchant is determined to be a “questionable merchant” as per MasterCard guidelines.
09 Bankruptcy/liquidation/insolvency The merchant cannot discharge all financial obligations.
10 Violation of standards The merchant violated one of the card network’s regulations.
11 Merchant collusion The merchant participated in fraudulent collusive activity.
12 PCI-DSS non-compliance The merchant didn’t comply with PCI-DSS requirements.
13 Illegal transactions The merchant processed illegal transactions.
14 Identity theft The merchant may be operating with a stolen identity.


Getting Off the MATCH List

Merchants who’ve been added to the MATCH list are typically kept on the list for five years. Those who are added more than once, whether by the same acquiring bank or by more than one acquiring bank, will remain on the list for five years following the most recent addition. Once a period of five years has passed, the merchant is automatically removed.

Merchants who’ve been added to the list due to PCI-DSS non-compliance (reason code 12) may be removed if they’ve since become compliant.


How to Continue Processing Transactions If You’re On the MATCH List

While obtaining a new processing account while on the MATCH list can be difficult, it’s certainly not impossible. High-risk merchants who find themselves on this list can obtain processing privileges with high-risk payment processors, who are willing to take on the additional risks that are associated with high-risk merchants and industries.

Find out more about how PayDiverse helps high-risk merchants or complete an application to get started.

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