Usually, when a merchant account is terminated, the merchant’s name and business is listed on MATCH—Member Alert to Control High Risk. Ending up on MATCH is the nightmare of legitimate merchants. This is because finding an individual’s name on MATCH means that most processors will not approve a different merchant account with the same owner due to the higher risk of potential for fraud.

What is MATCH/TMF?

MATCH (previously known as TMF, or Terminated Merchant File), is a database of merchants used by payment processing companies that contains information on merchants and individuals whose accounts have been terminated. Payment processors check MATCH for each new potential account to mitigate their own risk and keep their business safe. Once a merchant or individual is on MATCH, it is very difficult to be removed and very unlikely that another merchant account will be approved for processing.

Why Would A Merchant Account Be Terminated?

There are several reasons as to why a merchant account would be terminated:

Placing a merchant or an individual on MATCH is not a decision that an acquiring bank or payment processor makes lightly, so if you’re not committing fraud you are probably safe. MasterCard and Visa both have penalties in place for acquiring banks and payment processors who not comply with their regulations—both for placing merchants on MATCH and for failing to do so. However, mistakes do happen, and if you believe that you have been placed on MATCH in error be sure to speak with an attorney who has experience in the credit card industry.