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Terminated Merchant File/MATCH List Lawyer

By John DiGiacomo

If you have recently discovered that you or your business are on the Terminated Merchant File (“TMF”) list, call us here at Revision Legal for legal advice and guidance. Call us at 231-714-0100. We are business and internet attorneys with proven experience helping clients resolve problems with being placed on the TMF list. Here is some brief information on the TMF list and some possible courses of action.

In simple terms, the TMF list serves a function similar to the function served by personal or business credit reports. Credit reports are maintained by companies like Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. The TMF list — also called the MATCH list — is something similar that is maintained by Mastercard. See here for Mastercard’s Security Rules and Procedures, Chapter 11. The TMF list is where businesses and merchants can be reported if their credit or payment processing accounts have been terminated for a variety of reasons. Examples include:

  • Fraud of various types
  • Account data compromise, defined as an occurrence that results, directly or indirectly, in the unauthorized access to or disclosure of account data
  • Common point of purchase violations — this is where account data is stolen at the Merchant and then used for fraudulent purchases at other Merchant locations
  • Laundering — defined as presenting transaction records that were not valid transactions for sales of goods or services
  • Excessive chargebacks — generally, this happens if chargebacks in any single month exceed 1% of the number of sales transactions in that month

Although Mastercard maintains the TMF list, banks and other payment processing companies can report and enter names onto the TMF list.

Being placed on the TMF/MATCH list can be a death sentence to many businesses, particularly those with a significant online presence. And it can be extremely difficult to obtain a new merchant account with a payment processor. This is because when a business is placed on the TMF/MATCH list, the names of its owners and business partners are also recorded on the list. When a new merchant account is requested, the TMF/MATCH list is searched. If the owner or a business partner appears on the list, likely, a new merchant account will be denied.

What Can be Done?

Getting removed from the TMF/MATCH list is difficult, but it can be done. The first step is to determine why your business was placed on the list. Essentially, you need to know the code or codes associated with your listing on the TMF/MATCH list. The code identifies the general reason for being added to the list. The second step is to identify the bank or payment processing company that added your business to the list. Generally speaking, only the bank/processing company that placed your business on the list can remove your business from the list. Often, it is necessary to show that your company was placed on the list because of mistakes or errors in the information. It can be difficult to do this, but it can be done.

If you cannot obtain some sort of retraction, another option is to seek another payment processor, maybe one that specializes in alleged “high-risk” merchants. Again, it may be necessary to show that the original posting to the TMF/MATCH list was, in some way, an error. Litigation is also an option, but it is neither quick nor inexpensive.

For more information, contact the trusted internet and business lawyers at Revision Legal. You can contact us through the form on this page or call (855) 473-8474. We are lawyers specializing in business and internet law.

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