Credit card companies are keeping more vigilant than ever when it comes to fraudulent activity for customers. Programs have designed to track chargebacks and establish a multi-tiered system for dealing with merchants who carry excessive chargeback rates.
Merchants who fail to bring their rates down may find themselves getting penalized for these business practices. Some may have found themselves on the dreaded MATCH list, putting them in a precarious position.
What is the MATCH list?
The Member Alert to Control High-Risk list, or MATCH list, places merchant accounts under investigation for excessive chargebacks on credit transactions. Also known as a terminated merchant file list, or TMF, it raises red flags on illegal activity, and can significantly impact credit card processor privileges. This can be devastating to a business in any specialty, especially if their online presence is their main revenue stream.
Companies like Mastercard have used a tiered system within their database, issuing a warning regarding chargebacks, while escalating penalties for failure to reduce rates, even penalizing a merchant’s acquiring bank for the fraudulent activity.
When a merchant is placed on the MATCH list or TMF, they are banned from opening any new merchant accounts elsewhere. This puts a business in a difficult spot trying to uphold its financial obligations. It becomes especially difficult to find a processing bank and handling credit card payments.
What should you do if your business makes the list?
Landing on a TMF or MATCH list can be alarming, but if you know the reason code contributing to you being established. When your merchant account is terminated, you can find credit card service providers that specialize in the high-risk industry, offshore merchant accounts, and offshore payment processing. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible from your merchant file, as documentation and evidence are your best support to show your business is not at fault.
A prospective processor will need six of the latest processing statements, being able to show a current balance and explain the significant number of chargebacks. If there are any bank statements that detail the number of chargebacks in your history, present as much as you can. Credit card companies may ask a business to apply some changes to their practices to better address the situation and prevent the issue from resurfacing.
High-risk accounts need to demonstrate they can reroute their business model to get back in the good graces of companies like Mastercard and Visa. The underwriting process may take some time, and your credit processor will remain cautious about your transactions. The processor will keep your transactions under review per the terms of your merchant agreement.
Legal Steps Forward
Though a MATCH result can always be dependent on the merchant and processor, having legal representation can be a better means of figuring out the next steps ahead. This will help you settle any outstanding issues, make any additions to your business, or navigate this unanticipated minefield.
Attorneys will be able to determine the original triggering event that has led to the potential termination of credit card processing. They will comb through fraudulent activity, identify theft, and the high volume of chargebacks to pinpoint where the issue may have occurred.
Attorneys will then facilitate negotiations with a processor to get removed from the MATCH list, no matter what’s gone on in previous years. By sending out demand letters from a reputable law firm, financial institutions, acquirers, and other entities will take notice of the immediate need to address this issue. Legal help will also allow a merchant to focus on their business model and returning to some sense of normalcy, while attorneys take care of cutting through the red tape.