Recover from the Blacklist – How to Get a TMF or MATCH list merchant account

Are you on the terminated merchant file (TMF) list? That doesn’t phase us at eDataPay. Winding up on the TMF list can feel like the end of days for your business, but we don’t believe that’s the end of your road.


Merchants of all sizes and types fear “The List.” That is the MATCH list, which also is referred to as a terminated merchant file (TMF). Whether it’s due to a failed business model, fraud, merchant collusion, or excessive chargebacks, ending up on the list can feel like business suicide.

Credit card companies use the MATCH list to screen potential merchants before approving them for merchant accounts. When a business is placed on the MATCH list, it not only stops a merchant from processing current credit card transactions, it prevents a company from doing any future business under any other business names. A place on this list can destroy a merchant’s ability to accept any credit card payments in the future, essentially seriously crippling any business.

So, the list is bad, but there is good news. eDataPay(eData) isn’t afraid to take a chance on a high-risk merchant. eDataPay is a credit card processor that believes every business deserves a second chance, event those that have ended up on the TMF list. eDataPay provides customized payment solutions to all types of businesses. The only condition at eDataPay is that merchants have taken care of all outstanding bills to their former processors.

To obtain a TMF merchant account, begin by applying using eDataPay’s quick and easy online application. There are no guarantees, but eDataPay promises an open and honest application process. Merchants can be approved in as little as 24 hours. eDataPay also provides secure payment gateways, chargeback mitigation programs, and other solutions.


All there is to know about MATCH

MATCH, which was created and managed by MasterCard but is used and shared by all credit card brands, is a blacklist that prevent merchants with excessive chargebacks and high-risk accounts from opening an account with another credit card processor. The list is a database of information about business, their owners, and the reasons and/or codes for why they were placed on a TMF. The database aims to prevent other processors from granting merchant accounts to businesses that are bad news. Acquiring banks have the power to add or remove businesses from the database when justified.

Despite its admirable efforts, there are no checks and balances ensuring the accuracy of the database information. MasterCard fails to verify any of the information this has been added to the list. Therefore, a merchant could have been mistakenly placed on the list and no one would be the wiser until the victim merchant attempted to get removed. The problem is that a merchant can only be removed by the acquiring bank that placed them on the list in the first place. It can become a very sticky situation that often doesn’t result in a positive outcome for merchants.

How MATCH is used

Banks use MATCH to see if it is worth the risk to open a merchant account for a business. If during underwriting an acquiring bank learns that applicant is on the list, the financial institution is permitted to contact the bank that placed the merchant there. For some merchants, they are surprised when they learn they are blacklisted. Most don’t find out until they to apply with a new credit card processor. Also, acquiring banks can ask for details as to why the merchant’s account was terminated.

Ultimately, a bank or processor can that use that information to accept the application, decline it, or provide conditional approval with restrictions, which can range from caps on processing volumes to lower rolling reserves, to prevent a similar problem happening in the future.

Reasons merchants get placed on the MATCH list

The reasons for being added to the MATCH database can range from excessive chargebacks to money laundering.

The MATCH database includes several codes with descriptions that explain the reasons a merchant can be placed on the list. They are as follows:

To learn more about MasterCard’s rules, check out its guidelines.

Your business has unique needs, we are unique solution.

eDataPay will get you approved today for a low or high risk merchant account for your B2B, eCommerce, or Retail business at the most competitive rates.


How to get off the list

No doubt, getting off MATCH likely will be an uphill battle. Merchants remain in the database for five years, and the only way to be removed is to have the same bank that added the business to the database to remove it. The first step to being removed is for a merchant to contact a former provider. Expect to make many phone calls and to talk to several representatives before finding the correct person.

The reason a merchant ended up on MATCH really makes a difference in how easy or even possible a business gets removed. Banks take fraud very seriously, therefore, businesses that were blacklisted due to fraud will have the hardest time getting removed.

Those that ended up on the list due to excessive chargebacks get removed from the database once the merchant has satisfied all chargebacks and have no other chargebacks from its prior customers. Once this happens, a bank will remove the merchant from the list.

Merchants that were mistakenly entered in the database must work with the bank that put them on the list to get it fixed. If a bank determines after an investigation that adding the merchant to the file was an error, the financial institution must immediately as for a correction.

If all else fails, the only option may be to retain an attorney that specializes in TMF merchant accounts or seek arbitration.

Stay off the list

Since excessive chargebacks are the most common reason to get on the list, merchants should do their best to intercept credit card transactions disputes before they become chargebacks.

When a customer reaches out with a complaint, offer a full refund. This stops a dispute from becoming a costly chargeback.

To avoid a dispute due to the customer not remembering or recognizing a customer, merchants should prominently display the way their names will appear on their credit card statements. Every email, receipt, and correspondence that the merchant sends out also should include a contact number and email address. This information also should be clearly displayed on the business’ website.

Confirmation emails that explain all purchase details, as well as privacy, return, and refund policies, also are good ways to keep customers mindful of transactions. Other pertinent information may include who to call with changes, complaints, or questions.

One of the best to ways to stay off the list is to operate a trustworthy, law-abiding business.

Begin using a chargeback protection program

Get approved by eDataPay and utilize its chargeback protection program, which can reduce a merchant’s chargebacks by 25%. eDataPay partnered with Verifi and its new Cardholder Dispute Resolution Network (CDRN) and Ethoca’s alert system to develop a program that caters to high-risk merchants, including TMF businesses, to make it easier to combat chargebacks.

The match list credit card processing program allows merchants to achieve the greatest rate of chargeback resolutions while being directly involved in the process because CDRN works with card issuers and banks. TMF businesses can’t afford to get burned by chargebacks again. By using a mitigation program that actively pursues credit card disputes, companies protect themselves getting their TMF merchant accounts shut down.

How to get a TMF merchant account

Once blacklisted, it is still possible to get a TMF merchant account. eDataPay offers TMF merchant accounts to businesses that can show they no longer owe any money to their former processors. In a perfect world, it would be great if TMF merchants showed they had a recent, clean processing history since the MATCH event, as well as a good explanation as to why ended up on the list and what actions they have taken to keep them from getting blacklisted in the future.

Documents needed to get a TMF merchant account

To obtain a TMF merchant account, businesses must begin by filling out eDataPay’s simple online application. After submitting the application, merchants will need to submit the following items to underwriters:

Though no approval is guaranteed, eDataPay does promise applicants a reputable, secure process. eDataPay and its team of experts is dedicated to helping customers operate and succeed in their online endeavors. Apply today and get approved within 24 and 48 hours and begin processing credit card payments.

What to expect during underwriter review

Underwriters determine risk by looking for any questionable practices that could end up financially burdening credit card processors. Ultimately, they want to know that merchants are operating legal, responsible businesses with a stable business model, which won’t result in a high volume of credit card transaction disputes and chargebacks.

During the review, underwriters look at merchants’ credit scores, credit card processing history, bank statements, and their websites. In addition to being shut down by another processor in the past, other factors that impact risk include:

The surest way to get a TMF merchant account is to stop any suspicious activity, put some money in the bank, satisfy outstanding bills and debts, and get a principal in the business with the best credit history.

TMF Merchant Account Approval with EDATAPAY

We approve merchants on a TMF list.

Are you on a terminated merchant file list? We can still get you a merchant account!
The end isn’t quite the end anymore for someone who finds themselves on the Terminated Merchant File.
Let us help you get on the road to financial recovery at eDataPay.

If your chargeback rate got out of control or there were chargeback sums left unpaid you may have found yourself on the TMF list. At our policy is to provide specialized merchant accounts to all merchants who need them; even those on the TMF list. Our only requirement is that you have no outstanding unpaid amounts to your previous processors. Contact us to learn more, or simple apply here.

At eDataPay we love to say YES!

Start the easy, user friendly TMF merchant account application below.



To get approved for a merchant account in 24 hours

Apply here or call +1-561-395-9554.

Get In Touch with eDataPay Banking Specialist:

Boca Raton, Florida, 33498 USA.