TMF Merchant Accounts

Terminated Merchant File is a name given to retailers who have made their way onto the database file known as the MATCH file, MATCH being supposedly short for Member Alert To Control High-Risk. This file contains those retailers who have had their merchant accounts terminated by a bank for various reasons.

The MATCH file is used by banks to assess the risk that a potential client will pose should they offer them a merchant account. Banks consider this an important resource and a useful tool when making their judgments. It could be compared to the consumer`s credit-reporting agency. As a result, retailers who have found their way onto the MATCH file may be refused merchant services or only offered merchant services in return for high rates.

Generally, retailers are placed on the MATCH list when problems with their account result in the facility being closed. This usually means problems that represent a financial risk or loss to the bank ñ such as excessive chargebacks, violation of contract, fraud, money laundering or the processing of counterfeit cards.

While this list includes a variety of issues that may indicate poor or illegal financial practice, it may also be the case that retailers can unfortunately find themselves on the MATCH list for legitimate reasons such as administrative or supply problems that eventually lead to excessive chargebacks.

Being on the MATCH list may make a bank unwilling to offer merchant services. Offering merchant accounts and the processing of card transactions is a high-volume activity and any retailer who has a history of issues that cause administrative problems will cut into the potential profit that a bank can make. This is why some banks are unwilling to take on MATCH-list retailers and other banks will only accept them under a higher fee structure. In addition, given that many banks operate merchant services via computers at a high speed, any administrative issues will slow the process significantly.

This is why the MATCH list was created to help banks identify customers who have had a history of causing difficulties within the system. Whether or not a bank will offer accounts to someone on the MATCH list will depend on the risk-tolerance of the bank. It may be the case that a bank will offer merchant services only on the condition of some kind of guarantee, or ask for extra and testable information to ensure that the retailer is legitimate.

Once a MATCH list retailer has acquired merchant services from a bank, they will find that they can process payments both online and in-person. Online services will require their website to connect to a payment gateway, a facility that will take card details from customers and report back to the retailerís website once the transaction has been successful. The payment gateway also has the facility to connect to the retailer websiteís shopping cart to confirm purchases and assist in the necessary payment administration.

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