What does it mean to be on the Match List (TMF)

Why Am I on the TMF List and How do I get off?

The MATCH list, also known as the Terminated Merchant File (TMF) list, is a database maintained by credit card processors and payment networks. It contains information about merchants who have been deemed high risk due to various reasons, such as excessive chargebacks, fraudulent activity, or violations of the payment processor’s terms of service.


Merchants can be added to the MATCH list for reasons such as:

Excessive Chargebacks: When a merchant experiences a high number of chargebacks (disputed transactions), it may indicate poor business practices or customer dissatisfaction.

Fraudulent Activity: If a merchant is found to be involved in fraudulent activities, such as processing unauthorized transactions, they may be added to the list.

Violations of Terms: Merchants who violate the terms and conditions set by their payment processor, such as engaging in prohibited business activities, may be added to the MATCH list.


Getting on the MATCH list can have serious consequences for a merchant’s ability to obtain payment processing services. Once a merchant is listed, it becomes difficult to secure new processing agreements with other providers, as they often perform background checks before onboarding new clients. Being on the MATCH list can significantly impact a business’s financial operations and reputation.


If a merchant believes they have been wrongfully added to the MATCH list, they can dispute the listing with the payment processor and provide evidence to support their case. However, removal from the list is not guaranteed and can be a challenging process.


To avoid getting on the MATCH list, merchants should prioritize ethical business practices, provide excellent customer service, and manage chargeback ratios to acceptable levels. This helps maintain a positive reputation and ensures continued access to payment processing services.



start up business team in the office

Removing a business from the MATCH list (Terminated Merchant File or TMF) can be a challenging process, but it is possible under certain circumstances. Here’s how a business can work towards getting off the MATCH list:


Contact the Payment Processor: The first step is to reach out to the payment processor or acquiring bank that reported the merchant to the MATCH list. You should inquire about the specific reason for your listing and request information on what steps need to be taken for removal.


Correct the Underlying Issues: If your business was added to the MATCH list due to excessive chargebacks, fraud, or other violations, you need to address and rectify these issues. Implement measures to prevent further chargebacks and fraudulent activities. This might involve improving customer service, revising business practices, or updating security measures.


Build a Case: Gather documentation and evidence that demonstrate the steps you’ve taken to address the problems that led to your listing. This could include records of improved customer communication, evidence of enhanced security measures, and any other relevant information that supports your case.


Communication: Maintain open and transparent communication with the payment processor. Keep them informed about the changes you’ve made and provide updates on your progress. Demonstrating your commitment to resolving the issues can work in your favor.


Dispute or Appeal: Some payment processors may allow you to formally dispute your listing on the MATCH list. Provide a well-documented and persuasive case that outlines the improvements you’ve made and how your business is now in compliance with their requirements.


Time and Patience: Removing a business from the MATCH list may take time. Be patient and persistent in your efforts. Continue to demonstrate your dedication to resolving the issues and maintaining a low-risk profile.


Seek Professional Help: In some cases, it might be beneficial to seek legal or professional assistance. Blue Wave Merchant Solutions can guide you through the process, ensure you’re meeting all requirements, and help you present a strong case for removal.



It’s important to note that while these steps can increase your chances of getting off the MATCH list, there’s no guarantee of success. The decision ultimately lies with the payment processor or acquiring bank, and they will assess your business’s overall risk and compliance. In the meantime, consider exploring alternative payment processing options to keep your business operational while working towards removal from the MATCH list.

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