Match or The Terminated Merchant File (TMF) – Beware
The Match file or, more commonly know as, the terminated merchant file or TMF is a database that the credit card processing industry uses to log merchants that have violated the terms of their contact and have subsequently been terminated.
Similar to how the major credit reporting agencies track consumer behavior in an effort to establish a credit profile. The Match or TMF database is used to flag business and principals that have miss-managed their merchant account in the past and been terminated.
When an application for merchant services is received the processor will query the Match or TMF database to determine if the business or principals have been terminated in the past. If a possible match entry is indicated it is the responsibility of the processor to determine if the entry is for the same business and/or principal(s) seeking account approval. If an exact match for business or principal is determined the processor will then inverstigate the reason for the match entry. At that point the account will be declined or a conditional approval will be granted which states that full approval is subject to the pervious processor removing the Match entry.
Once a business or principal is placed on the Match or TMF it is extremely difficult to get a merchant account approved. It is also very difficult to get a business or principal removed from the match or TMF database.
If you find that you or your business is on the Match file it is very important to determine what processor placed you on the file. Next you will want to contact that processor to determine the reason. Once you have determined the reason it is essential to rectify the situation, if possible and request removal from the database.