Terminated Merchant File (TMF) Definition

Terminated Merchant File (TMF) Explained:

What is the Terminated Merchant File? The Terminated Merchant File (TMF), also known as the MATCH list, is a database that contains information about businesses that have had their credit card processing services terminated by a provider. Acquiring Banks consult this list when determining whether or not to extend a merchant account to a given business, and in most cases these banks will screen out applicants who have been placed in the TMF. In this way, the TMF acts as an industry-wide blacklist, and only acquiring banks can add or remove merchants from this database. Although MasterCard established this resource, it does not investigate or attest to the accuracy of the information it receives.

Merchants can be added to the TMF for fraudulent activity, excessive chargebacks, gross breaches of contract terms, or, generally speaking, for any reason at all. Since there is no oversight preventing companies from mistakenly or unfairly adding a merchant’s business to the list, the potential for abuse is very high. In some instances, a merchant account provider’s contract terms will state plainly that early termination of the contract will result in the merchant’s placement on the TMF. This is a highly unethical practice, and these businesses should be reported to external consumer protection agencies like the FTC.

Merchants who are placed on the TMF will remain there for five years unless the bank that initially placed them there removes them from the list. Therefore, a merchant who wishes to be removed from the list should contact the provider who originally requested that the merchant be placed on the TMF and be prepared to present evidence contesting the provider’s claim.

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services sales agent who believes the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal from hard working business owners. He created this website to help you avoid the bad players, save money on fees, and to get peace of mind with your merchant account. If you would like to help support his work, learn more about our cost reduction service. We can evaluate your statement, tell you exactly how much you're overpaying, and then help you dramatically reduce your fees with your current credit card processor. Looking to switch instead? See our list of the best merchant account providers.

Schedule a Consultation with Phillip

No Reviews Yet Leave Your Review Below

Leave a Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please do not use profanity or ALL CAPITAL LETTERS in your review. Reviews must provide a detailed account of your experience. By submitting a review or comment to CPO, you are agreeing to our Comment Policy.