Guide to MATCH List Removal for Businesses

Overcoming MATCH List Obstacles

Businesses that find themselves on the MATCH List whether rightly or wrongly will face daunting challenges, including restricted payment processing capabilities and damaged reputational standing.

Our expert lawyers have a proven track record of successfully removing client names from the MATCH list on an urgent business to limit any damage to the business. If your business is on the MATCH List, this can significantly hinder a business’s ability to process payments and secure merchant accounts, presenting a major obstacle to operational success particularly, given the current economic climate and/or if your business is a small start-up.

If you are concerned about being on the MATCH list, our expert lawyers can help with the urgent removal. We are here to help. Call us for a Free Consultation on 0207 459 4037 today.

What is the MATCH List?

The MATCH List, also known as the Member Alert to Control High-Risk (MATCH) system, is a tool used by Mastercard to identify businesses and their directors who pose a heightened risk to the banking system. It serves as a database that acquiring banks or payment gateways will consult with before entering into a merchant agreement. It acts as a form of due diligence and risk assessment when they consider whether to give you a payment gateway to accept payments from your customers online.

Being listed on the MATCH List indicates that the merchant has been terminated by a bank or a payment gateway for reasons that could include fraud, excessive chargebacks, or violation of card network regulations, making it challenging for them to obtain merchant services in the future.

Why am I on the MATCH List?

Businesses may end up on the MATCH List for various reasons, all of which indicate to banks and processors that engaging with the merchant carries certain risks. In our experience, the most common reasons can include:

Reason CodeDescriptionDetailed DescriptionIllustrative Example
01Account Data CompromiseOccurs when unauthorised disclosure of cardholder information happens due to a breach in the merchant’s system.A retail store’s payment system is hacked, resulting in the theft of thousands of customer credit card numbers.
02Common Point of Purchase (CPP)Identified for merchants at the common point in fraudulent activity.Multiple fraudulent transactions are traced back to a single gas station, indicating it as the common point of purchase but not the source of compromise.
03Money LaunderingInvolves processing transactions that are not legitimate sales, often to disguise the origins of money.A bookstore processes sales that never occur, using these transactions to move illicit funds.
04Excessive ChargebacksFor merchants whose transactions have a high chargeback ratio, indicating dissatisfaction or disputes.An online electronics seller receives chargebacks on 20% of sales due to customers disputing the quality and authenticity of products.
05Excessive FraudApplied to merchants with a high volume of transactions declined due to suspicion of fraud or confirmed fraudulent activities.A new e-commerce platform experiences a surge in fraudulent transactions, with a significant percentage being flagged and declined for fraud.
07Fraud ConvictionUsed when a merchant or any of its principals are convicted of a criminal fraud offence.The owner of a chain of clothing stores is convicted of using the business to commit credit card fraud.
08Mastercard Questionable Merchant Audit ProgramInclusion under this code results from an audit by Mastercard deeming the merchant as questionable.Following an audit, a travel agency is found to have misleading sales tactics, leading to its inclusion under this code.
09Bankruptcy/Insolvency/LiquidationIndicates merchants that have declared bankruptcy, are insolvent, or are undergoing liquidation.A restaurant chain files for bankruptcy after failing to recover from prolonged closures during a pandemic.
10Violation of StandardsFor merchants found in violation of specific card network standards, regulations, or guidelines.A payment processor is found non-compliant with Mastercard’s security standards, leading to its listing.
11CollusionWhen a merchant colludes with cardholders to commit fraudulent activities such as fake transactions.A boutique hotel processes fictitious stays in collusion with cardholders, allowing them to claim non-existent services.
12PCI DSS Non-ComplianceAssigned to merchants failing to maintain compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards.An online retailer neglects to secure its checkout process, leading to PCI DSS non-compliance and data breaches.
13Illegal TransactionsFor processing transactions that are illegal, such as violations of laws on controlled substances, gambling, etc.An online platform facilitates the sale of prescription drugs without proper verification, engaging in illegal transactions.
14Identity TheftApplied when identity theft is committed by the merchant or its principals.A financial advisor uses clients’ personal information to open fraudulent credit card accounts under their names.

What are the consequences of being on the MATCH List?

If you or your business is on the MATCH List, it could have several significant financial and reputational consequences including:

  1. Operational Disruption: Being listed on the MATCH List directly impacts a business’s ability to process electronic payments with banks or payment gateways. With most consumers preferring card payments, restricted processing capabilities can lead to a sharp decline in sales. Immediate effects include losing the ability to accept credit and debit card transactions, critical for sustaining cash flow and operational continuity.
  2. Financial Strain: Businesses often face higher processing fees from alternative providers willing to accept their transactions, significantly affecting profitability. Additionally, the challenge of securing merchant services can lead to increased operational costs and hindered access to working capital, putting further strain on financial health.
  3. Reputational Harm: The stigma associated with MATCH List inclusion can cause long-term reputational damage. Customers and partners may perceive the business as unreliable or high-risk, affecting trust and confidence. Recovering from this reputational hit requires substantial effort and time, impacting customer loyalty and future business opportunities.
  4. Increased Scrutiny: Once on the MATCH List, businesses undergo increased scrutiny from regulators, banks, and potential partners. This heightened level of examination can lead to more rigorous compliance and operational demands, adding complexity and cost to normal business operations.
  5. Access to Banking Services: MATCH List inclusion complicates relationships with banks and financial institutions. It becomes challenging to establish new banking relationships or even maintain existing ones, as many banks hesitate to associate with businesses flagged as high-risk. This can limit access to essential financial services, including loans and credit facilities, crucial for business growth and expansion.

Case Example – Urgent Removal from the MATCH List within 3 weeks for e-commerce business

Our expert lawyers regularly act for e-commerce businesses that use payment gateways to process payments online. Our client, who had a ‘brick and mortar’ shop for over 20 years wanted to expand into e-commerce selling products online. It approached Worldpay as a payment gateway to process its payments online. It signed up to its terms and conditions, and its application was successful.

Our client started using the payment gateway for a few days however it was unilaterally terminated by Worldpay without explanation. Worldpay, as expected, relied on their standard terms and conditions however crucially Worldpay also added our client and its director on the MATCH list under codes 11 (collusion) and 12 (PCI DSS non-compliance). This meant that our client had difficulties finding another payment gateway, and our client was unable to sell its products online for almost 2 months significantly damaging its reputation and cash flow.

Within 3 weeks of being instructed, our expert lawyers successfully obtained the urgent removal of our client and its director from the MATCH List. Our lawyers developed a clear strategy at the outset and were able to see it through to a successful outcome for the client.

The client left the following feedback for our lawyers:

I’m really pleased that Karim and his team were able to achieve this great result for us. We were wrongly added onto the MATCH List by a payment gateway, and it affected our reputation and cash flow significantly. We are grateful that we had expert lawyers to help us get this result within such a short time. If you have any payment gateway issues, do not hesitate to reach out to Karim and his team. Highly recommended”.

Winning Approach to the Removal from MATCH List

Our lawyers’ extensive industry-specific knowledge and our commitment to justice make us the preferred choice for many clients seeking urgent removal from the MATCH list.

Our lawyers are recognised among the best lawyers in England & Wales, and have regularly been asked and featured to write authoritative articles in the Financial Times, the Law Society and LexisNexis and have been quoted in City AM, the New Law Journal, Law Society Gazette and Litigation Futures. Our unique approach means that we will:

  • Arrange a Free Consultation with you & a qualified lawyer
  • Arrange a WhatsApp group with you & your legal team in case you have any ad-hoc questions
  • Investigate the merits of the case & devise a strategy for removal from the MATCH list including contacting the payment gateway directly and Mastercard, a complaint to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), and local MP (where necessary)
  • Advise you on any judgments & tactics that have proved successful in other disputes with payment gateways and merchant banks
  • Fixed fees & flexible funding options
  • Work hard to achieve the best outcome and removal from the MATCH List including seeking damages for wrongful inclusion on the MATCH List.

Our lawyers offer regulated, independent & confidential legal advice and are dedicated members of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association, the London Solicitors’ Litigation Association, the Association of Cost Lawyers, the Insolvency Lawyers Association and the Commercial Litigation Association.

How do I check if I’m on the MATCH List?

Typically, a business may discover they are on the MATCH List when attempting to open a new merchant account or process transactions, and the application is denied based on their MATCH status. However, to proactively check your status, you must request this information from a merchant acquirer or payment processor.

Expert Lawyers for the Removal from the MATCH List

Whether you are an individual or a business, we provide exceptional legal services at cost-effective prices: this is our promise.

Don’t let MATCH List inclusion disrupt your business. Contact our experienced commercial litigation team today for a Free Consultation 0207 459 4037.

Our expert lawyers can assess your situation, develop a strategic plan for removal, and implement measures to prevent future issues.


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