Mastercard MATCH List – Most Important Things You Should Know

The Mastercard MATCH list has been working as an archived database containing the credit history of many merchant clients, ranking them as high-risk merchants for banks to follow up if the specific person is looking to open a new account. The MATCH list has been of great use for payment processors and is a preventive measure allowing the check-up of potential clients.

However, there are so many questions left regarding the list and, as many are unaware of the basics, it is crucial that vital information on the topic is available to all.


In short, MATCH is a database operated by Mastercard Worldwide regarding the credit history of merchants globally. We can look at it as a blocklist or even a blacklist, disabling credit card services like payment processing for clients’ accounts, which have been titled as a risk. It allows acquiring banks to scan and look at potential merchant accounts before making an agreement on services. It has been created, as said before, as a preventive measure so that banks can stay away from getting into any legal agreements with clients who have been known in the past to conduct violations of standard rulings. There are many reasons why someone ends up on such a list. We’ll address some below.

How can you “get off” the list?

Well, the first piece of advice we can give you is to check whether you are on the list or not. Unfortunately, you become aware of it only after you’ve been denied the chance for a new account by an acquiring bank. You can ask your payment processor to look it up as there are no other means of checking as the information is not publicly available for everyone. Once you’ve established your presence on the list, you should look at the particular bank that has filed you as a “risk” and consult your legal team on the issue. There has been an instance where people were put on the list by mistake. For this step, you’ll need to give your legal team full disclosure of all the relevant documents. There are other methods to get off the match list Mastercard, such as waiting a certain period of time (usually 5 years) until you have been reassigned as a reliable merchant again. Or you could apply for PCI compliance if you’ve been non-compliant until that moment. A PCI is to comply with data security standards, which are there to protect the credit card data of customers. Your data is being handled securely, and although there are fees involved for your compliance, your non-compliance can be the reason you are on the list in the first place.

Before opting for the first strategy, make sure to have all the needed evidence to back up your claim. While the other option is easier, it can leave a deep scar on your business and disable you from operating normally.

Chargebacks and fraudulent activities

It takes a few things to get on the list, and although it’s not something a merchant hopes for, it can happen due to their reckless behaviour and involvement in illicit activities. Chargebacks are the most common reason, although there must be a large number of such activities (over 100 chargebacks per month) and before that, there are alert penalties opting the client to decrease their rate. Also, fraudulent activities such as laundering, buyer-seller collusions, account data compromises, repeated bankruptcies, having an unreliable credit score, and bad history are all included. All these activities, which seem alarming, are sending a red flag to the acquiring banks, and all the data is safely stored and archived. Being MATCH’d, so to speak, can drastically influence your ability to conduct business and maintain a regular payment process as usual. It can affect your business as a whole, take a heavy toll on your revenue and income, and damage your reputation as an upstanding company. This is why one should deal with the issue as soon as possible.

Are there alternatives?

The short answer is yes. There are still payment processors who’ll accept your request to set up a new merchant account despite the “risk” factor. However, it comes with a few strings attached.

First, your being on the list does not make it illegal for acquiring banks to take you as a client, as the list only serves as a source of information indicating the potential risk and your credit card history. Some processors simply have a higher tolerance when it comes to risk, while others define it completely differently. And while some would look at your activities as risky, others might be completely compliant with them. But, sometimes these processors charge higher fees as well.

There are also alternatives such as cash-only payments, wallet apps, cryptocurrency, and e-checks. So, in other words, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from until you resolve the issue and get your name off the list.

Although it can be quite a blow to your reputation and business, keep in mind how the “requirements” to get on the list are not always met by acquiring banks, which is why there are accidental situations. Also, the issue is not unresolvable and a competent legal team could take care of it in a short time. And as displayed, there are other payment methods that allow you to conduct your business as usual.