eCommerce Basics: Mastercard’s MATCH List Explained

In an effort to deal with high volumes of chargebacks, prevent criminal activity and violations of card brand network regulations, Mastercard created what is known as the MATCH list. For any online business, it’s incredibly important to understand what the MATCH list is, how it can impact your business and how you can avoid it.

What is the MATCH list?

MATCH stands for (Member Alert to Control High Risk Merchants) and is a list created by Mastercard to compile information about merchants who have been closed by their card processors within the last 5 years. If you manage to end up on the MATCH list it can have a serious effect on your business, especially when it comes to applying for a new merchant account.

Acquiring banks will instantly refuse to accept any businesses or individuals that have been placed on MATCH. In the eyes of acquiring banks, Merchants listed on MATCH are considered to be extremely high risk.

How does Mastercard’s MATCH work?

When an acquirer terminates a merchant account, they can submit that merchant’s information to the MATCH list.

Mastercard has set out clear criteria as to what makes a merchant eligible. However, the actual placement comes at the discretion of the acquiring banks, without much oversight from Mastercard. If a MATCH listing has been made in error, the acquirer will need to contact Mastercard on behalf of the merchant to report that the addition was a mistake.

How can merchants avoid the MATCH list?

The most common reasons for merchants being added to MATCH are excessive chargebacks and excessive fraud, and without the right tools to keep things under control many merchants can find themselves being penalised by MATCH, without the opportunity for recourse.

To learn more about reducing chargebacks, read our blog post on how to reduce your chargebacks.

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