Terminated Merchant Facilities – What to Know

Understanding terminated merchant accounts

Merchant accounts can be blocked, declined or terminated depending on the issue, and each of these means very different things for individual merchant account providers. There isn’t a standard set of rules when accounts are penalised, but there are some general parameters surrounding each one.


Each Merchant account has a MCC (merchant category code) attached to it. This classifies what type of business the company provides – whether it’s services or goods, and it what specific industry. This code will dictate the restrictions imposed upon the business. For example, online gambling is illegal in America (apart from the sates of Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey) therefore the transactions will be blocked.


Also known as TMF (terminated Merchant File), occurs when an acquiring bank ends its contractual agreement with a merchant. This could happen for one of two reasons:

The acquiring bank is always assessing its appetite to risk. If the bank decides they no longer wish to operate in a certain sector they will serve the merchant anything between 15-30 days notice to find a new provider. If this has happened to you, contact our experts today.
The contract ends on negative terms which could mean the merchant will be blacklisted for five years. All TMF’s are added to one of three terminated merchant lists known as; MATCH list (Member Alert to Control High Risk.) TMF Database or VMAS (The Visa Merchant Alert Service.) Once a merchant is added to any one of the three lists it becomes almost impossible to secure another account from a different acquiring bank.

Why do banks terminate merchant accounts?

Terminating a merchant account is a drastic measure and will only occur as a last resort for issuing banks. A cancellation letter for merchant accounts is served by the account provider, normally giving a notice period of 30 days, or in more serious cases immediate notice. However, there are a number of reasons merchant accounts get terminated or declined, each falling under the MATCH code.

Account data compromise
Common point of purchase (CPP)
Excessive chargebacks
Excessive fraud
Fraud conviction
Violation of standards
Merchant collusion
PCI data security standard noncompliance
Illegal transactions
Identity theft

Served notice by Worldpay or other mainstream providers?

Our experts are speaking with clients who have been terminated by Worldpay and other mainstream providers, with little explanation given. If you have received a letter of notice from Worldpay, Elavon or Global Payments etc. then speak to us today. We can successfully secure alternatives to the likes of Worldpay, and reinstate card processing as soon as possible – enabling your business to run smoothly again. The extra benefit is, that if you have substantial transaction history, we can save you money in the process!


How to remove a terminated merchant file from the MATCH list

Merchants must first contact the acquiring bank that terminated the account. The bank that added a merchant to the MATCH list are the only ones that can process the removal

The match list is scaled depending on the severity of the reason for termination, and in some extreme circumstances there is no way of reclaiming it. However, more common causes for a terminated merchant account, like a high volume of chargebacks, will likely result in removal from the terminated merchant databases by the acquiring bank once all outstanding chargebacks are resolved.

If, however, you believe that you have been added to the terminated merchant file (MATCH) in error then you must work alongside the acquiring bank to determine if this is the case before they will remove you.

Can you still obtain a merchant account after termination?

Merchant accounts for terminated merchants are available, but it does mean that the number of providers and deals are reduced somewhat. Merchant providers review applications on a case-by-case basis, and will accept applications from some of the codes listed above.

Examples of some of the applications we have providers for fall under the following codes:

01. Account data compromise

04. Excessive chargebacks

05. Excessive fraud

10. Violations of standards

12. PCI data security standard non-compliance

If you have experienced any of the following codes, acquiring banks will not be able to provide an account, under the circumstances:

02.Common point of purchase (CPP)


07.Fraud conviction


11. Merchant collusion

12. Illegal transactions

13. Identity theft

Speak to our experts

At Merchant Advice Service, we can help if you have received a merchant services cancellation letter, we specalise in terminated merchant services. We can help businesses looking in the following areas:

terminated merchant consulting
terminated merchant services
Termination files given by Paypal
guidelines for terminated merchant databases
terminated merchant file issued by visa and MasterCard

If you would like more information on blocked, declined or terminated merchant accounts get in touch with Merchant Advice Service today. Our team of experts are on hand to advise and answer any questions you may have. If you are looking for a no fee, no obligation quote we can help.


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