Even if you’ve never been on the dreaded Terminated Merchant File (also known as TMF MATCH) list, you need to take measures to ensure that you don’t end up on it.
How? For starters, rethink whom you do business with. Signing up with the wrong processor greatly increases your chance of landing on the MATCH file, especially for incidental reasons like fee discrepancies.
Sign up with reputable processors and have a thorough understanding of the provisions in the merchant account application, particularly the contract period and any associated termination fees. Also, it’s a good idea to understand the rules of Visa and MasterCard. Knowing about the MATCH file and the general regulations of Visa and MasterCard can help when trying to get off of it – or stay off.
Preventative measures can help you to stay off the TMF – measures such as fraud detection and an effective transaction management system that prevents mistakes like authorizing transactions multiple times, charging cancelled cards and other oversights.
Tips for staying off the TMF list:
- Don’t go over your officially authorized maximum sales without permission from your merchant processor.
- Provide your customers with up-to-date information about how and when you will debit funds from their accounts. Give them easy access to contact methods for them to reach you with any of their questions, concerns or complaints. Respond to all inquiries in a timely fashion.
- List your customer support phone number on your customers’ monthly statements. If they don’t recognize your debit they should call you first before hastily-and mistakenly-disputing the charge.
- Provide excellent customer service and stay in touch with your customers. Send emails, call them to confirm higher-than-normal charges or to solicit customer feedback, and send newsletters. The more they know you the better the more they will feel comfortable with and trust you.
- Monitor transactions closely with a transaction management system, so that you can protect your business from an expensive interruption of service.
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