made as part of the application
Merchants typically collect payment in advance of providing the product
or service as well as providing some sort of quality assurance (e.g. will
be delivered, can be returned, satisfaction guarantee, etc.). Therefore,
the risk born by an acquirer is similar to providing a line of credit.
If a merchant acts poorly and the business can't or won't remedy the situation,
the merchant account provider is then liable for all the chargebacks and
As part of the application process, and only done once we have received
all the relevant documentation back and we start to process your application,
we perform four main checks.
- MATCH Database - The MATCH File (Member Alert
to Control High-Risk) is maintained by MasterCard International and
is the way by which MasterCard and Visa acquiring banks identify merchants,
and the principals, which have been terminated for specific reasons.
These checks find information such as when a merchant has been convicted
of credit card fraud, deposited sales that were not authorized by
cardholders, deposited transaction that were for sales generated by
another business (known as laundering.)
- TMF Database
- If the acquiring bank ends the processing contract with the merchant
on negative terms, it is most likely that the account will be terminated.
A TMF merchant account also known as a terminated merchant file is
the worst thing that can happen to your business. If your merchant
account comes under a “TMF” it means that your account
has been blacklisted and will remain so for a minimum of 5 years.
Once an account is blacklisted, it is almost impossible to come back
from it and you will be unable to get an account from any other bank.
- The Visa Merchant Alert Service (VMAS) - VMAS
is one of the only effective pan-European terminated merchant files
available. It helps acquirers maintain the quality of new customers,
and provides alerts of ‘acquirer hopping’ - merchants
moving from acquirer to acquirer, either within their own country
or outside. VMAS is fully compliant with European Commission data
protection guidelines on data retention, security and usage.
- Credit Checks
- During our assessment of your application, we will use the services
of credit reference agencies to confirm your home address and calculate
your personal credit score. Information held by the credit reference
agencies is used by us and others to help verify the identity of customers
and to assess their ability to meet financial commitments. This enables
accounts to be opened more quickly and reduces the need to obtain
To enable us to form an accurate view of the existing financial commitments
of customers, credit reference agencies may link the records of “financial
associates” (such as spouses, family members, or cohabiters) who
have entered into joint financial obligations. Once linked, this association
means that each of the records will be taken into account in all future
applications for credit by either financial associate and will continue
until one of them successfully files a “disassociation” with
the credit reference agencies by establishing that this financial link
no longer exists.
Information held about you by the credit reference agencies may already
be linked to records relating to one or more of your “financial
associates”. If so, for the purposes of any application to us for
services you may be treated as financially linked and if so your application
will be assessed with reference to any associated records. Further details
about “financial association”, “disassociation”,
and credit reference agencies are available by contacting the credit reference
We may make periodic searches of our records, credit reference agencies,
and fraud prevention agencies to manage your account, and to take decisions
regarding your account and the terms under which we have opened it, including
whether or not to confirm or extend your account.
You have the right of access to your personal records held by credit
reference and fraud prevention agencies. We will supply the names and
addresses of the agencies we use upon request.
By submitting the application documents you confirm that you
have read the foregoing and agree to us obtaining the aforementioned information
during our assessment of your application for payment processing services.