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Checks 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 losses.

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.

  1. 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.)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 third-party references.

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 agencies directly.

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.


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