CTMF – Combined Terminated Merchant File

A CTMF – Combined Terminated Merchant File is a database that holds information about merchants who have been terminated by a service provider for some type of misconduct in violation of their merchant agreement, for example, fraudulent activity, having too many chargebacks or money laundering. CTMF is also known as “MATCH” – Member Alert to Control High Risk Merchants, or MasterCard Match list, a system created and managed by Mastercard.

The CTMF – combined terminated merchant file is used by acquiring banks to screen potential applicants to see if that applicant has been terminated in the past. If a decision is made to acquire, the terminated merchant file aids acquirers in whether to implement specific actions or conditions with respect to acquiring. Acquiring banks also have the ability to add or remove merchants to or from the CTMF (or MATCH database), given they have justification.

A CTMF – combined terminated merchant file – is effectively a blacklist and once a merchant is on the list it is highly unlikely that future merchant account applications will be approved and it is very difficult to remove yourself from this list. However if a merchant believes they have been added to the CTMF in error, they must contact and work with the acquirer who added the listing to the file. Only that acquirer can request an amendment or deletion of an entry in the CTMF.

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