- Michelle Mattice
Are you on the Banking Industry's Naughty List?
Are you on the naughty list?
The TMF (Terminated Merchant File), otherwise known as the MATCH (Merchant Alert To Control High-Risk) list, is a list compiled and managed by the card companies, of business owners (merchants) whose accounts have been terminated in the past 5 years for any of a variety of reasons.
How do you get on it?
Lots of ways. Have you paid your bills? Have you had a ton of chargebacks? Have you done business that your payment processing solution or bank has not approved? PCI Non compliance...There are various other reasons as well.
Why is it so important? If you're business has been put on the list then it shuts you out of financial services for up to 5 years. The business', the social security numbers that are associated with the business, even if you are doing a joint tax return with your spouse...all of you can be effected. It can shut you out of getting lines of credit, bank accounts, mortgages, car loans, etc. For 5 years or more....yeah...that sucks.
One of the most common ways of ending up on the MATCH list is hiding what type of business you're doing. Say for example, you sell cannabis or hemp products...if the bank that you are using for your company bank account or the payment processing solution does not support your type of business, you can be put on the MATCH list.
By being on a non industry supporting financial solution you're committing bank fraud. This has happened a lot in the past in the hemp and cannabis industries. In the past, just to get banking services the legacy markets have often hidden the type of businesses they are by labeling themselves as something different. When the banking solution finds out the merchant was shut down and put on the list. They can also seize the money in the accounts.
Did you see where I mentioned BANK FRAUD? It's a serious thing. You could end up in federal prison (look at the ex CEO of Eaze https://mjbizdaily.com/two-convicted-in-cannabis-bank-fraud-case-sentenced-to-prison/). In the case of Eaze the merchant and the payment processor lied to the banks. They are serving time and paying huge fees. I don't know about you, but federal orange is so not my color.
So how do you keep yourself, your business, and your loved ones safe? And out of federal orange?
Work with banking solutions that will support your industry. It's now always easy but it's the best way. There are banks and payment solutions out there for the cannabis industry. Will you have to pay more for these services as the banking industry labels the industries as "elevated" or "high risk"? Yes. However, when you realize the long term outcome of not setting yourself up properly it's worth it. 5 years is a long time not to be able to use financial services.
If you're looking for an industry friendly bank, please let us know. We have a list of partners across the country. We also have payment processing solutions that will work with the hemp and cannabis industries. Don't worry...it just takes a few more steps but to keep your business and your personal financial world safe it's very worth it.