High Risk

TMF Merchant Account

A person using a laptop with a calculator and money next to them.
Lizzy Rosenberg
September 11, 2023

A TMF merchant account gives you the ability to accept payments at your business even if you have been placed on the MATCH list. The key with obtaining payment processing at this stage is finding a reliable high risk merchant account provider that has the options you need.

What Is A TMF Merchant Account?

In short, TMF stands for Terminated Merchant File. It’s a general ruling by credit card providers that for one reason or another you did not qualify for payment processing. More than that, it’s an indicator to other merchant providers that you may not qualify in the future.

Nonetheless, if you are able to resolve the issues that lead to your terminated file, then there should be hope for you to accept payments. After all, how are you going to run a successful company without having the basic capability of accepting credit cards?

A person looking concerned with a laptop in front of them.

Reasons Why You’ve Obtained TMF Status

As you well know, when applying for a merchant account there is a slew of paperwork and documentation you have to submit. As a result, your merchant account application becomes a record of businesses. More than that, payment processors have a list of your accounts that have been terminated by acquiring banks due to various reasons. Some of those reasons may included:

1. Excessive Chargebacks - If you have operated a business where many customers request refunds and you don’t honor them, then it’s possible you’ll have a large percentage of chargebacks. The baseline for most banks is 1%, any amount above that can cause issues and get you thrown in the lion’s den of closed accounts. 

2. Fraud - This one goes without saying because you know you’re guilty of it from the moment it happens. If you’re using a merchant account illegally to manipulate money, charge credit cards wrongfully, or launder funds for a criminal empire, then you’ve rightfully found TMF status for good reason. 

3. Agreement Violations - This one is more subtle, and has to do with the fine print in your merchant agreement. Some issues we see come up are problems with reserve accounts, high ticket sales, or high processing volume.

Solutions For TMF Payment Processing

Not to worry, if your business finds itself on the TMF list there are ways forward to get the payment processing solutions you need. Here are the essential steps you can take to get processing from some alternative sources.

1. Contact Zen Payments: Zen Payments has experience working with TMF merchants and can guide you to the right resource. We’ve helped similar merchants who have unique scenarios, and we offer a new hope for those who have overcome the shortfalls of their past account violations.

2. Resolve The Issues: Obviously, it’s important to not be a repeat-offender. Identify the reasons for your account termination and take steps to fix what happened initially. You may need to reduce your chargeback rates, address fraud concerns, or ensure compliance with processing agreements.

3. Communicate Issues: As you reach out to acquiring banks and payment processors, be extremely honest about the problems you faced and how you overcame them. Repent and improve yourself, this is the best path toward your future growth.

4. Review High Risk Options: Now, there aren’t a lot of options out there, but any shopping around you’ll be doing should be focused on high-risk merchant account providers. They will be more willing to work with businesses on the TMF list, although these may come with higher processing fees.

5. Financial Health: Focus on strengthening your business's reputation. Obtain sales with no chargebacks, and improve your overall financial stability.

Get Started With
Zen Payments

Our merchant service specialists are the best in the business and will work with you from start to finish to get your account approved!

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Lizzy joined the Zen Payments team following her graduation from Utah Valley University. As a dedicated customer service representative, she brings extensive experience in client relations and customer support. Lizzy is committed to delivering exceptional service to all Zen Payments clients.

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