DO YOU HAVE A PREVIOUS TMF?

Do you have a TMF?

This is a question you will see on any application to open a new merchant account, yet many people do not know what it means. Merchant accounts are so complex that some areas are never explained to you unless it applies to you. If you are a brand new company opening your first merchant account, you do NOT have a previous TMF. TMF and MATCH list are a blacklist of names in the merchant services industry.

TMF (Terminated Merchant File) applies to merchants who have had a previous merchant account closed due to breaching their contract. This is most likely caused by not paying your monthly fees. Your processing bank will issue a TMF until you pay what you owe them. Having this TMF on your record is similar to having a bankruptcy. This blemish will make it next to impossible to open a new account because banks will see that you breached your last contract and think you are too much of a risk. A TMF will also stay on your record for seven years. It stays on your business name and your personal name.

This means that you cannot apply for an account under your name or for your business. You will need to find another signer with a clean record to open the account for you, and open a new business legal name. If it is possible for you to open an account for this business it will be at a very high rate.

If your processing bank does issue a TMF your account will be closed. They will send you an explanation of why you were TMF’d and sometimes instructions on how to clear the TMF. If you do receive this notification it is best to call the bank and get help on how to move forward. Since a TMF can be the end of your business it is best to explore your options. Sometimes it is very simple to clear up.


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