Dynamic statement descriptors for a better payment experience

Statement descriptors are the text that describe transactions presented to us by our digital banking feeds (or paper statements) so that we can recognize them. Setting thoughtful and clear statement descriptors not only improves user experience through ease of recognition but can also reduce disputes.

While it’s ultimately up to your bank to determine what information appears in your transaction feed, card brands and other payment rails afford us different options for passing along useful descriptions. Moov defaults to the most relevant business name but has to truncate depending on the payment network limit. We provide the flexibility to make your own decision on how to best use the allowed space and send additional information. Descriptors can be set at the account level or passed with a transfer.

For card payments, Moov will:

  • Use the statement descriptor added to a transfer OR
  • Use the statement descriptor set on a Moov account OR
  • Default to the DBA or legal business name of the Moov account truncated based on payment network limits

Providing a statement descriptor on each transfer offers the opportunity to add context about what the payment was for, not just who it was paid to. For example, if the merchant is a gym selling different classes, details about the class and membership can be added to the description:

statement descriptor example

Similarly for ACH, the company name and company entry description fields of a Nacha file entry can be adjusted so that the recipient can more easily recognize the transaction. Banks determine how this information shows up but are generally regulated to at least include company name and company entry description in descriptors.

Moov has smart fallbacks based on the parties involved in the transaction and the direction money is flowing, but this default functionality can be replaced with the following options:

  • Customize the originating company name and company entry description for a single transfer OR
  • Use the company name set on a Moov account with auto-selected contextual entry descriptions OR
  • Default to the DBA or legal business name of the Moov account truncated to 16 characters

Setting the company entry description on each transfer lets you describe the purpose of the transaction. Consider this bank-to-bank transfer example where two distinct ACH entries are generated for debiting one bank account and crediting another, each with their own unique statement descriptors.

  "source": {
    "paymentMethodID": "some ach-debit-*payment method",
    "achDetails": {
      "companyEntryDescription": "Gym Dues",
      "originatingCompanyName": "Whole Body Fit"
  "destination": {
    "paymentMethodID": "some ach-credit* payment method",
    "achDetails": {
      "companyEntryDescription": "07-04-2022",
      "originatingCompanyName": "Classbooker"

Creating easy-to-recognize statement descriptors doesn’t have to be a chore and no one understands your use case better than you. Moov understands flexibility is needed, that’s why we give you full control of the details.

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