Moving Company Merchant Accounts:
Voted the #1 High Risk Merchant Account Provider for 2015 and 2016, Soar Payments is focused on providing moving company merchant accounts for our clients that enable them to accept credit card payments in a retail, mobile setting, over the phone, online and via recurring billing.
Our goal is to be the undisputed best moving company merchant account provider for traditional home and office movers, booking agents, carriers, local and long-distance transportation companies, high value transporters, auto transporters, PBO transporters, van operators, logistics and warehouse companies, web and app based technology companies, and other businesses within the broader moving industry. To achieve that goal, we have to cater to the unique needs of the moving industry from a debit and credit card processing perspective. To assist in that regard, for the moving industry, we’ve created the following “moving company credit card processing cheat sheet”.
This page is designed to give moving related business owners a single place to obtain all the information they’ll need to obtain a retail, phone order, online or recurring billing moving company merchant account and have long term success when accepting credit and debit payments in their moving or transportation business.
Table of Contents
Getting and Setting Up A Merchant Account
Maintaining Your Moving Business:
Moving Industry Profile:
- There are approximately 7,000 moving companies operating at 14,000 locations, primarily providing moving and storage services for household and office goods in the United States.
- The moving industry employs 123,500 people with an annual payroll of $3.6 billion
- The moving industry is dominated by small businesses, 47.7% of industry companies employ fewer than 5 people.
- Approximately 36 million or 11.7% of Americans move in any given year.
It’s a great time to be in the moving industry.
At least that’s what a few home movers and specialty moving company owners have told me personally. That’s because as the US economy improves, more Americans are buying their first homes, upgrading homes or relocating for new jobs.
OK, it’s obviously not always perfect, after all there’s still a lot that can go wrong, particularly with payments, with moving businesses. Things like:
- Getting approved for a merchant account.
- Get the processing volume you need
- Avoiding & winning illegitimate chargebacks
The good news is, these problems are all solve-able. It took me about 9 hours of research, but I put together the below “moving company credit card processing cheat sheet” for entrepreneurs in the moving and transportation industry to help you avoid these pitfalls.
It’s my sincere hope that you find this article useful (because I’ve put a lot of time into it)… and if you need help with moving company credit card processing for your business, I’d love to help you with that, too. So let’s keep in touch (my email is: AdamCarlson@soarpay.com, don’t hesitate to email me!)
P.S. If you own a moving related company, and want affordable and easy credit card processing we can help you (in fact, moving related businesses are one of our specialties). Click here to begin a free online application.
September 14, 2016.
Categorization of the Moving Industry:
SIC Code: Businesses in the moving or transportation industry generally determine their SIC code by whether the mover is local or long-distance, and whether their service includes storage. The following SIC codes predominate:
- 4214: Local Trucking With Storage
- 4213: Trucking, Except Local
- 4212: Local Trucking Without Storage
- 4225: General Warehousing and Storage
- 4226: Special Warehousing and Storage, not elsewhere classified
See the entire list of SIC codes here.
NAICS Code: Moving companies and other moving related businesses generally use one of the following NAICS codes:
- 484210: Used Household and Office Goods Moving
- 4931: Warehousing and Storage
- 49311: General Warehousing and Storage
- 49312: Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage
- 49319: Other Warehousing and Storage
See the entire list of NAICS codes here.
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Getting a Moving Company Merchant Account
- How do I get a retail, phone order, mobile pay, or online moving company merchant account?
The short answer is to apply for a merchant account. The long answer is slightly more complicated, because most credit card processors do not accept moving companies because the industry is categorized as high risk. So you’ll need to apply with a high risk merchant account provider (like us).
When you apply, you’ll generally need to have the following information to include in your application:
- The owner’s social security number
- A copy of the owner’s ID or driver’s license
- A copy of a voided business check
- The most recent 3 months of credit card processing statements (if you’ve accepted credit cards previously)
Then, once you complete the application, it will be reviewed by the credit card processor’s underwriting team, and once approved, you’ll be able to accept credit card payments.
- So how do I find a moving company merchant account provider?
As discussed, because moving companies are categorized as high risk, you’ll need to establish an account with a high risk merchant account provider in order to accept credit and debit card payments. To find one, you can either Google it or if you have friends in the moving industry, consider asking them for a recommendation. In general, before you apply, it’s best to call the sales staff at the merchant services provider because the technology and underwriting guidelines are so often in flux that often website information is out of date.
- Does Soar Payments offer retail, mobile (in the field), recurring billing, and online merchant accounts for moving companies?
Yes. Soar Payments offers high risk merchant accounts for moving companies and moving related businesses. To apply for an account, complete our online application.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How do I get approved for high tickets?
One of the characteristics of the moving industry that makes it ‘high risk‘ from the perspective of a credit card processor is that the average sale amount is usually in the high hundreds or thousands of dollars. The reason that’s “risky” for a credit card processor is discussed elsewhere on this page, but suffice it to say that as a moving company, your credit card processor will want to limit the amount of any single sale you make. Therefore, it’s important when applying for a moving company merchant account to make sure that you make it clear that your high ticket limit should be set at no lower than $X, so that you’re able to conduct business as it best suits your business. If you’re not clear about asking for a specific transaction size, your merchant account might be approved with a lower limit which would force you to alter your business’ practices or pricing to continue operating under those restrictions.
- How do I get approved for a higher credit card processing volume?
If you have a new moving business, if you haven’t accepted credit cards in the past, or if your business is currently experiencing dramatic growth, then you may be approved for a moving company merchant account with a monthly volume cap that is not as high as you’d like. A monthly credit card processing volume cap means that you cannot exceed that amount of sales in credit cards in that month (usually with a little wiggle room of 10-15%). So, if your business is going to exceed that limit you have only one real option: wait until you have 3-6 months of credit card processing history and ask your existing merchant services provider to apply with the underwriter to have your monthly cap increased.
- What is an underwriter looking for when reviewing my moving company’s merchant account application?
A credit card processors underwriting team’s job is to make sure that providing credit card processing to that moving company makes good financial sense for the processor. The risk to reward calculus is fairly straightforward. On the reward side is the profit margin available to the credit card processor. But more important from a moving company’s credit card processor’s perspective is the risk of loss. Losses for merchant services providers come primarily in the form of chargebacks which are incurred by the business, but which the moving company is not able to pay for.
So, an underwriter examining a moving company is looking to see that the company maintains a decent consistently positive company bank balance, that they generally appear to pay their bills on time, that, if they’ve accepted credit cards in the past, that they’ve kept their chargebacks levels under control (or have a reasonable explanation for why they spiked up). And secondarily, they may look at the owner’s credit history, the online reputation of the moving company, the website to ensure that the business model looks reasonable, etc. In sum, they’re looking for signs that the business is responsibly operated and decently financed.
Therefore, to the extent you want your moving or transportation company to be approved for a merchant account, make sure that you’ve fully updated your website, that you have recent bank statements and credit card processing statements available, etc.
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If you’ve got a question about a moving company payment gateway, chargeback management tool, merchant account or anything else related to growing a moving or transportation business, shoot me your question directly: AdamCarlson@soarpay.com.
Ready to Get Started?
Ready to start accepting payments at your moving business, Click here to begin a free online application.
Why are Moving Companies Considered High Risk?
Company’s in the moving industry are considered high risk primarily due to three reasons:
- Large Average Tickets: Moving industry businesses, generally speaking, have a few large transaction sizes on their monthly credit card processing account. Because their average sale is generally well into the hundreds of dollars, a single chargeback is significantly more impactful in terms of risk to the credit card processor than a business with thousands of transactions in the $5 or $10 range.
- Non-Retail Transactions: Generally speaking, moving businesses take the majority of their credit card payments over the phone or via their website. Unfortunately, the risk of credit card fraud is significantly higher with these types of transactions as opposed to face to face transactions. To combat this, a lot of moving companies have begun to use mobile swipers out in the field to accept payments.
- Inherently Risky Service: The moving industry is a service based business, which is already more risky from a credit card processor’s perspective than a retail or eCommerce business, because there is more room for dispute between the customer and the merchant. Add to that that there is a lot that can go wrong in terms of broken or lost furniture, and the high risk nature of moving companies from a credit card processor’s perspective should be clear.
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Everything a Moving Company Needs to Know About Chargebacks
Residential and commercial movers unfortunately tend to face a higher chargeback risk than most businesses, due in large part to the fact that they have very high average tickets. Thus, when a customer is dissatisfied or attempts to avoid a legitimate charge by resorting to a chargeback, that single chargeback is more financially significant than one for say $40 or $50 dollars. Consequently, moving companies need to understand chargebacks and the chargeback process in order to avoid and manage them properly.
- What is a Chargeback?
Stated simple, a chargeback is when one of your customers calls their credit card provider (aka their ‘issuing bank’) and disputes the charge from your business. The customer has up to 6 months after a charge to dispute it, and they can dispute a charge for a variety of reasons ranging from: (a) the service was never provided, (b) the customer was over-billed, (c) the customer doesn’t recognize the charge, (d) the moving service provided wasn’t as advertised, etc.
No matter what the reason, once the customer has disputed the charge, your company’s credit card processor will immediately withdraw the money from your company’s bank account and it will be held in escrow until the dispute is resolved. You as the business owner, will then be responsible for disproving the customer’s accusation. If you win, you get the funds returned to you, if you lose, you lose the money. And, if you have a lot of chargebacks, not only it is it a giant hassle and expensive, but eventually your credit card processor will terminate your moving company’s merchant account.
- How do I keep my chargeback ratio low?
Chargebacks are expensive, and they can eventually get your moving company’s merchant account terminated. Thankfully there are a few reliable techniques you can use to keep your chargeback ratio low:
- Send confirmation and customer satisfaction emails:
One big reason that customers initiate chargeback disputes is that they either don’t recognize the charge or they think that it’s erroneous. You can eliminate most of these by having a clear payment descriptor (the name of your company listed on their credit card statement) and sending a detailed receipt that breaks out all of the various charges, taxes, total, etc. Additionally, make sure it lists a convenient phone number and email that they can contact your customer service department, so if there is a question or complaint they will contact you rather than their credit card issuer. Moreover, if a chargeback does happen, you’ll be better able to prove that the customer was fully informed of all charges.
- Integrate Customer Dispute Alerts:
A customer dispute alert (aka chargeback alerts) is a notification system that you can subscribe to which will inform you when a customer has attempted to initiate a chargeback, and provide you a three day window to refund the customer and avoid the chargeback. Obviously, this isn’t terribly useful if the customer initiates the dispute after the move has been completed. But in those instances where the chargeback dispute arises before the move has happened, it allows you the ability to just fully refund the customer and walk away from the transaction, as opposed to only finding out about the chargeback once the move has been completed.
- List All Refund / Dispute Policies Clearly:
In the moving industry, no matter how careful your team is, there will eventually be accusations that client’s furniture or other items were damaged or lost. By having clearly defined policies that were fully disclosed to and signed off by the customer, you ensure that a customer cannot simply initiate a chargeback and seek a full refund, but instead the customer will have their chargeback dispute denied and have to follow the refund / dispute policies as outlined.
- Fight Illegitimate Chargebacks Professionally:
A good number of chargebacks faced by moving companies are ‘friendly chargebacks’. That is, chargebacks initiated by legitimate customers who want to circumvent the refund / dispute process outlined in their agreement and try to get a better deal via the chargeback process. Unfortunately, the chargeback dispute process is highly technical and heavily weighted in favor of the customer. So, if you’re a small business, we’d highly recommend that you use a third-party that specializes in fighting chargebacks to ensure that your customers can’t get away with simply resorting to a chargeback every time they aren’t thrilled with your service.
Note: If you use the Soar Payments payment gateway a chargeback fighting service will be integrated into your gateway.
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Need Moving Company Merchant Services?
We’ve Got You Covered.
Soar Payments provides ACH, debit and credit card processing services to moving and transportation businesses, ranging from new startups accepting only retail to MoTo and eCommerce moving businesses processing via recurring billing. So when you’re ready, we’re ready.
- Send confirmation and customer satisfaction emails: