Self Storage Merchant Services
Your storage facility has the opportunity to achieve higher revenues by accepting credit and debit cards, as well as enrolling customers in automatic recurring payments. Credit card processing makes payments easy and convenient for both self-storage companies and customers. Don’t limit your business to paper check payments, automatic recurring payments allows payments to process instantly, and means less time harassing customers for payments. Soar Payments will help your self-storage facility establish flexible payment solutions with a self-storage business merchant account today.
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Storage Facility Merchant Accounts
Our friendly expert merchant managers will help you understand your businesses’ credit card processing options.
We will match you with a trusted acquiring bank, processor and gateway from our network of domestic and offshore banks.
Self-Storage Merchant Accounts:
Voted the #1 High Risk Merchant Account Provider for 2015 and 2016, Soar Payments is focused on providing retail, phone, online and recurring billing self storage merchant accounts for our clients.
Our goal is to be the undisputed best storage merchant account provider for self-storage, wine storage and other storage facility businesses for retail, phone, recurring payment / payment gateway, and ecommerce payments. To achieve that, we have to understand the unique needs of the storage industry from a credit card processing perspective. For the storage industry, we’ve created the below “storage credit card processing cheat sheet”. It’s designed to give storage related business owners a single place to obtain all the information they’ll need to obtain a retail, phone order, online or recurring billing storage merchant account and have long-term success when accepting credit and debit payments in their self storage company.
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A Note From Our CEO
Adam CarlsonSoar Payments, CEO
It’s a great time to be in the self-storage industry.
At least that’s what a few self storage and wine storage specialty owners have told me personally. (One guy I spoke to recently has grown revenues 50% YoY in his first 3 years.)
OK, it’s obviously not always that good, after all there’s still a lot of hassles and and a lot that can go wrong, particularly with payments, with your storage business. Things like:
- Getting approved for recurring billing.
- Making sure your merchant account integrates with your software
- Avoiding & winning chargebacks
The good news is, these problems are all solve-able. It took me about 8 hours of research, but I put together the below “storage credit card processing cheat sheet” for entrepreneurs in the self storage, wine storage and other storage related businesses to help you avoid these pitfalls.
It’s my sincere hope that you find this article useful (because I’ve put a lot of work into it)… and if you need help with self storage credit card processing for your business, I’d love to help you with that, too. So let’s keep in touch (my email is: firstname.lastname@example.org, don’t hesitate to email me!)
P.S. If you own a self storage business, and want affordable and easy credit card processing we can help you (in fact, self storage related businesses are one of our specialties). Click here to begin a free online application.
June 13, 2016
Storage Industry Profile:
- There are approximately 50,000 primary self storage facilities in the United States.
- Nearly 10% of Americans currently rent a self storage unit, a 65% increase in the last 15 years.
- Self-storage has been the fastest growing sector of commercial real estate usage over the last 35 years.
- The self storage industry accounts for $225 billion in market capitalization.
- The self-storage industry is dominated by 90% small business owned facilities, with the top 5 companies making up the last 10%.
Categorization of the Storage Industry:
SIC Code: Businesses in the storage or warehousing industry would generally fall into one of the following SIC codes:
- 422: Public Warehousing and Storage
- 4225: General Warehousing and Storage
- 4226: Special Warehousing and Storage, not elsewhere classified
- 4222: Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage
- 4221: Farm Product Warehousing and Storage
See the entire list of SIC codes here.
NAICS Code: Self storage or other warehousing related businesses generally use one of the following NAICS codes:
- 4931: Warehousing and Storage
- 49311: General Warehousing and Storage
- 49312: Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage
- 49313: Farm Product Warehousing and Storage
- 49319: Other Warehousing and Storage
See the entire list of NAICS codes here.
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The largest US storage companies:
The storage industry is dominated (90% of market share) by small independent businesses of which there are tens of thousands. There are, however, a handful of large industry players. A few of the largest publicly traded storage companies are listed below:
- Public Storage: Founded in 1982 in Southern California, there are 2,200 Public Storage facilities throughout the US, Canada and Europe. The company employs 5,300 people, and had gross revenue of $2.38 billion
- Extra Space Storage Inc.: Extra Space Storage (NYSE: EXR) is a publicly traded REIT, founded in 1977. The company has 1,370 locations and annual revenues of $782.27 million.
- U-Haul International Inc.: Founded in 1945, U-Haul has over 16,000 locations and over $4.02 billion in annual gross revenues.
- CubeSmart: Based in Pennsylvania, publicly traded CubeSmart (NYSE: CUBE) has 514 locations and $283 billion in annual revenue, and is one of the largest storage providers in the north east, particularly New York.
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Getting a Storage Merchant Account
How do I get a retail, recurring billing or online self storage merchant account?
Getting a self storage merchant account generally requires you to obtain a high risk merchant account. To do that, you simply apply with a high risk merchant services provider that accepts self storage businesses (like us).
When you apply, you’ll generally need to have the following information available:
- The owner’s social security number
- The owner’s drivers license or ID
- The business’ tax ID or EIN
- A voided business check
- Recent credit card processing statements (if you’ve accepted credit cards in the past
Then, once you complete the online application, your application will be reviewed by the storage credit card processor’s underwriting department, and typically within 1-4 days you’ll get an approval, and can start accepting credit card payments.
So how do I find a self storage merchant account provider?
The easiest answer is to Google it, then build a short list of companies that advertise that they offer self storage merchant accounts (with recurring billing assuming you’ll want that), and then either start calling or completing online applications. The reason sometimes calling first makes sense, is that because self storage businesses are considered high risk merchant accounts, the underwriting guidelines can change frequently, so sometimes the information on websites is out of date.
Does Soar Payments offer retail, recurring billing, and online self storage merchant accounts?
Yes, we do. We offer high risk storage merchant accounts for almost every type of storage related business. To obtain an account just complete our 5 minute online application, we’ll then email you a PDF copy of your application which lists all terms and pricing for your eSignature, and once approved, you can begin accepting credit cards.
How do I get a higher credit card processing volume limit?
For storage merchant accounts, e.g wine storage, specialty storage, self storage, or refrigerated storage, you’ll generally be approved to process credit cards up to a certain monthly limit, say $100,000 in sales per month. If, however, you were to run a really successful promotion you might need $200,000 in monthly sales. In general, you’ll need to simply call your high risk credit card processor and let them know why you’ll need your limit increased, and generally you’ll receive the increase.
What is an underwriter looking for when reviewing my self storage merchant account application?
An underwriter at a credit card processor is looking to ensure that the credit card processors risk is in proportion to the financial benefit of the merchant account. So, the first thing they look at is the risk of loss to the credit card processor. Merchant accounts generate financial losses when chargebacks go unpaid or monthly bills go unpaid. So, the underwriter is looking for signs that the business has high levels of chargebacks, ACH rejects, or keeps a low balance in their business’ bank account.
So, if you want to be approved by an underwriter, try to present your business in the best light possible as one that is stable, well financed, with a good handle on chargebacks and with a strong business model.
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Question? Ask Away. We’re Ready to Help.
If you’ve got a question about a self storage payment gateway, chargeback management tool, merchant account or anything else related to growing a storage related business, shoot me your question directly: AdamCarlson@soarpay.com.
Ready to Get Started?
Ready to start accepting payments at your self storage business, Click here to begin a free online application.
Reviews of Self Storage Payment Gateways
If your self storage company accepts payments over the phone or mail (typically called MOTO payments) or over the internet (called eCommerce) or via monthly payments (called recurring payment) then you’ll need what’s called a self storage payment gateway.
A payment gateway is basically just a piece of software that you access via a computer login which allows you (or the cardholder) to enter the credit card data and securely transmit it to the credit card processor. Essentially the payment gateway for the self storage business takes the place of a credit card terminal in which for retail transactions the customer physically swipes (or now inserts the chip) of their credit card into a machine. There are dozens of payment gateways available, but most self storage businesses use one of just a few:
- Authorize.net Payment Gateway: This is the most popular payment gateway overall. Owned by Visa, it’s simple to setup, it’s fairly cheap, and it integrates with most software platforms. Unfortunately, it’s not ideal for the storage industry because it doesn’t integrate well with most chargeback management systems, which, if you’re using recurring billing (aka you bill customers monthly) then you’ll want chargeback management to help control them. That said, a decent option.
- Soar Pay Payment Gateway: The Soar Payments Payment Gateway is built for high risk businesses, and as a result is a popular choice with self storage companies who use monthly or recurring billing, as it comes integrated with a fraud filter, chargeback alerts, and chargeback fighting system. Additionally, because it is built on the NMI platform, the Soar Payments payment gateway integrates with most of the software programs and platforms that self-storage companies use.
- USAePay Gateway:
Typically the cheapest self storage payment gateway available, USAePay is a competitor of Authorize.net for many low risk businesses. If your business primarily accepts retail (in person) payments, and you only occasionally bill your customers on a monthly recurring basis, preferring instead a one-time annual fee, then this will typically be 2-3 cents per transaction cheaper than Authorize.net or the Soar Pay Payment Gateway. It is important to check whether your software platform integrates with USAePay, however, as they have more limited integration options.
A quick word about pricing: Payment gateways for storage businesses, are typically priced with a monthly fee and a per transaction fee. For example, you might pay $15 per month, and an additional $0.15 per transaction to accept payments via your payment gateway. Generally, because your self storage merchant services provider will be a reseller for most major payment gateways, their buy rate will be significantly cheaper than you can obtain on your own, thus, it’s typically best to obtain your payment gateway through your merchant account provider.
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Everything a Self Storage Business Needs to Know About Chargebacks
Self storage business owners unfortunately tend to face a higher chargeback ratio than most businesses, in large part because they use recurring monthly billing, which causes some customers to ‘chargeback’ their purchases in an attempt to get out of their contract. As a consequence, storage businesses need to understand chargebacks, and how to avoid and handle them properly.
What is a Chargeback?
A chargeback is when a customer of your storage facility calls their issuing bank (e.g. Chase if they have a Chase credit card) and disputes the charge. This could be because the customer is just trying to get out of paying for their monthly contract, or because they legitimately feel like they didn’t receive the service they were promised. In any case, when this happens the customer’s issuing bank, contacts the merchants bank (aka your merchant account provider) and the funds in question are held in escrow. Then you, the self-storage facility owner, have to provide evidence that the charge was legitimate and authorized. If you win, you keep the funds, if you lose, the funds go back to the customer. And if you have enough of these, your self storage merchant account will be terminated.
How do I keep my chargeback ratio low?
Chargebacks are expensive, and they can eventually get your self storage 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:
When you bill a customer for their monthly charge, make sure they receive an email receipt, which lists your credit card descriptor (what shows up on their monthly credit card statement) as well as the amount. That way if they search their email wondering what the charge is, they’ll find it. Additionally, consider sending out customer satisfaction emails a few days after a customer’s initial order. That’s the period when most chargebacks happen, so if you can speak to a disgruntled customer before they resort to a chargeback, you can usually diffuse the situation.
- Integrate Customer Dispute Alerts:
A customer dispute alert (aka chargeback alerts) tell you when a customer has initiated a chargeback, and provide you with a 3 day window to work out the issue with the customer and/or issue a full refund, which will avoid the chargeback (and its associated costs and hassles) entirely. At Soar Payments, we’ve integrated chargeback alerts into the Soar Payments payment gateway.
- Fight Chargebacks Aggressively:
There’s a good amount of friendly fraud (an industry term for people who legitimately made a purchase but just want to get out of paying for it) in the self storage industry. So if you’re not aggressively fighting your chargebacks it’s the same as just letting people get away with not paying for their storage space (but even worse because you usually have to pay chargeback fees to your credit card processor). If you use the Soar Payments payment gateway this chargeback fighting service will be integrated into your gateway.
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Learn More About Self Storage Business Merchant Accounts
Click on the tabs below to learn more about self-storage facility merchant accounts through Soar Payments.
· Recurring billing for hassle-free monthly payments
· Point-of-sale (POS) swipers for in person credit card transactions
· E-commerce gateways for easy online payment options
· Free virtual terminals for convenient over the phone payment processing
Need Self Storage Merchant Services?
We’ve Got You Covered.
Soar Payments provides ACH, debit and credit card processing services to storage businesses, ranging from new startups accepting only retail to eCommerce storage businesses processing only via recurring billing. So when you’re ready, we’re ready.