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10 Key Payment Terms Every Self-Storage Professional Should Know

Written by Sue Creaser on October 29, 2018 under Payment Processing

 10 Key Payment Terms Every Self-Storage Professional Should Know

Need a cheat sheet when you process tenant payments? Check out these common payment terms as they relate to the self-storage industry.



ACH stands for Automatic Clearing House. ACH is a nationwide electronic funds transfer network which enables participating financial institutions to distribute electronic credit and debit entries to bank accounts and to settle such entries. In self-storage, ACH is utilized for depositing your daily tenant rents for credit card sales, drafting the tenant’s bank account and retrieving your monthly fees.


AVS stands for Address Verification Service and is provided by the bank issuing the credit card. It is one way to help prevent fraudulent transactions and reduces credit card fees. During a card-not-present credit card transaction, AVS checks the billing address against the address registered with the bank.

Bank Response

A Bank Response contains transaction results that identify why a transaction has failed or been declined. These failed or declined reasons help the manager understand the next course of action.


Chargebacks occur when a customer disputes a charge on a credit card. The customer contacts the card issuer who initiates the dispute process.


CVV stands for Card Verification Value. A CVV is a unique code printed on the back or front of your credit card. Merchants ask for this code to help ensure the card is actually in the tenant’s possession. CVVs are never stored and is only available on the actual card, so hackers are less likely to access a CVV.


EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. EMV is technology that utilizes a microprocessor chip embedded in a credit card to store cardholder data and protect it from theft. Sometimes it is referred to as a chip card or a smart card.


EFT stands for Electronic Funds Transfers. EFT is often used interchangeably with ACH, however EFT is a more general term that covers any type of electronic transfer of funds, including credit card, debit card, wire transfers and more.


A payment gateway is typically used by self-storage software to securely transmit payment data, like credit card or ACH information, from the merchant (i.e., the storage facility) to a financial institution.


Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) are associated with bad checks or bounced checks. They signify there is not enough money in a checking account to cover a transaction. Banks and ACH providers may charge an NSF fee for insufficient funds.


The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is an information security standard defined by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. These standards cover all aspects of cardholder data in a system and include card data entry, processing and secure payment applications. PCI DSS certifications are issued to a business following a detailed audit to ensure credit card data is stored, processed and transmitted in a secure and protected manner. Level 1 designates PCI's highest standard of software and server security certification. SiteLink maintains Level 1 certification.

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There are lots of myths in popular culture such as the Great Wall being visible from space; chewing gum takes seven years to digest and you should wait an hour to swim after eating. The self-storage industry has its own myths that can and do impact a self-storage operation. Believing in the self-storage myths can put your reputation at risk, result in lost occupancy, reduced your rate of rental and put you in a difficult situation when new competition comes to your area.

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