Automated Clearing House (ACH) has become a buzzword in the business world. It’s a network that links banks in the US, allowing them to safely and seamlessly transfer money to each other. ACH debits are only processed once or twice a day, but because they’re all done in a single electronic batch, it can significantly cut costs, both for banks and for the customers transferring their funds. And yes, it’s a safe payment system. Here’s why.
No physical cash
You may have heard that if a bank gets robbed, your savings are insured, so you’ll get the money back … up to a pre-set limit. But that’s only if the money was already in the bank’s possession. If you were in the lobby of the bank and hadn’t deposited your money yet, then you’re on your own, and whatever was stolen won’t be reimbursed by the bank. In this sense, passing payments from bank to bank is safer than any other form of payment, because the cash is always within the banks’ security (and insurance) cover. Plus, because the entire process is electronic, neither you nor your customers are holding physical money, so you’re at less risk for burglary.
Lower transaction fees
The fees for processing ACH payments can be lower than credit cards or checks, because they’re processed in bulk. ACH debits are always pre-approved by your customer, but they have two options. The customer can automate it and when the due date comes, the business can pull the funds from their account without further authorization from the customer. Option B, is where the customer pre-approves the bank-to-bank transaction, but still has to initiate it by ‘writing’ an eCheck.
eChecks give the customer more control, while ACH debit puts you (the business) at ease, because you don’t have to remind the customer or follow up. You just deal directly with the bank, making your cash flow more predictable. The payment is covered by the security systems of both banks, making it the safest way to transfer cash. It can be especially useful if your business receives subscriptions, premiums, instalments, or other consistently repeated payments of the same amount.
For more information on ACH payments, eChecks, credit card processing, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.