Is it safe to pay or accept payment by eCheck? The short answer is yes. eCheck services are actually safer than using a paper check, and the ACH network (which eCheck services use) processes over $43 trillion in payments every year.
What makes eCheck services safe?
eCheck services are safer than paper checks for two very simple reasons.
- Unlike paper checks, which can be intercepted, and often still need to be viewed and often entered manually by a person at the bank or institution that receives the payment, eChecks are transmitted securely and processed automatically, reducing the opportunities for the payment to be intercepted, as compared with a paper check.
- eCheck services use specific authentication to verify that an eCheck service is not being used fraudulently. In order to be ACH compliant, an eCheck service automatically verifies that all information entered is a current and correct match for the information on file with the issuing bank. eCheck services even have fail-safes that prevent errors that human oversight may not always detect.
- In order to accept eChecks, the merchant is verified, so buyers can be confident that the merchant is legitimate. Additionally, in the event that any merchant did anything to misuse their eCheck account, that merchant would be subject to having their account terminated, so buyers can be sure that the merchant has a track record of being honest in the past.
How do eCheck services work?
An eCheck service includes 4 basic steps to ensure the safe processing of an ACH payment.
- Authorization. One thing that makes eCheck secure is the authorization process each and every eCheck payment undergoes, which verifies that complete and correct information has been entered about the origination account and institution.
- Processing. With ACH payments, this step is automatic. All the information for processing is included in the initial eCheck transaction, including the correct and verified amount.
- Finalization. This is another security step, one that verifies that all information is correct, though it focuses more heavily on the information about the institutions the payment is being transferred between. Once this step has been verified, the funds are transferred out of the payer’s bank.
- Depositing. While it may seem like the payment being sent by the payer’s bank would be simultaneous with it arriving (and with eCheck services is all but simultaneous) the ACH network actually secures and verifies it as a separate step, adding an extra layer of security and verification to the process.
Increasingly, customers no longer carry or even use paper checks. Having a dedicated checking solution, like an eCheck service, that allows the processing of those payments without the need for physical copies is crucial today and will become even more so in the future.
If your company doesn’t currently have the ability to process eCheck payments, consider using a service like Charge.com, which provides both eCheck processing and credit card processing. They can be reached at their site or (888)924-2743