Quick guide for an effective ACH payment strategy

eCheck payment processing is an easy way for businesses to save time and money. At Payline, we offer this essentially as a value-added tool for our clients, where you can add an automatic clearing house (ACH) system to your account and still use all of the other features, from online sales to storing profiles and recurring payments. Let’s see how to make the most out of it. 

Automated clearing house explained

ACH is an eCheck payment processing system that lets consumers and businesses perform bank-to-bank transactions to both send and receive funds. All funds will directly go from one bank account to another. Customers only need to provide account numbers, and banks will settle the payments directly. No sweat. 

This transfer method has been gaining popularity in the US over the years. The National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) oversees all ACH transactions in the US. In 2019, NACHA processed 24.7 billion ACH transactions, making the ACH one of the country’s largest banking systems.

There are two kinds of ACH: payments initiated by the customer, known as an ACH push, or by the business, known as an ACH pull. For an ACH push, the customer pushes funds from their bank account to the business’ bank or payment system. And for an ACH pull, the business initiates the payment. Unlike credit card transfers, ACH is directly between the accounts of the payer and the recipient, and payments are usually bundled in bulk. Typically, one push transaction happens on the same day or the next business day, and pull transfers take around one to two business days, but same-day transactions are gradually becoming a norm. 

If you adopt eCheck payment processing as a payment option, there will be an annual fee and also charges per transaction. Even so, these fees are lower than the average credit card charges. At Payline, our ACH service costs less than 10 cents per transaction, as opposed to a dollar on average when using paper checks. This perk makes ACH a more cost-effective and quicker option to make eCheck payments. 

Why ACH matters

If you run a business on a thin margin, ACH is ideal for maintaining your cash flow as there is little delay in the transactions and fees are generally much lower than credit cards or eChecks. Unlike other payments that may take days or even weeks to process, ACH will give you quicker access to cash, and its cents-per-transaction price model will incur significantly less cost than the credit card platform’s percentage-based fees. These advantages make ACH a good alternative for saving money and time.

Also, ACH provides a gateway to potential customers without access to credit cards. With eCheck payment processing, they can now make purchases with their bank accounts. One more advantage is that users won’t need to tediously input their personal card and can potentially complete the purchase within the same day. That’s why ACH can cater to more customers while providing an enhanced shopping experience to existing ones. 

Choosing the right provider 

Before you decide whether eCheck payment processing is for you, you should first understand your business’ nature. If you have a growing customer base that prefers quick or recurring transactions, or if you want to provide more convenience for your potential customers, then ACH may work. In this case, you need to ensure your business can deliver turnarounds quickly. It will be counterintuitive to make recurring purchases available but without sufficient inventory stocks or delivery, capabilities to support that. Besides, review your website and verify that all pages can load and display quickly, as a slow website will undermine the convenience of ACH anyway. So it’s crucial first to make sure that your business is ready for this change.

Then, consider how ACH would integrate with your current payment model. For example, are you replacing credit card payments with ACH, or is ACH going to complement your existing payment methods? Think about how your payment system supports ACH, and whether you can access a clear record of your ACH transactions. You will also encounter problems like billing errors or bounce payments with ACH. In this case, make sure there is adequate technical support so you won’t be facing troubles alone. Even better, test the ACH platform rigorously beforehand, so you can make sure it integrates well with your other systems. Other than that, compare the pricing models and offerings of each ACH service provider and see whether they suit you. Every provider offers something slightly different, so make sure you choose the one that fits you the most. 

Communication with customers is also key to a successful eCheck payment processing strategy. Once you’ve decided to adopt this system, let your customers know that they now have a new payment method that is easier, cheaper, and faster, and setting up recurring payments is now easier than before. At the same time, also let them know the expectations. The services require the bank account number, and it’s up to them to make sure there is sufficient money in the bank accounts for recurring payments. Making sure they’re comfortable with the obligations will make the transition much smoother.

Payline as your ACH partner

When you submit an application, make sure to bring any supporting documentation, such as account details, credit score, and past eCheck payment processing statements. The process may take time, but at Payline, we’re here to help. As your eCommerce payment partner, we will integrate your systems with our ACH gateway. Our highly-trained representatives are always ready to provide support whenever you need it. We also offer a competitive 10c-per transaction fee across different markets, so you can invest more time and money in growing your business. Speak with our representatives today and see how we can make a difference with eCheck payment processing, also known as ACH.

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