ACH payment processing

Editorial Team

3 min read
Woman writing in checkbook

Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment processing services allow you to accept electronic check payments, increase sales, and reduce the costs associated with paper check processing. For small businesses looking to help improve their bottom line, ACH payment processing provides valuable benefits – such as the ability to:

  • Expand processing capabilities and provide flexible payment options
  • Integrate check readers to electronically deposit checks to your bank account for simplified payments
  • Help prevent eCheck (ACH) fraud by complying with National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) standards
  • Save time and money by eliminating trips to your bank

Simplifying transactions: What is ACH payment processing?

With an ACH processing solution, you can provide customers with another flexible payment option and accept electronic checks safely and efficiently. Similar to the paper check process, ACH payments are transmitted electronically for faster authorization and simplified transactions. You save time and cut costs associated with traditional check payments, while improving customer service and increasing profits.

How do ACH payments work? A quick primer

The ACH payment process is similar to the traditional paper check process although governed by different authorities: clients provide their bank routing and checking account numbers. The payment is verified and sent electronically through a system pursuant to NACHA rules and regulations for the transfer of funds.

Because the ACH network processes transactions in batches rather than in real time, this payment method often costs less than accepting checks or credit cards. Further, since you only need to establish a connection between a sender and receiver once, the ACH network is ideal for recurring bill payments. Additionally, ACH payment processing is the method used for direct deposit payroll.

However, there are a couple limitations when using this payment method. For example, the ACH network is exclusively for payments made in the United States and Puerto Rico. Although you can use your small business’s bank account as a funding source, you cannot initiate payments via credit or debit card. The ACH payment processing method only transfers money from one bank account to another.

ACH payment processing for increased convenience

ACH/eCheck payments can be accepted through multiple channels including:

  • A virtual terminal which allows you to log into an online web form from any device to process in-person, telephone, or mail orders
  • An online checkout form on your eCommerce site
  • A POS system with integrated check readers to electronically deposit checks to your bank account, eliminating trips to the bank to manually deposit checks

With eChecks, you can access your ACH transactions online to better manage your business, your payments, and your customers.

Avoid ACH fraud with secure electronic checks

Electronic data theft is becoming more and more complex, making it crucial for businesses to take the proper precautions when accepting credit cards and ACH payments. ACH payment processing products should be NACHA-compliant to help protect merchants, businesses, and customers from electronic payment fraud.

While Clover doesn’t currently offer ACH payment processing services, our partnership with our parent company Fiserv enables us to connect you to the tools and resources you need to run your business. Learn about Fiserv’s ACH solutions here.

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