When you think of processing payments, you likely think of cash, check, or charge, but have you considered how ACH payments fit in the mix? ACH – otherwise known as automated clearing house — works by electronically moving funds from one bank account to another by using a unique routing number that’s located at the bottom of the paper check.
If you’ve ever been paid directly to your account or paid your employees, you likely have already dealt with ACH payment processing companies, but have you considered the benefits of offering ACH for your own customers to make payments?
There are several really solid reasons that you might want to consider when it comes to offering ACH payments:
The Convenience Factor – When you go with an ACH payment processing company, you can avoid filling out paper invoices, paper checks, or making trips to the bank. Your customers also benefit – no remembering to fill out a check, slapping on a stamp, and hoping it gets to you on time.
Lower Fees for You – Yes, the biggest draw for you as the business owner is that ACH payments will generally have the lowest fees compared to all of your other payment options – other than cash.
Easy Automatic Payment – When you opt for ACH payments for recurring billing, you can automatically get paid. All your customer needs to do is authorize the billing schedule and you’re all set to go. This option works great for the subscription service or monthly billing plan. All-in-one benefits include automatic payment tracking and automatic invoicing as well.
ACH Transactions Disputes – ACH transactions can’t be disputed as easily as a credit card charge can. There are only a few reason that your customer can dispute the charge:
- The customer did not authorize it in the first place
- The amount charged was not for the exact amount authorized
- The amount was processed earlier than the authorized date
In the event that there was a payment failure, you will get an immediate notification, so you’ll know right away if there will be a disruption in the payment you’re expecting.
ACH is Very Secure – Compared to paper checks, ACH payment processing is much safer. Instead of a paper check passing through multiple hands who can glean account and identity information from the check, the ACH payment information is encrypted and travels electronically through a secure system.
Checks are Environmentally Friendly – The great thing about ACH payments is that they’re completely paperless. Your customers won’t have to go through expensive checks and waste paper for envelopes or the check itself. ACH payments are not only eco-friendly, they are wallet-friendly as well.
When you opt to accept payments through ACH, you choose a simpler payment process for both you and your customers. Because it is streamlined, fast, and doesn’t require paperwork every time, you are better equipped to handle cash flow and collect your payments consistently. Not to mention that your transactions are confidential and safe because money is transferred directly between payer and payee.
The risk of fraud and theft are significantly reduced with ACH processing, and because of that, it’s one of the cheapest ways to process payments. Choosing direct payment options through ACH is simple, fast, safe, and eco-friendly. What’s not to love?
At Top Credit Card Processors, we have identified the top 30 ACH processing companies. Check them out and learn more about why we chose these particular companies.
So how do we locate and vet out some of the best ACH processing companies in the industry? We look at several factors including:
- Competitive Rates
- Reliability in Service
- Flexibility in Service
- Strong Customer Support
Many of the companies that you will find on our list of ACH processors can also assist you with a wide variety of other processing needs including:
- Terminal Payments
- POS Payment
- POS Software and Equipment
- Online Payment
- Mobile Payment Processing
- Check Processing
- Loyalty and Gift Card Solutions
- High Risk Processing
- Other Merchant Services
The ACH companies worth your business and trust should focus on providing you with effective service that meets your daily needs.
More Benefits to ACH Processing Services
Electronic transfers via ACH is a popular alternative to mailing checks or processing credit card payments because it is so easy and secure.
With ACH, your business can accept a check without a physical check being provided. If your business thrives on recurring payments, the ACH option is the resourceful option to help you get paid on time quickly and securely. However, ACH payments also work for your one-time payment processing needs as well.
With ACH processing you can help your business do more in the coming year:
- Improve the security of your customers’ personal and payment information
- Reduce the risk of damaged, stolen, or lost checks
- Streamline your back office operations
- Offer more ways to pay and improve your cash flow with recurrent payment options
- Reduce processing costs associated with your payment transactions
With the ACH payment option, everything happens electronically – it’s also known as an e-Check. You may have seen this option for utilities, and it makes the simpler payment option between a tenant and property manager as well – not to mention on-going service contracts.
How E-Checks are Processed
ACH processing is nearly identical to paper check processing, but everything happens much more efficiently. Instead of your customer filling out a paper check and sending it to you, ACH processing all occurs electronically which not only saves you time – it also saves a tree in the process.
How e-checks are processed:
- Your customer will sign an agreement to authorize payment
- Payment information is entered, and customer will opt for a one-time or recurrent payment
- The options are saved and submitted, and the ACH process begins
- With payment confirmation, funds are deposited, and the payment is taken out of your customer’s account.
- You will typically see funds within 3 days as ACH payments are some of the fastest to process
A customer can authorize payment a few different ways. If you are an online merchant, your customer can electronically sign the agreement by accepting the terms and conditions on your online or store-front shop.
Finding an ACH Processing Company
So how do you find a good ACH processing company? As briefly mentioned earlier, our team works to find companies that offer reliable service and can meet your daily business needs in processing. Additionally, we help you locate companies that offer good customer support, provide efficiency in processing, and companies that have good rates.
Competitive Rates – When you are processing e-checks for your company, it is important for the ACH service to offer rates that are competitive with other companies in the marketplace. One of the biggest benefits in ACH processing is that it can provide cost savings compared to other forms of payment – but only if those savings are passed on to you. We analyze the fee structures of our top companies to ensure that you are going to get a competitive rate for your services.
Reliable Service – Payment reliability should be a core trait you can expect from any ACH payment processing company. Because of the nature of the automated clearing house, it is vital for the payment processing solution to be reliable each and every time. Your cash flow depends on it. The company’s ability to process payment information accurately and efficiently is critical as they provide your ACH services. An un-reliable processing company could potentially damage your reputation – and your flow of cash. That’s why we make sure each company we identify has consistently reliable service.
Efficiency in Service – The main benefit to ACH processing is that it is one of the most efficient, cost-friendly ways to process payments, so the expectations are high with companies to ensure that remains the case. A minimum amount of human interaction is needed in the process because it all happens electronically – so you can expect efficiency of service and you should always get it from your ACH processing company.
Variance in Service – Your business may require different services – such as specific e-commerce or in-store needs – as well as recurring payment solutions. Your ACH processing company should take into consideration the needs your business has in regards to how your accept payments. Additionally, many of the companies that we identify also have many other merchant services so you can find services you need when you need them most.
Strong Customer Support – When customer support is strong, you can expect service is efficient and client satisfaction rates remain high. If you have a question or concern, your ACH processing company should provide accurate information that’s presented in a helpful and timely way. Our team analyzes the average time it takes for customer service to resolve issues, and we look at the client retention rates of these companies for indicators of service as well.
Now that you understand the basics as far as ACH processing and what you can expect from ACH processing companies, take the next step and check out our list of top ACH processing companies to find one that can assist you. You can browse stats and find a company that stands out to get started on your own e-check processing solutions.
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