Because the federal government runs the ACH network through National Automated Clearing House Association (Nacha), ACH payments do not follow the same PCI compliance requirements as credit card processing. As a result of these new rules, many companies are looking for viable alternatives to ACH for processing payments. However, Nacha requires all parties involved in an ACH network transaction, including the paying company and the third party processor, to put in place processes and procedures to control and protect sensitive data. Merchants also need to check whether their payment service provider offers the ACH option at all because ACH- and eCheck-payments are less common than traditional credit card payments.
The cost of using ACH- or eCheck-payments may vary between providers, with some processors charging higher transaction fees and others charging lower transaction fees or higher monthly fees. In some cases, ACH payments are valued lower than credit card fees because the payments themselves are made over an electronic network and not in stacks. It also costs less to process an ACH payment than a credit card payment or transfer.
The merchant can do recurring billing for an additional $10 per month. This can include recurring bills, adding up to 10 percent each month to the retailer’s bill.
Alternative Payment Methods
Alternative payment methods include bank transfers, digital wallets, mobile transactions, and more. Alternative payment methods use technology from another company, bank, or card network to process transactions. The most common alternative payment methods are debit cards, credit cards, prepaid cards, direct debits, bank transfers (digital wallets), telephone and mobile payments, checks, money orders, and cash payments.
Merchants who accept electronic cheques enjoy convenient processing and reach a large number of consumers who do not have credit cards or don’t want to use credit cards for payments.
Automated clearing payments are great for merchants who want to do business internationally and avoid credit card interchange fees. The use of ACH transfers or the US equivalent of eCheck for cross-border transactions is a low-cost payment method. E-checks offer high-risk traders a proven way to accept cheques without worrying about changing the ACH processing rules.
Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) is a term that covers many types of electronic payments that includes ACH transfers. EFT payments, also known as e-payments or e-cheques, are electronic cheque transactions that are processed electronically and do not contain a paper cheque during the payment process. In addition to paying in other forms, EFT transactions offer a quicker and cheaper method of transferring money than cheques, making the whole process easier for businesses and consumers.
Alas, electronic transfers are a low-cost method of payment by bank transfer that uses EFT transactions. The use of electronic transfers can reduce the cost of processing payments and save time compared to the use of paper cheques. An EFT transaction transfers money between one bank and another, giving businesses and consumers the flexibility to make and receive payments.
How Do ACH Payments Work? Are ACH Payments Convenient?
ACH Payments are also known as direct payments and a way to transfer money from one bank account to another without using paper cheques, credit card networks, transfers, or cash. Examples of ACH transfers include direct payroll deposits, automatic loan payments and withdrawals, online invoice payments, benefit distribution, and personal payments. ACH payment processing is a convenient way to send and receive money with a bank account number and to do it through cash, cheques, or cards if necessary.
Unlike traditional payment transactions, many alternative payments offer additional security features to protect merchants from fraud, return transaction funds to the availability and verify that the payment has been made to the bank account. ACH payment providers can choose two alternative forms: push-pull, which allows the trader to collect the payment and withdraw the money from the consumer’s bank account, and allow the consumer to push the money back to the trader. The pulling method is the most widely used method and is used by most ACH payment services. Basically, the trader collects the consumer’s bank details and passes them on to the payment service provider, who processes the ACH debit into the consumer’s account.
On the other hand, EFT payments are fast transactions, in some cases in real-time. A payment is a transfer between two banks, where the money is processed through a pit stop in an automated clearing house network. Once the funds are approved, they are guaranteed by the trader, who is known to guarantee the funds before the transaction.
ACH payment methods not only allow you to skip unnecessary trips to the bank, but the ability to process invoices several times a day gives you a convenient way to keep track of your balances in real-time in your books. If you have ever used a direct deposit into your paycheck or have signed up for recurring payments where the merchant withdraws money from your checking account, you have witnessed the payment process firsthand. Since ACH payment transactions are less likely to be reviewed by the bank and less contentious than credit card transactions, your company has the advantage of knowing exactly what you are paying for and being notified when a payment is issued.
ACH payment processing is one of the digital ways to transfer money from point A (the bank account of your customers) to point B (the bank account of your company). Online bank transfer systems are a popular alternative payment method, particularly in Europe, to bank transfers authorized by a consumer who logs on to his bank’s website and authorizes the transfer to a payment merchant.
Digital wallets differ from mobile wallets in that you can withdraw money from a debit or credit card, helping merchants streamline their payment processes and improve customer convenience. If the writing of physical cheques is rejected as an alternative payment method, consumers will be able to make electronic cheque payments via ACH or automated clearing house networks.