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Make a more secure and smooth transaction with e-check

Know what eCheck is?

An eCheck or electronic check is a form of online payment method. In this method, the money is electronically withdrawn from the payer’s checking account and transferred over the ACH networks, and then deposited into the payee’s checking account. With an ACH merchant account, a business is able to withdraw payments for goods or service directly from the customer’s bank account. In this process, the payment should be authorized by the customer, either through a signed contract or acceptance of a website’s “Term and Condition” or it can be a recorded voice conversation.

How does eCheck Processing Work?

An eCheck processing is somewhat the same as in the case of paper check processing, the only difference is that eCheck is much faster. In case of a paper check, a customer has to manually fill out a check and then send it to the business that they need to pay. But thanks to today’s technology which allows this process to happen electronically, which saves both time as well as paper waste.

4 main processing steps of an eCheck:

  1. Request for Authorization: In this process, the business has to gain an authorization from the customer to make the transaction. This can be done through an online payment form or a signed order form or a phone conversation.
  2. Payment Set Up: After the authorization process is complete, the business has to input the payment information into the online payment processing software. If this payment is a recurring payment then, in that case, this information also should include the details of the recurring schedule.
  3. Finalize and Submission: In this process, once the payment information is properly entered into the online payment processing software the business presses the “Save” or “Submit” button and starts the ACH transaction process.
  4. Confirmation of payment and Funds Deposited: In this, the payment is automatically withdrawn from the customer’s bank account and the online software sends the customer a payment receipt. The payment itself gets deposited into the business’s bank account. The Funds are generally deposited into the merchant’s bank account in around three to five business days after the ACH transaction is initiated.

IS EFT and ACH same as eCheck?

EFT full form is “Electronic Funds Transfer.”
This all-encompassing term has got many types of financial transfers like

  • Wire transfers
  • Electronic benefits payments
  • Direct deposits
  • ACH disbursements etc.

ACH full form is “Automated Clearing House.”

  • This electronic network is mainly used by financial institutions in the United States which provides the infrastructure used by payment processing companies.
  • In order to explain the differences and similarities of EFT, ACH and eCheck is that: 

An eCheck is a nothing but a type of electronic funds transfer (EFT) which uses the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network for processing the payment. Money gets electronically withdrawn from the payer’s account and then it is sent with the help of the ACH network to the payee’s banking institution and the amount is electronically deposited into the payee’s account – it’s almost similar to a paper check, the only difference is that it is electronically done.

Different types of Payments that can be done with eCheck?

As we know that merchants pay a very smaller fee to process the eCheck payments than they do it to process in case of a credit card payment, so it’s convenient to accept eCheck payments for high-value products such as mortgage, rent, car/vehicle payments, and high-value monthly fees like in case of legal retainers and fitness membership.

Can we use eCheck for Recurring Payments?

eChecks are considered to be one of the most common types of recurring payment. You might have definitely heard of the term “recurring ACH payment” it is the same as in case of a recurring eCheck payment. The property managers mostly ask the tenants to fill out a recurring eCheck rent payment form, which gives the property managers the ability to automatically deduct the rent from their tenant’s checking account on a particular day on a monthly basis.

How much time does it take to Clear and Process an Electronic Check (eCheck)?

The clearing process of eCheck slightly varies between the providers. Normally the funds are verified within the timeline of 24 to 48 hours of the transaction being initiated. If the payer has the required funds available in his checking/bank account, in that case, the transaction is cleared within 3 to 5 business days and the funds are transferred from the payer’s account to the payee’s account.

How to send an eCheck Payment?

If you want to send an electronic payment to someone, then the concerned person to whom you are sending the money should have an ACH merchant account. This merchant account gives the receiver the ability to use the ACH network to accept the payments through the electronic fund's transfer process.

Two ways by which you can send an eCheck:

First: In this way, the payee sends you an online payment form in which you have to fill in your checking account number and your routing number, as well as the amount of payment. Just by pressing “Submit” button you are authorizing the payee that he can withdraw the payment amount right from your checking account.

Second: In this way, you can make a call on a recorded phone line, and then the payee can ask from you your checking account and routing numbers. After getting the details they input these numbers, as well as the payment amount, into the online payment terminal. Upon pressing the “Process” button the payment will be immediately deducted from the payer’s bank account and it will be deposited into the payee’s bank account.

What’s the Cost to Process an eCheck?

The eCheck merchant accounts providers companies charge different fees to process an eCheck. While some eCheck processing companies charge a very higher per-transaction fee and a lower monthly fee, at the same time other companies charge just the opposite. Roughly the average fee ranges from $0.30 to $1.50 per eCheck transaction.

Getting an eCheck Merchant Account for a Business:

Getting an eCheck or ACH merchant account is just similar as to getting a credit card merchant account. In this once if a business has found out a best-suited merchant account provider for himself, then the next step what the business will need to do is to provide information including:

  • Federal Tax ID
  • Estimated processing volumes
  • Years in business

All this information will be entered into an application form for the approval by the payment processor or merchant account provider. The process of getting the approval may happen in a matter of days.