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While credit cards are used to make up the majority of online transaction processing, many consumers still prefer to pay using their checking account (ACH processing / Check 21 processing). Electronic check processing allows you to tap into the 100 million consumers who do not have a credit card or who are at their limit, and ACH processing / Electronic Check processing is a safe and reliable payment method. Developing a relationship with a Check 21 Processor or an ACH Processor who can offer you ACH Processing, Electronic Check Processing and Check 21 processing capabilities will create and additional revenue stream by providing you with a larger base of billable consumers.
Applying for an ACH and Electronic Check merchant account is similar to a credit card merchant account. If you have a credit card merchant account, you will easily be able to obtain an ACH and Electronic Check merchant account.
There is a Merchant Application which will detail your business and ownership. There are also supporting documents you will need to provide such as Articles of Incorporation, DBA certificates, Bank Statements and past processing history. Applying merchants will also have to explain their business model, how they solicit their orders, what the average ticket price is and the type of return policy and consumer support that accompanies each sale.
ACH Processing, Electronic Check Processing and Check 21 processing are priced differently depending on the merchant type, the services required and the risk. Your ACH Processor or Electronic Check Processor will also use this information to determine how fast your monies are settled to your account and what your reserve rate and terms will be. Normally, ACH Processors and Electronic Check Processors will charge a fee for originating the ACH or Electronic Check (Check 21) and a return fee for any ACH items or Checks that are returned. However, some models allow the ACH Processor and Electronic Check Processor to charge a flat fee or discount rate and in return will provide additional services such as Customer Service, Affiliate Payments and Fraud Controls to better manage your online transaction processing.
ACH and Electronic Check Processing are governed by NACHA and the Federal Reserve. Your ACH Processor and Electronic Check Processor can assist you in how to obtain copies of the Rules and generally what obligations you have towards these Rules as they apply to different merchant types. Electronic Check Processors and ACH Processors act similar to a credit card merchant account bank in requiring that you maintain compliance with the rules. There are different rules for online ACH Processing, Electronic Check Processing and Check 21 Processing.
You will want to make sure that your ACH Processor or Electronic Check Processor offers sufficient tools to authenticate consumers and account numbers, and reduce fraud so you receive the best overall service for your online checks. Reporting, NSF recovery and re-presentment are also important items to receive from your ACH Processor or Electronic Check Processor. ACH Processing.