Most consumers’ preferred way to pay for goods or services is by either debit or credit cards, though there are still many that like to use checks to make payments. However, in this digital age, the paper check is on the decline with both businesses and consumers discovering the advantages of ACH transactions.

An ACH [Automated Clearing House] is a US financial network that allows you to send and receive electronic payment data. These transfers are called ACH Credit or ACH Debit Payments.

We’ve listed below some of the reasons why ACH transfers are a great payment process solution for any business, large and small.

ACH Equals Convenience

Choosing ACH over paper checks is a win-win for both your business and your customers. As a business, you will no longer have the time-consuming task of manually dealing with checks. For customers they don’t have to spend time writing out checks and taking time out of their day to visit the post office. By setting up recurring billing, the payments can be set and forget automatically. If your employees are paid by paper check, they will much prefer the more convenient ACH direct payment into their bank accounts. No more trips to the bank at lunch, to deposit their paychecks.

ACH is More Secure

While digital security is taken extremely seriously and continues to evolve in the fight against cybercrime, paper checks remain rooted firmly in the past. A paper check will have a routing and account number printed on it, and between posting and arriving at its final destination, will be handled by any number of people. With the chances of being misplaced or exposed to signature forgery, it will come as no surprise that paper checks are the most vulnerable payment method for fraud. On the other hand, ACH transfers are direct with no intermediaries involved.

Faster and More Reliable Than Regular Checks

With email, video chat, and all the other digital advances we have experienced in recent years, it still comes as a surprise that ‘snail mail’ is still used to send checks. A regular check not only takes time to be posted and received by a business; it will then take five to six business days for the bank to process it—an ACH settlement though not as fast as credit card payments, will only take three to four days.

Lowered Costs

Transactions via ACH are a more cost-effective payment option than debit and credit cards, paper checks, or wire transfer. Credit card processing fees can vary between 2 and 5%, as you are probably aware if you are a business owner. One of the more expensive payment options is wire transfers, which can cost typically between $25  and $30 to send. You might be under the illusion that paper checks would be the cheapest option, but as they are labor and time-intensive, it is estimated that they cost, on average, $1.22 to process. To issue a paper check is said to cost from $3 up. This is factoring in the price for printing the check, postage, envelopes, and labor costs.

Improved Control of Your Cash Flow

The fact is that if you make it simple for people to make a payment the chances are that they will pay it and on time.  Making ACH payments is easy, which enables a more reliable and consistent revenue stream. ACH allows you to schedule the dates of payments, which means that you can keep hold of your money for longer. It also removes any uncertainty regarding when the check will be deposited or money is withdrawn. Also, it eliminates any of the extra headaches created by a check that has been lost or delayed in the postal system. When you receive an ACH payment, the funds are transferred directly from your customer’s bank account, so you can be certain it will arrive.

Eco-friendly

While this might not be the most significant benefit of ACH, most of us like to do our bit for the environment. Going digital with ACH will save trees being pulped for paper and eliminate the carbon footprint that is needed for delivering and transporting checks around the country. Electronic payments and ACH is a good way of going green!

In Conclusion

It is crucial that a business can accept all types of payment methods from its customers or clients. ACH has many advantages as a payment method, including reduced costs, enhanced security, convenience, and speed; it will benefit both your business and your customers.