Didyou know

Direct Debit and Bank Payment Services include ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments, Direct Debit, electronic checks, bank transfers and Elektronisches Lastschriftverfahren, meaning "Electronic Debit Procedure" in German.

In general ACH payments are safe, reliable and they offer a valuable low cost payment option for merchants. The number of providers in this group has grown significantly over the past few years and is poised for further growth. Not all ACH solutions are the same, there are actually a number of things to consider when looking at ACH for your company.

Pros and Cons of ACH Payment Include:

It's easy to implement

It has lower costs than credit cards

ACH Payments have widespread use

It may or may not guarantee against fraudulent charge backs

It takes a little longer to receive funds (clearing time)

Possibility of bad debt (NSFs)

Provides access to underbanked markets (potential increased sales conversion)

 

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Alternative Payments:Direct Debit & Bank Payment Services

Automated Clearing House (ACH) is an electronic network for financial transactions that process large volumes of both credit and debit transactions, which are originated in batches. Businesses are increasingly using ACH to collect from customers online as an alternative to accepting credit or debit cards. ACH payment options have been implemented in numerous vertical markets and are used in transactions such as accepting direct deposit, processing debit card transactions, business to business payments, e-commerce payments, federal, state and local tax payments and direct debit payments.

ACH payment providers can take two alternative forms (push vs. pull) that allow the merchant to collect payment either by directly pulling the money from the consumers bank account or by allowing consumers to push money to them. The main advantage of ACH payments for merchants is the lower cost structure it offers in comparison to traditional credit card payments. Consumers also benefit from ACH payments through the increased security the push payment options provide. In the push form, the consumer never has to divulge their banking information to the merchant.

Key considerations when implementing or buying this functionality include:

  • Do you want a push or pull based service?
  • Do you need a fraud protection guarantee?
  • If you are a physical goods merchant, you need to determine how you will handle shipping requests based on the number of days it takes for payments to clear.
  • Is the ACH payment infrastructure readily accessible in the market which you are operating?
  • How are ACH payments utilized by customers in the market?
  • How much can ACH payments save in transaction processing fees?

How does it work?

ACH payment providers are using "push" and "pull" methods to allow consumers the ability to pay for their goods and services. The push method entails that a consumer “pushes” their funds from their bank account to an online account at a payment provider. The payment provider then transmits these funds to the merchant's bank account. The benefit of this method is two-fold because the merchant never receives the consumer’s sensitive information, and the consumer does not have to provide it to them, the consumers feel a sense of increased personal security because they don't have to share sensitive banking data with the merchant.

The pull method is more common and used by the majority of ACH payment providers.  In essence, the merchant collects the banking information from the consumer and passes it to the payment provider who than processes an ACH debit from the consumers bank account.

AdditionalResources

  • Introduction to ACH Payments.

    Covers the ACH process flow defining each of the "payment players"; reviews payment concepts such as clearing times, reversals, NSF, push and pull options, good funds and bad debt risk.

  • Guide to Alternative ecommerce payments.

    If you are in the market for new alternate payment options you should consider purchasing our Guide to Alternate Payment Options.   The Guide goes beyond a general market assessment to provide information businesses need to assess solution options and service providers. 

  • Fundamentals for Selecting ecommerce payment options

    The Fundamentals of eCommerce Payment Options online training course provides an introduction to the world of eCommerce payments. The course provides an overview of the main eCommerce payment options that exist today, why businesses use alternative payments, how eCommerce payment options are grouped, as well as providing examples, mind share, market share, and the major players.

keynotes

  • Alternative Solutions -  Payment aggregators and credit cards are the most popular form of payment services. Cash payments,invoicing and credit terms alternatives are also viable alternatives to ACH payments.
  • Estimated Costs - Costs will vary based on the vendor you select. However, the fees that are associated with processing standard ACH payments are typically transactional based versus percentage based and they represent a fraction of the cost of traditional credit cards. ACH service providers that offer fraud protection or other value added services on top of the ACH services typically will charge on a percentage basis and are also typically less expensive than traditional credit cards.
  • Vendors - eBillme, Mazooma, Acculynk, Giropay and many more

 

Other Alt. Payments