A lower-cost alternative to cards and checks

When your customers swipe a debit or credit card at your POS, there is a slight pause while the system verifies that their account actually has the money or credit available. That is the essential function of the Automated Clearing House (ACH), an electronic payment network used by individuals, businesses, financial institutions, and government organizations.

The ACH is a nationwide computer network of financial institutions that carry out 98 percent of electronic functions in the United States, including debit card payments, automated online bill payment, business payments, and online bill payments. The National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), a non-profit organization of banks and industry councils, determines its protocol.

Annual ACH payments run in the tens of trillions of dollars and are a hallmark of the electronic age.

Not only do they make e-commerce possible, they also provide a cashless option at the point-of-sale. As a lower-cost alternative to credit cards, debit cards and paper checks, ACH has grown considerably in volume and popularity in the last few years as a way to collect from customers online or by phone.

ACH payments may be initiated as credits or debits, and as one-time or recurring. Combined with diligent verification of authenticity of the authorization, collecting payments from customers is made easier, safer, and more convenient.

Pathfinder Payment Solutions is an ACH processing provider, and can:

  • Deduct money from your customer’s accounts on your behalf.
  • Deposit money into your vendors’ accounts.
  • Set up auto-recurring payments on a weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, annual or semi-annual basis.
  • Provide access to our Customer Manager, where you can save your customers’ profiles and accounts, and even group them for easier payment management.

ACH payments are frequently called eCheck or Electronic Checks, because they work in a similar manner to a traditional check. The big difference is you don’t need to produce, track and process an eCheck. As a result, businesses view ACH/eChecks as a safe, inexpensive, and efficient way to collect funds.

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