As the cost of doing business rises, many entrepreneurs are looking for ways to reduce their expenses. Some companies save money by encouraging their customers to make payments through the Automated Clearing House. Known as ACH transactions, these payments are electronic fund transfers. With the help of a high-risk merchant account provider, a business can accept ACH payments. Check out these four ways that customers and businesses can benefit from these transactions.
One of the biggest benefits to businesses is the lower cost of processing ACH payments. High-risk merchant account providers typically offer rates for processing ACH transactions that are less than the fees they charge for handling credit card payments. Encouraging your customers to make ACH payments could result in savings for your company.
While the lower processing fees for ACH payments provide the most direct benefit to businesses, customers indirectly benefit from measures that keep down a company’s overhead. When businesses hold the line on processing and administrative costs, they can keep product prices steady.
This benefit accrues primarily to businesses. On average, ACH processing requires one to three business days to clear. This timeline is a little slower than settling credit card payments but is faster than waiting for a check to clear. As a result of this quicker processing, ACH payments allow merchants to receive money sooner. You don’t have to wait for a check to arrive in the mail and get processed. Instead, your customers can pay online or over the phone using their bank account information.
Don’t overlook one caveat, however: Even though the transaction is electronic and is quicker than processing paper checks, ACH transfers don’t provide instant assurance to businesses that customers have enough funds in their account to cover the transaction amount. Even so, if there’s a problem, businesses find out sooner than they would had they accepted a paper check.
Unlike writing a check and mailing it, ACH transactions are handled electronically, making them much more convenient for customers. For shoppers who pay for recurring services, ACH transactions let them set up ongoing payments. With this feature, the customer enjoys a “set it and forget it” payment arrangement.
Companies benefit when more customers set up recurring payments. With this ongoing fee structure, businesses increase the likelihood that the clients will stay with them for a long time. Recurring payments also provide reliable income for your company because there’s no expiration date on a bank account as there is on a credit card. Payments continue until the customer stops them.
With ACH transactions, customers enjoy increased security because the transfer is immediate and doesn’t involve a paper check that could get lost. Businesses also decrease their reliance on a paper trail to get paid, reducing the chances that they’ll lose money if a staff member misplaces a check.
As customers and businesses look for ways to simplify and speed up transactions, ACH payments are increasingly attractive to both groups. Businesses wanting to provide this service to customers should reach out to a high-risk merchant account provider to find out how to get started.