Last editedMay 20234 min read
ACH processing offers businesses a more reliable, affordable and secure payment collection method than accepting card payments. As a result, businesses now have more choices when choosing an ACH processor as more providers enter the market, but with so many options, it can be difficult to identify the top ACH processing company for your business!
To help you choose an ACH processing service, we've listed and profiled the best ACH processing companies available:
E-commerce businesses will know the importance of providing a range of different online payment methods to their customers. You’re likely already comfortable with accepting payments from credit cards and debit cards, and even some digital methods such as Apple Pay have become very common ways to accept payments. But what about ACH processing?
While traditional checks have more or less disappeared these days, a new form of digital payment known as eChecks is becoming more popular. Using exactly the same information as a traditional cheque, funds are transferred via the Automated Clearing House network (ACH network). For this reason, eChecks are also known as ACH payments.
ACH processing is preferred by many businesses over paper cheques because, as the process is carried out electronically, they are more reliable, and payment can be received much faster. It's also easy to integrate payments taken via ACH into your existing accounting system, as it's already online.
Lastly, ACH is also preferred over cards as it offers a lower transaction fee structure when compared with the major card networks.
Read on to find out about the 5 top ACH processors.
How to collect ACH Debit payments with GoCardless
Create your free GoCardless account, access your user-friendly payments dashboard & connect your accounting software (if you use one).
Easily set up & schedule ACH Debit payments via payment pages on your website checkout or secure payment links.
From now on you'll get paid on time, every time, as GoCardless automatically collects payment on the scheduled date. Simple.
What are ACH processing services?
Before getting into the best ACH processing companies, it’s important to define what exactly an ACH processing service is. As previously mentioned, these are payments that are made by the ACH network, which is usually done in the form of an eCheck.
The best eCheck services work just like paper cheques – they use the same information to transfer funds from the customer’s account to the payee’s account. Of course, the customer will have to provide their payment details, which you can then input into your online ACH processing service to initiate the transaction. Remember that these eCheck payments can take up to five working days to arrive in your account.
Best ACH processing companies
Every business is different and has unique requirements when it comes to ACH processing and payment collection in general. Below we look at the five best ACH processors and consider how they stack up on:
ease of set-up
Naturally, this list can only start with GoCardless. A leader in the bank payments space, GoCardless enables businesses of all sizes to easily process ACH payments. It's quick and easy to get set up, with no contract or monthly fee, plus over 200 partner integrations that allow you to connect GoCardless' ACH processing service to your existing financial setup.
Intelligent product features like Success+ make GoCardless a smart choice for businesses looking to drastically cut the amount of time spent on financial admin, as payment collection can be retried automatically on the most appropriate day.
Lastly, GoCardless has a customer-first approach, with consistently high rankings for support. It's quick and easy to set up, and there are no added fees - you only pay per payment.
Bank payment via GoCardless is more affordable, more secure and more reliable than accepting credit and debit cards.
*"Customers don't need to worry about fraud like they do with credit cards and bank accounts don't expire, so they’ll never need to update their details."* - Scott Westbrook, Director of Business Systems, Deputy
Dharma is another widely used ACH processing company. They offer a simple ACH processing platform that allows you to both accept cheques and manually enter bank details for transactions. You can use the software to set up recurring payments, and there is also support for in-person cheque acceptance and tele-cheque acceptance.
Dharma is a cheap and versatile option on the market for online ACH processing. However, it can be difficult to use Dharma if you operate in a high-risk industry, as they often do not serve these businesses.
PaymentCloud is an ACH processing service for those operating in high-risk businesses, such as travel and gambling. Whereas other services tend to avoid companies like this, PaymentCloud, in fact, specialises in them. Setup is quick, and they claim to be able to get you up and running within 48 hours as long as you can provide them with all the appropriate information.
The downside of using PaymentCloud is that they don’t publicly disclose their prices. Since they work a lot with high-risk businesses, plans tend to be more bespoke, so it’s difficult to compare them with other companies.
You might already be familiar with Stripe, a fintech company that also operates as an ACH processor. If you’re a developer or have one in your team, Stripe is a great option as it can be customised by those who have the appropriate programming experience. There is great integration with your online payment portal, and you can also use Stripe to send invoices over to your customers.
Some account stability issues have been reported with Stripe. Furthermore, as they are a larger ACH processing company, some users note issues or delays with receiving support, a downside to operating at a large scale.
Anyone looking for an online ACH processor who also handles credit payments should consider Stax as their ACH processing solution. The monthly costs of using this service are relatively high, but in exchange, you get low transaction fees compared to many ACH providers. This makes it a good option if you have a high volume of transactions since you save more money by making more transactions with Stax.
Which ACH processing company should you use?
In conclusion, which is the best ACH payment processor available depends on your requirements. Each ACH processing service has various merits depending on exactly what you are looking for.
It's worth factoring in your industry and business type, how your existing financial system works, plus doing plenty of research on sites such as G2. Then, particularly if there are no set-up fees involved, such as with GoCardless, it's worth giving it a go.
We can help
GoCardless offers merchants an affordable, reliable and secure ACH processing service that helps you automate payment collection, reducing the level of late and failed payments and the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with.
Find out how GoCardless can help you with receiving invoice payments on time and automating recurring payments.