Last editedNov 20222 min read
Whether you collect subscription fees, recurring payments, or large lump sums from your customers, third-party ACH processors can help. Using an ACH processor ensures that you can set up payments accurately and on time through a fully secure platform. Here’s what to look for when you’re comparing ACH payment processors.
What are third-party ACH processors?
ACH payments are completed through the Automated Clearing House network, which links banks and credit unions throughout the United States. When customers agree to pay for your goods and services, this authorizes the transfer of funds directly from their bank account into your business’s merchant account. Third-party ACH processors act as a middleman between your customers, your business, and the banks, streamlining this payment process.
Why should you use third-party ACH processors?
ACH Debit is available to anyone in the US with a bank account, which means it’s accessible to a broad range of customers including those who may not qualify for credit. It’s also cheaper for merchants than accepting credit card payments, with funds sent directly from one account to another. Taking pull-based ACH payments means you retain control over payment timings to improve your cash flow, avoiding any awkward conversations with clients about missed or late payments.
Collecting customer banking details with online authorization forms is a seamless, straightforward process. Once an authorization is in place, it’s fully managed by the third-party processor so you don’t need to follow up. Instead, recurring payments are taken automatically on the day they’re due.
The best third-party ACH processors
Not all payment processors offer the same features, so it’s worth comparing your options carefully. Here are a few top choices.
Naturally, we’ll start with GoCardless, which specializes in automatic invoicing and recurring payments. It’s suitable for businesses of all sizes, who can set up automated recurring and one-off payments to be pulled directly from customer bank accounts. It’s quick and easy to set up, without any contracts to lock you in or monthly fees to pay. GoCardless also partners with over 350 worldwide integrations to streamline your accounting, CRM, and payment collection workflows. Another benefit is the Success+ intelligent retries feature, which reduces payment failure by up to 70%.
Another popular option is Stripe, which integrates with online payment portals allowing you to send invoices to your customers. Stripe is one of the larger ACH payment processors out there, catering to global businesses and those with higher processing volumes. It’s best suited to businesses with an in-house developer or those with programming experience to make the most of its customization options.
Payment processor Helcim offers credit card processing, online invoicing, and subscription billing. It also offers a unique ACH product called Helcim Bank Payments at no extra cost. Additional benefits include integrated virtual terminals, hosted online stores, and attractive interchange pricing for credit card transactions. There’s no need to commit to a long-term contract or pay monthly fees, but one thing to note is that Helcim doesn’t work with businesses in higher risk industries.
While Helcim doesn’t work with businesses in high-risk industries, PaymentCloud is specifically designed for higher risk companies. This includes businesses in sectors like gambling and travel. It’s easy to get started – companies can start taking payments within 48 hours of providing all required details. However, one thing to note is that they don’t publicly provide their prices. Plans are bespoke to reflect the higher risk of the platform’s clients.
How to choose a third-party ACH processor
Now that we’ve gone through a few of your options, how can you choose the right payment processor? Take the following factors into account:
GoCardless ticks all the boxes with a bevy of integrations, low pricing, and an easy set-up for businesses. It offers high converting payment pages to maximize your checkout experience, including hosted pages and options for customization.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.