Last editedJun 20223 min read
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 payment 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 check, funds are transferred via the ACH network, or Automated Clearing House network. For this reason, eChecks are also known as ACH payments.
ACH payments are preferred by many businesses over paper checks 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 fee alternative incur from with the major card networds.
Read on to find out about the 4 top ACH processors.
What are ACH payment services?
Before getting into the best ACH processing companies, it’s important to define what exactly an ACH payment is. As previously mentioned, these are payments that are made by the ACH network, which is usually done in the form of an eCheck.
eChecks work just like paper checks – 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 payment processing software to initiate the transaction. Bear in mind that these eCheck payments can take up to five working days to arrive in your account.
Top ACH payment processing companies
Naturally, this list can only start with GoCardless. A leader in the bank payments space, GoCardless enables businesses of all sizes to easily accept ACH payments. It's quick and easy to get set up, with no contract or monthly fee, plus over 200 partner integrations globally allows you to fit ACH payment collection through GoCardless right into 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.
Dharma is another widely used ACH processing company. They offer a simple processing platform that allows you to both accept checks and to manually enter bank details for transactions. You can use the software to set up recurring payments, and there is also support for in-person check acceptance and telecheck acceptance.
Dharma is a cheap and most versatile option on the market for taking online ACH payments. 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 payment 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 specializes 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, and so it’s difficult to make a one-to-one comparison with other companies.
You might already be familiar with Stripe, a fintech company that also offers ACH payment services. If you’re a developer or have one in your team, Stripe is a great option as it can be customized 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 payment processing company, some users note issues or delays with receiving support, a downside to operating at a large scale.
Anyone looking to take online ACH payments along with credit payments should consider Stax as their processing solution. The monthly costs of using this service are relatively high, but in exchange you get a low fee for ACH transactions. 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, there are a number of ACH payment processing companies available out there, with various merits to each.
It's worth factoring in your industry and business type, how your existing financial system looks, and 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 helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.