ACH Payments: Meaning, Charges, and Processing Explained | Pine Labs

ACH Payments: What Are They and How Do They Operate?

Pine Labs : Default

By Pine Labs | August 01, 2022

What is an ACH payment?

ACH stands for 'Automated Clearing House.' An electronic money transfer manages direct e-payments and automatic money transactions. This method is more dependable and efficient than credit card systems, money transfers, paper checks, or cash.

ACH is a safe transaction mostly used for bank transfers, payroll, customer bills, tax expenses and refunds, and other financial activities.

What's The Difference Between ACH Payments and Wire Transfers?

In banking, ACH's full form is Automated Clearing House. Though ACH payments and wire transfers are both methods of moving funds across accounts, they aren't the same in many ways. In contrast to ACH payments, which are handled in groups three times per day, wire transfers are handled in real-time. As a result, wire transfers are assured of reaching the same day, whereas ACH transfers can take many days to complete. In addition, wire transfers are more costly than ACH payments.

EFT payments (electronic funds transfers) and ACH payments are interchangeable. They both refer to the same payment system.

Advantages Disadvantages
ACH Payments (also called EFT) ACH payments are typically less expensive than wire transfers. The processing of ACH payments can take many days.
Wire Payments Wire payments are more expensive compared to ACH Wire process is speedier as they do not employ a "batch" method.

Examples of ACH Payments

ACH payments are classified into two categories.

  • ACH debit payment: Money is "drawn" from your accounts.
  • ACH credit payments: Allow you to "push" payments to various accounts.
  • Below are two instances of how they work in nature.

Direct Deposit Payroll

Many businesses provide direct deposit payroll. Such businesses utilise ACH credit transfers to deposit funds into their workers' bank accounts at predetermined pay intervals. (To set this up, workers must supply a voided cheque or a checking account and routing information.)

Recurring Bill Payments

    Customers who pay a company (such as their insurance company or loan lender) regularly may opt to set up recurring payments. This enables the company to conduct ACH debit activities at the end of each billing period, deducting the sum owed straight from the customer's bank.

    Apart from the Automated Clearing House system, three more parties are engaged in ACH payments:

  • The banking institution that starts the transfer is known as the Originating Depository Financial Institution (ODFI).
  • The banking institution that accepts the ACH request is the Receiving Depository Financial Institution (RDFI).
  • The Neutral National Automated Clearing House (NACH) is in charge of managing and supervising the ACH network.

How do ACH Payments work?

Consider you are using ACH for telephone bill payments. Now, you need to enter your bank details (routing and account number) and accept regular payment permission. When the due date arrives, the bank of your phone company (the ODFI) demands your bank (the RDFI) transmit the owed amount. The two banks then interact to confirm that sufficient funds are available in your bank account to complete the payment. The transaction is completed if you have enough cash, and the payment is transferred to your telephone company's bank account.

When the due date arrives, the bank of your phone company (the ODFI) demands your bank (the RDFI) transmit the owed amount. The two banks then interact to confirm that sufficient funds are available in your bank account to complete the payment.

The transaction is completed if you have enough cash, and the payment is transferred to your telephone company's bank account.

What are typical ACH payment processing times?

ACH payments often take multiple working days (days that banks are open) to process. This is because transactions are handled in batches through the ACH network (as opposed to wire transfers, which are processed in real-time).

According to NACHA requirements, financial firms can have ACH credits completed and distributed within a working day or between one to two days. In contrast, ACH debit transactions are handled the next working day.

Following receipt of the transaction, the other bank may retain the transmitted money for some time. Overall, ACH transactions have an average processing time of three to five days.

Nevertheless, a new E NACH rule (which came into place in September 2016) mandates the ACH to handle debits three times daily rather than once. The improvements (which are being implemented in stages) will enable broad use of same-day ACH transfers by March 2018.

Conclusion

A comparatively hassle-free method of sending or receiving money is through ACH transactions. In either case, be sure to comprehend your bank's ACH bank transfer and direct payment procedures. Additionally, watch out for ACH transaction frauds. Nevertheless, it offers an attractive alternative to traditional payment options like cash, checks, cards, and wire transfers due to its ease and capacity to lower client churn.

Related Posts

NACH e-mandate: Everything you must know

Pine Labs  : Default By Pine Labs | on August 01, 2022