How eCheck ACH Payment Works
eCheck has been around as a payment option for a couple of decades now. Originally it was designed to lean on the existing check processing infrastructure that is a core-competency of the entire banking industry - basically allowing for checks to be created and transferred digitally via ACH, and processed just like physical checks.
Just like physical checks eChecks are extremely secure, low-risk, low-fee payments to process. The single biggest advantage to an eCheck is exactly what makes physical checks so great, anyone with a bank account can pay your business. It’s also a cheaper payment to process than ACH alone, which usually charges the recipient a percentage based fee to accept.
Another great advantage to eCheck payments is derived from the physical check payment framework, that is the ability to attach an unlimited amount of context to the payment.
With a credit card transaction all you get is billing information and a token. Those limitations don’t exist for eChecks, which allow you to attach payment coupons and other contextual documents to a payment - just like with a physical check.
How CheckStream is different from eCheck ACH Payments
Accept Offline Payments - Accepting eCheck payments requires a process change for both you and your clients. eChecks are a digital payment method that mimics the physical check flow. It still will not solve the problem with clients that insist on paying by physical check, and there are many good reasons for this on the client side.
With CheckStream, you can continue to accept physical check payments with none of the overhead required to accept, process, and reconcile deposits.
No Billing Portal - To accept eChecks you will need to add the service to your merchant processing account, or open a new one, and provide a method by which customers can access and submit eCheck payments via an online billing portal. Or, you place the burden on the customer to figure out a method to send you an eCheck via a 3rd party service.
With CheckStream, the only change you need to make is to update your billing address. That’s it!
Retain Payment Context - The most valuable part of physical check payments is the ability to transmit context for a payment. Although technically possible with eChecks, it still requires additional technology and process changes to happen on both your side and the clients.
With CheckStream, your payment flow remains unchanged for both you and the client. Clients will send their payments and any attachments as usual to your new billing address and you will get high resolution PDF scans of all the contents for your archives.
Thousands of businesses, large and small, trust Earth Class Mail to the tune of more than 100,000 mail and check items each month!
There’s a lot more that separates the services, check out the table below for more information.