How eChecks are Processed When Paying Clients


Thursday, March 17th, 2022

eChecks allow you to pay for goods and services online using your bank account. Like traditional checks, eChecks use the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system to transfer funds from the bank account you designate to the merchant’s account. 

The primary difference between paper checks and eChecks is that paper checks are delivered by hand or by mail, while eChecks are processed electronically over a secure network.

Electronic checks are convenient for businesses because they can be set up for recurring payments, and for customers who want to avoid using credit cards or would rather use their bank accounts than carry cash.

How eCheck Payments Work

When a customer uses an eCheck payment service, the transaction is processed through a third-party ACH processor, which sends the transaction information securely to their bank. 

After verifying that there is enough money in their account to cover the transaction, the bank returns an authorization code to the processor. 

Once your bank approves the payment, it is sent electronically from your bank account to the merchant’s bank. This process takes about two business days.

How eChecks Work

When you pay with an eCheck, your check is converted into a digital format that is transmitted to a payment system that processes the payment.

The process of sending an eCheck is simple and straightforward. Here’s how it works:

You enter your bank account information into a merchant’s website or payment form. The merchant sends the information to its own bank, known as the acquiring bank, which forwards it to the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network.

The ACH verifies that your account has sufficient funds available and transfers them from your bank account to the merchant’s account.

An electronic copy of the check is stored at the ACH and in the records of both parties’ banks.

Pros & Cons of eChecks

Pros:

  • eChecks are generally cheaper than other payment methods because they involve less overhead costs. 
  • You can make payments at any time, even if it’s not business hours or if you’re outside the country.
  • eChecks are easy to process so they’re faster than traditional checks.

Cons:

While eChecks themselves carry no additional costs for customers, there may be fees associated with using them — which is why many businesses prefer them as a payment method for larger purchases.

Last Words

While there are many different types of online payment options, consumers often find that eChecks provide the best solution for their needs. That’s because eChecks offer the comfort and convenience of traditional paper checks with all the benefits of electronic transactions.