Posted by NationalACH on Jul 14, 2011

Banks & ACH Processing

Companies often ask if ACH payment processing can be obtained through their own bank rather than with a ACH processor.  The answer is  “It depends on your business & your bank.”

Some banks provide ACH payment services to larger accounts with lots of money in the bank.   If you run a large company, with tens of thousands of ACH transactions per month, some banks will process ACH transactions for you. But the service is almost never provided to small-to-medium size companies.  

Few banks will consider processing for high risk merchants.  The vast majority of banks still consider ACH processing for online businesses as high risk.  If your company is in a high risk processing category, it will be very challenging to find a bank willing to work with you.

Banks Don't Support Your ACH Processing

Even if your bank provides ACH services, most companies, including blue-chip corporations, use third party ACH processors.  The main reason is that most US banks still use archaic ACH systems which were designed financial institutions, not for businesses & ecommerce merchants.  

Most US banks accept and submit ACH payments processing files to the Federal Reserve.  Still, that's about all they do.  If you want & need management reports,  real-time tracking, reconciliation / accounting applications, and cloud reporting, you're out of luck.  For this reason,  ACH services through a bank are all but useless for most merchants.

Banks don't give you automated returns, NSF, audit trails, or the capability to easily import and export payments data to your internal accounting .  Instead, you'll spend endless hours and tons of time trying to translate raw ACH data from your bank into information you can use for your business.  

In addition, banks do not provide customer support to help you with your ACH processing.  Think of the administrative nightmares you'll encounter when you you attempt to track transactions without knowledgeable customer support or the ability to get answers to your questions when you need them.

ACH Processors Better than Banks

ACH processors have easy-to-use software interfaces which ensure smooth integration between banks and merchants.   Although you'll pay a  bit more per transaction compared to a bank, you'll get big benefits.  Including access to the automated systems, advanced security, cloud reporting, and dedicated customer service.  

ACH payment processors give you the ability to control transactions and exchange payment data with internal accounting systems.  Reconciliation is a breeze.  Online reporting is standard.  And administrative support is always available.


Using an ACH payment processor is the simpliest way for you to accept checks online or accept checks by phone.  ACH processors give you better technology, superior reporting, and automation not available from banks.  

Use an API to integrate electronic check processing on your checkout page to increase ecommerce sales.  Or use secure virtual terminals to accept checks by phone so customers can conveniently pay you.  

Millions of Americans trust ACH payments. Electronic checks are the most popular alternative payment method for US consumers. If you don't accept ACH payments, you risk losing sales to your competitors that do.

Interested in setting up an ACH processing account?

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