Posted by NationalACH on Aug 10, 2011

Checks by Phone Boosts Call Center Profits

Accepting electronic checks is particularly beneficial for companies in high risk processing categories.

Companies selling through call centers or inbound telemarketing are considered high risk merchants.  These firms find it is easier to establish a payment processing account for electronic checks than for credit card processing.

Checks by phone can be processed through ACH echecks or via Check 21 echeck technology.  The choice of which to use depending upon the specific needs of the business.

ACH checks by phone have lower payment processing fees.  Yet many high risk merchants cannot obtain an ACH echeck accounts. The ACH network limits you to revokes (chargebacks) of 0.5% and returns of 15%.  

Call centers  often have challenges staying below 0.5% chargeback thresholds required by NACHA, the governing body for the ACH network.  If a company exceeds the ACH chargeback ratio, a merchant can lose its processing accounts.

For companies that have consistently experience chargebacks over 0.5%, Check 21 is a good alternative.  Checks by phone using this technology are priced on a per transaction fee plus a discount rate.

Extra Protection for Checks by Phone Payments

Check by phone accounts have 3 levels of verification to protect you.  Accounts include the following verification services which reduce chargebacks on accounts up to 80%.

  • ATM verification (also known as Early Warning) verifies the account is in good standing and that there is money available in the account
  • NCN verification verifies that there has been no history of bad checks written on the account
  • Live verification verifies by phone call to the consumer’s bank that money is still available in the account before the transaction is processed.

Unlike the chargeback process of ACH, consumers who have been debited using the Check 21 echecks process must visit their local branch within 90 days and submit a dispute form or affidavit stating that the transaction is fraud. 

All other reasons are normally not accepted as a purpose for dispute. Since Check 21 is considered a “check” it does not fall under the rules and regulations of NACHA. As a result you have far greater flexibility for chargebacks and returns.


Adding check by phone echeck payments increases your sales and profits.

If a card declines, offer an electronic check payment option & rescue the sale. And get orders from buyers that don't have cards or who simply prefer to pay with an echeck.

Electronic checks are the most popular alternative payment method in the US. Millions of shoppers buy goods & services over the phone with echecks.

Interested in accepting checks by phone?

Contact today