Our world is becoming digital. One area where this shift is increasingly evident is the retail sector. Customers are abandoning cash and paper checks for the quickness and ease of debit cards, credit cards, and electronic checks. While this shift may seem daunting to retailers accustomed to traditional billing and payment methods as well as those new to e-commerce, there are actually several benefits to using ACH transactions to accept online payments.
ACHstands for Automated Clearing House, which is a federally regulated method for helping businesses accept online payments. These online payments include credit cards, debit cards, electronic checks, gift cards, and more. Plus, ACH transactions are not exclusive to online merchants. In fact, brick-and-mortar businesses can take advantage of the benefits of online payments as well.
The ACH allows banks to send multiple transactions back and forth, quickly and securely, in large batches. This process is not only economical for both businesses and consumers; it is also safe and efficient.
To use ACH processing to accept payments, most businesses choose to go through a merchant service provider (MSP). MSPs offer a variety of online payment options to match your business needs. Whether your business is completely conducted online or if you need a mobile credit card machine to accept payments on the go, there is certainly an MSP that fits your payment situation. Plus, these services will integrate your business and/or website with ACH processing software and help train your employees on properly using the software to accept online payments along with many of the other features commonly included in business payment software.
When you decide to accept online payments via ACH transactions this creates a much more safe and user-friendly shopping experience for your customers. One of the distinct features between using an MSP and a third-party provider, such as PayPal or Amazon, is the fact that an MSP allows you to white label your invoices, receipts, and payment environment with your company’s logo. Although PayPal and similar third-party payment services might be slightly cheaper, they typically require customers to leave your website and finish a transaction in their environment. Naturally, this process can be frustrating and confusing for many customers. Clearly, a one-stop shopping environment is preferable.
For added convenience, ACH transactions allow customers to automate recurring online payments using a checking account or credit card. Plus, using e-checks and debit cards allows customers to keep more accurate financial records. For example, they no longer have to wait days or weeks for a merchant to deposit a check. online payment software ACH processing using electronic checks is also convenient for older customers who may not have a credit card or be wary of debit card transactions.
Customers are not the only group to benefit from ACH transactions. Financial experts agree that offering multiple payment methods to customers is a great way to grow your business since it allows you to target a wider range of consumers. Additionally, accepting online payments allows you to cut down on billing-associated expenses because most software programs will create invoices and authorize payments without the hassle of having someone stuff a paper invoice into an envelope, mail it, manually take the payment to the bank when it is returned, and wait for the authorization of funds.
Since ACH transactions occur in real-time, merchants can also dramatically reduce customer attempts to “beat the bank” and similar scams. Whether the customer is paying with a debit card, credit card, or electronic check, an ACH transaction quickly and easily alerts merchants if funds are insufficient.
If you are ready to take your business to the next level by creating a more enjoyable shopping experience for your customers while protecting your business, contact a merchant service provider to take advantage of ACH transactions and accept online payments.