An eCheck is essentially a paper check without the “paper.” You can send and receive eChecks instantly over the internet by creating an eCheck account with a payments processor. Echeck payments are transferred through the Automated Clearing House (ACH), which is the main U.S. network for electronic fund transfers. The ACH is managed by Nacha, a nonprofit organization, now a part of the Interactive Financial eXchange (IFX) Forum. The reason eChecks are so popular is that they’re faster, easier, and much more secure than a paper check. They’re cheaper too, considering how expensive it is to use paper checkbooks for recurring business transactions.
Creating an eCheck account further simplifies the process for you by automating it and saving you a ton of time with recurring payments. While you can authorize an eCheck instantly, it can take anywhere between two to five days for it to process over the ACH network. This is still a big improvement over paper checks that need to be sent by post and then manually deposited by a person at a bank. Echecks also don’t get lost in the mail and are a reliable payment method.
The best way to use an eCheck is by setting up an eCheck account with a trusted payments provider. Seamless Chex is widely regarded by businesses across the country as one the best platforms to exchange eChecks, with instant bank balance verification and next-day deposits.
Here’s how to send and receive eChecks online for your business transactions:
Step 1: Obtain Customer Authorization
First, you need to obtain authorization from your customer to charge them money via an eCheck. If you have an eCheck account with Seamless Chex, this will take you no time. Simply ask your customer to fill out an online payment form asking for their checking account infomation and the dollar amount for the transfer.
Step 2: Enter the Transaction Information
Once you have the authorization in place and you’re ready to start accepting payments, pull up the payments interface and enter in the details you’ve obtained from the customer. With an eCheck account, the details will have been automatically saved at the authorization stage and you simply have to select the customer you want to charge the payment to. If you’ve set up recurring payments for that customer, you can skip this step altogether for subsequent payments. Once you’re satisfied, give the go-ahead for the transaction.
Step 3: Account Detail Verification
Once you’ve begun the transaction, the system needs to verify that the account and routing details you’ve specified for the transaction match the ones authorized by the customer. This is important to determine that the account is open and active. Account verification happens automatically with a Seamless Chex eCheck account.
Step 4: Bank Balance Verification
Your eCheck can bounce just as if it was a paper check if there aren’t sufficient funds in the debited account for the transaction. Verifying this usually takes between 24 to 48 hours with most banks. But when you use Seamless Chex with bank authentication, bank balance verification takes place instantly and confirms your customer has sufficient funds before they are able to submit payment.
Step 5: Fund Transfer
Once the eCheck enters the ACH network, the transaction begins to process. The money gets withdrawn from the customer’s account and deposited into yours. This process can take up to three to four days.
Step 6: Payment Deposit
Once the transfer is done, you’ll see the money deposited into your account. Both parties will receive a confirmation by email and text.
Normally, an eCheck can take as long as five days to successfully process. However, businesses with an eCheck account on Seamless Chex, receive their money the very next day.
If you have more questions on eCheck processing, feel free to reach out to our payment experts or look through our FAQs. If you’d like to try out the SeamlessChex platform to process eChecks for your business, you can sign up for a free 14-day trial, or simply contact us for help.