A customer can pay a merchant for a purchase in many different ways. Credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, checks, electronic checks, money orders, and of course, cash are ways you can pay for goods and services.

As technology advances, more traditional payment choices are shutting down and going away. And we’re seeing a need and desire to automate as much as we can.

With traditional check processing the checks must be deposited into the merchant’s bank, and it can take several days for the checks to clear. Either the customer will receive the paper check back with his or her monthly bank statement, or they will receive a copy of the check.

Electronic check changes and automates the process, and allows merchants to receive their money in a much more timely basis. With an electronic check, the merchant takes the routing number, check number, name, amount and any other needed information. With this information, the merchant makes an electronic funds transfer from one bank to another. In other words, when you pay for something with an electronic check, the seller pulls money from your bank and deposits it into his or her bank. It is officially known as an ACH transaction or also known as automated clearing house.

Electronic checks clear much faster than standard checking procedures, normally clearing in 48 hours or less. This speedy process makes it vital for consumers to ensure they have enough money in their checking account to cover the purchase. If the purchase does not clear, just like a regular check, the consumer will owe the merchant for the purchase and any other charges that the merchant requires for insufficient funds.

The use of electronic checks makes the checking process easier. Instead of dealing with hundreds of paper checks to process and deposit, merchants can quickly process payments electronically. Electronic checks are easier for the consumer because they do not have to fill out paper checks. The information is collected from the check, the amount is entered and the payment is made.

Ready to accept electronic checks in your business? Contact us today.

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