What is an eCheck?
Essentially, an eCheck, or electronic check, is a form of online payment where money is electronically withdrawn from the payer’s checking account, transferred over the ACH network, and deposited into the payee’s checking account. With an ACH merchant account, a business can withdraw payments for a good or service directly from their customer’s bank account. The payment must be authorized by the customer, either by signed contract, acceptance of a website’s “Terms and Conditions” or a recorded voice conversation.
How Does Electronic Check Processing Work?
Electronic check processing is somewhat similar to paper check processing, only faster. Instead of a customer manually filling out a paper check and sending it to the business they need to pay, today’s technology allows the process to happen electronically, saving both time as well as paper waste.
Do ACH and EFT mean the same as eCheck?
EFT stands for “Electronic Funds Transfer.”
This all-encompassing term includes many types of financial transfers:
• Wire transfers
• Direct deposits
• Electronic benefits payments
• ACH disbursements etc.
ACH stands for “Automated Clearing House.”
This is the electronic network used by financial institutions in the United States that provides the infrastructure used by payment processing companies.
The best way to explain the similarities and differences of ACH, EFT and eCheck is that an eCheck is a type of electronic funds transfer (EFT) that uses the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network to process the payment. The money is electronically withdrawn from the payer’s account, sent via the ACH network to the payee’s banking institution, and then electronically deposited into the payee’s account – similar to a paper check, just electronically.