Saturday, May 30, 2009

ACH or Credit Cards

Most businesses accept credit cards and consider the
process fees a cost of doing business. However by
implementing an ACH payment system you can realize
dramatic savings and increase sales.

ACH refers to the Automated Clearing House and
generically means moving money electronically to
and from checking and savings accounts. An example
would be a check by phone or taking recurring payments
directly from a checking account.


The MAJOR difference between ACH and credit card
processing is that a credit card transaction “captures”
the merchant’s funds from the consumer and essentially
guarantees payment. An ACH transaction is a request to
transfer funds. The transaction may reject for several
reasons with the most common being NSF (non
sufficient funds) or a closed account. The funds are
not guaranteed.

It is the guarantee piece that allows the credit card
company to charge a percentage of the transaction to
cover the risks involved. Typically a transaction will
consist of a discount rate, 2.5% for example and a
transaction fee, typically in the 30 cent range. This
means that every $100 processed incurs about $2.85 in
merchant fees.

Contrast this with an ACH transaction. Typically there
is no discount rate just a .30 (or less) transaction
fee. If you process $25,000 per month using ACH
processing will save around $7500 per year. Certainly
you will have more “failed” sales due to ACH
transaction rejects (eg NSF) but your transaction savings
will far exceed these losses. In addition you will
appeal to a much wider range of consumers. Estimates
vary but MANY people do not have credit cards or are
at their limit on their cards. So the benefits are two
fold-much reduced transaction fees and a new payment
vehicle for your customers.

So consider ACH processing for your business. It will
save you money and win new customers

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