How Small, Local Businesses can Benefit from ACH Payments

What are ACH payments, and how do they work? If you’re a small, local business owner, it may be in your best interest to find out.

ACH payments are payments that are made through what is called the Automated Clearing House Network. With ACH payments, your funds are moved from one bank account to another via an intermediate source. With the exception of occasional paper checks, most of this is done electronically. Ultimately, this means that electronic payments can be automated, making them easier to analyze and to keep records for.

This isn’t exactly a new or revolutionary concept — customers are already doing this if they receive paychecks via direct deposit or make payments from checking accounts.

Your business can utilize ACH in a number of ways. You can receive payments from your customers, set up direct deposit for your employees, pay another business for services or supplies or, as a taxpayer, send payments to the IRS or area organizations.

There are numerous benefits to ACH. It’s a bit more environmentally friendly — you’re cutting down on plastic (company credit cards), paper and ink (checks), and the fuel needed to transport these things. You’re also protecting yourself from occasional bounced checks from customers. Record keeping becomes easier when done electronically. You can receive payments remotely from customers who don’t have credit cards or prefer not to use them. You can also set up automatic payments, enabling you to receive and send funds on time.

To set up ACH, you need a payment processor. In many cases, this will be the bank that manages your business accounts. Costs will vary depending on the size of your business; to know for sure how much these will cost, it is best to speak with an expert at your local bank.

For many small, local businesses, ACH is a service that brings peace of mind for a wide variety of reasons. It can save time, so you can devote more of it to your life and your business. It can save money, which you can use to serve your business in additional ways. With less use of plastic, fuel, and paper, it is increasingly gentler on the environment on which your business depends. ACH may well be the option to put your business on a smoother path. To learn if ACH is the right option for you, call or stop by your local bank for an in-depth discussion.