If you have been tasked with managing the monetary authorizations for your business organisation, you will need an electronic payment system. For starters, you should be aware of the differences between Automated Clearing House (ACH) Networks and Wire Transfers. When payment is authorized, it flows from a go-between route into the payee’s account. It is a seamless transaction, between the merchant and the customer/consumer. In today’s digital society, it simplifies the process of moving funds from one account into another one.
Wire transfers, on the other hand, are a method of moving money from one financial institution into a second one. Beginning with a request from the account holder, the money flows through a network provider and the funds are usually available immediately. But, it could take somewhere in the range of 3-5 business days. Top providers include Fedwire and SWIFT. Although it's common to transfer significantly larger amounts of money in this manner, such as a down payment for a house or car, it can also be used for smaller amounts. With global payment systems such as Paypal, account holders can choose the funding amount to transfer, in or out of the account.
Continue reading below, to learn the specifics about each payment process.
Automated Clearing House (ACH)
So, when the payment method is electronic, it flows effortlessly. Both the account holder and the merchant benefit from a seamless transaction. On the job, you will see the ACH process is used for weekly paychecks, which comes in the form of a direct deposit. Typically, the night before the official payday, the employer will deposit the employees’ weekly wages into their bank account. The merchant may also withdraw electronic funds from the business account to cover other business expenses and it’s also the way that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) processes income tax refunds.
To initiate the request, there needs to be a bank account number and routing number for the payee. Once provided, the paying organization deposits the agreed upon funding into the account. Because everything is done electronically, it requires less overhead and maintenance costs for the payer. But, should you encounter a problem, it also means that there isn’t an established paper trail. However, every business entity or financial institution has a transaction history that can be viewed online, at any time or downloaded.
All electronic payments can be completed through face-to-face transactions or you may download a hand APP, which does the work for you. The main benefit for businesses is that it allows them to receive funds without hassles.
Wire transfers are used when funding needs to move quickly from one bank account into another one. Top providers for banking transfers, for business and personal use, are Popwire and Zelle. Wire transfers help speed the time of transferring money. Unlike ACH funding, the recipient doesn’t need to wait for a specific date to receive the money transfer. But, although wire transfers are considered same-day transactions; it depends on the financial institution. Meaning anywhere from, immediate to 1 to 2 days.
With wire transfers, you shouldn’t see a delay in the availability of funds. It works pretty much the same way as ACH networks, with a few exceptions. The person or business sending funds need the bank account information of the recipient. Then, the request can be done in person, online or by telephone. And much like ACH payments, the transfer can be completed using a debit or credit card. Of course, if you are the person or business transferring the money, you will need to check with the credit card issuer, to determine if there are additional fees for the service.
Which Network to Choose?
It all depends on the type of transaction and if it’s a consumer transaction or a personal request. Wire transfers are considered an expedited process when the funds need to reach the recipient fast. And ACH payments can sometimes take longer, because of the clearinghouse networks and whether or not, the recipients’ financial institution places a hold on the funds. A “hold” is just a temporary measure to ensure that the sender has the funds available. While wire transfer funding is completed at the time of processing. Moving designated funds through electronic payment systems decreases the likelihood of fraudulent transactions.