What is eCheck and ACH Payment Processing?

Merchant using TeleCheck on Clover Station

When making in-person, online, or mobile payments, most customers often reach for credit or debit cards during the checkout process; however, there are some that prefer to write checks or make electronic payments using their bank accounts. With check processing and ACH solutions from First Data, we help open up your payment method options, increase sales, reduce costs, and minimize processing delays.

The Automated Clearing House (ACH) is a batch network system that facilitates the transmission of direct payments from consumers’ bank accounts to the merchant’s account. When customers present a check which is converted into an ACH payment, or submit their bank routing and checking account numbers, the payment is sent electronically through the system for faster settlement.

Basics of Electronic Check and ACH Payment Processing

To eliminate the long wait time associated with check processing, many banks now use digital processing. This results in payments that clear within two or three days, sometimes even immediately. Our electronic check processing and ACH solutions help you clear checks as quickly as possible. This puts profits in your company's account and reduces the risk of bounced checks.

How Check and ACH Payment Processing Solutions Work

Check processing and ACH solutions simplify the payment process for shoppers, as well as businesses. Our solutions make it possible for customers to write checks or submit their banking information for any transaction, whether they're buying shoes at a local boutique or making an online donation to their favorite charity. We can even process checks through smartphones and tablets if you're working on the go.

When a customer pays with a check or uses banking information, our innovative tools and extensive databases help assess the risk of the check to help reduce losses. If the item meets the risk criteria, the system will issue an authorization for settlement processing.

Solutions That Tie to eCheck Processing and ACH Solutions

Some businesses just need one or two check-processing tools while others require a suite of solutions. At First Data, we work with you to determine which options benefit your business, and then we help you implement and maintain them. Our frequently requested business solutions include TeleCheck® electronic check acceptance, Internet check acceptance, mobile check acceptance, ConnectPaySM and warranty service protection.


TeleCheck has been an industry leader in ACH solutions for more than 50 years. You probably have experience with TeleCheck even if you haven't implemented it at your business yet. Brick-and-mortar retailers and online merchants that use TeleCheck often post information about it near the checkout area.

When a customer presents a check as payment, TeleCheck quickly scans its nationwide database of check-writing history. This database contains information from thousands of banks about their members' check-writing behaviors, including documentation of bounced checks and fraudulent payments. Customers with a history of fraud or account abuse get rejected, which helps protect your business from potential losses.

Electronic Check Acceptance

Electronic checks, also known as eChecks, are typically processed faster than paper checks. Electronic check acceptance lets your business convert paper checks into digital payments. These digital payments often clear within a day or two and are automatically posted to your company's account.

Internet Check Acceptance

Many customers prefer to pay online with their checking accounts, rather than using a credit card. Internet check acceptance gives shoppers the option to buy products or pay bills directly from their bank accounts. Depending on the checkout process, each payment gets processed as a recurring ACH debit or a one-time electronic check.

Mobile Check Acceptance

At the end of each day, some small business owners drive to the bank with an envelope of cash and checks. This puts you at risk for theft or loss, and it also makes it difficult to track payments.

As your business grows, consider mobile check acceptance. You can process and deposit checks anywhere, whether you're selling ornaments at a craft fair or tallying up payments from your clothing boutique.


Businesses and customers appreciate the flexibility and convenience of ConnectPay. Customers can store payment information in the app and then use it during these transaction types:

  • Online purchases
  • Gas pumps, so there are no pre-authorization fund holds
  • Mobile payments
  • Purchases made at in-store POS systems
  • This payment processing solution reduces costs and risks for businesses, and it often offers next-day funding. Customers can use it for recurring payments or one-time transactions.

    Warranty Service Protection

    All payment methods have their own risks, even when you have advanced processing solutions. That's why First Data offers a warranty service protection option for businesses that utilize our ACH solutions. If a customer writes a bad check - intentionally or accidentally - we protect your company against losses.

    Why Do You Need Check Processing and ACH Solutions?

    Our electronic check processing and ACH solutions give your customers the freedom to use their preferred payment method. These solutions protect your business from returned checks due to insufficient funds and closed accounts. We have helpful solutions for every business, whether you process a few checks per month or handle thousands of ACH payments per week.

    Curious about how ACH solutions can benefit your company? Get information on how you can set up a check processing and ACH Solutions account with First Data whether you're a small business, large business, or financial institution.