ACH payment processing centers accept and process many forms of direct deposits, from payroll to social security and tax refunds. They also allow consumers to make payments directly from their bank accounts for mortgages, utilities and credit cards. Businesses may make payments to other businesses. E-Commerce transactions can be completed, and electronic checks processed. The ACH processing network consists of more than 20,000 financial institutions that serve over three million business and 115 million consumers. Funds are processed in batches, following the rules and regulations set up by the NACHA, its governing body. There are several incentives for merchants to use ACH processing. The most important reason that merchants use ACH payment processing is the substantial reduction in banking fees. When checks are electronically processed, the amount is verified before transfer is attempted. If there are insufficient funds, the transfer will not occur and there will be no fees on a returned check. Transactions can often be completely processed in 24 to 48 hours. This is several days faster than waiting for checks sent via the Postal Service. When payments and transfers take place electronically, they are processed first. This means faster settlement and funding. If there are insufficient funds, electronic payments are paid as they become available. When paid on a first come first served basis, the merchant gets paid faster as paper checks are put at the end of the line. With ACH payment processing, much of the process is automated. For merchants, the ability to scan a check or swipe a card through an electronic reader means fewer errors. If invoices and payments can be accepted electronically, there are none of the expenses associated with mailing a printed statement. From stamps and envelopes to the personnel required to prepare them, man-hours are significantly reduced. Customers like to have the flexibility of several payment options. When doing business with ACH payment processing, customers have the convenience of setting up automatic payments, so that less time is spent paying the same bills each month. Payment plans can be set up to assist the customer in fulfilling their financial obligations to the merchant. The faster and easier payments are, the more likely the customer will be to shop with that merchant again. Reporting and standardized downloads makes it easy for merchants to track settlements and insufficient funds. For more information contact National Processing, Better Business Bureau accredited and experienced in handling all of your processing needs.