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What to Look for in an eCheck Payment Partner

paying by echeck online

For years credit cards have been the default payment method for businesses that accept online payments. Recently, however, eChecks have become an increasingly popular option.

With eChecks your customers can pay you directly from their bank account to yours. Since eChecks processing is affordable, fast, secure, and easy-to-use, both businesses and customers are embracing it.

At the same time, for you to reap these benefits, you first need to find an eCheck payment partner. And you can start by knowing exactly what to look for in your payment partner.

Make sure eChecks work for your business.

As mentioned, eChecks are beneficial for most businesses. Again, they cost lower to process than credit cards and are a lot faster and more secure. In particular, eChecks are most useful for businesses that rely on recurring billing or large transactions, such as:

  • Subscription-based online businesses.
  • Membership businesses that require monthly fees, such as a gym.
  • Insurance companies that use recurring payments.
  • Businesses that accept large sum payments, like apartment or office rentals.
  • B2B businesses that receive large payments.
  • Nonprofit organizations that accept monthly or annual donations.
  • Schools that require tuition payments.
  • Established, growing businesses that want to offer multiple payment option.

If your business falls into any of the listed above, then it’s time to jump on-board  the eCheck bandwagon.

Choose a well-established company.

Don’t fall for a flashy company promising you the world. That low pricing may sound tempting, but is it secure? Do they offer features like recurring payments?

The last thing that you want is to jeopardize the future of your business because you went with an eCheck company who wasn’t legit.

Always play it safe by sticking with a partner that is reliable and trusted. In most cases, your current payment processor should be able to allow you to accept eChecks. If they don’t then check out these 101 trustworthy eCheck companies.

No outright purchases.

Since everything is pretty much on the cloud these days, there’s no need to purchase expensive software or equipment. To be perfectly blunt, avoid companies requiring you to purchase these items before helping you. Avoid them at all costs.

Low percentage fees.

As a business owner, you want to keep your spending as low as possible. And that’s why so many businesses accept eChecks. It’s cheaper than most other payment forms.

The average fee of an eCheck transaction ranges from $0.30 to $1.50. However, there are some banks that don’t charge anything, while others may go as high $10.

Do a little comparison shopping before settling on an eCheck payment partner to make sure you’ve found one with the best fees available for your circumstances.

Do the fees seems a little high? Don’t be afraid to negotiate. If you’re already using the same company to process credit cards, then they should be willing to work with you. If not, you should consider switching payment processing companies.

Fast delivery times.

As noted by NerdWallet, “Bank-to-bank transfers typically process within three business days, though some banks and credit unions are faster.” If you want to be certain that the funds will be available in your account, most companies will charge you a “next business day” fee.

Since there’s now same-day ACH, there shouldn’t be a concern. But, you still want to double-check and make sure that the money is in your account ASAP. Remember, the sooner the money is in your account, the sooner you can pay your expenses.

Easy integration.

You should also have a partner where it’s easy to to export customer data and integrate your new system with your current business management software. When you process eChecks from one interface you’ll save time and money. Additionally, you’ll reduce double-data entry errors while simplifying the reconciliation process.

PCI compliance and security.

Want to install confidence with your customers? Then you want to work with a client who adheres and complies with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

For those unfamiliar, these standards have established guidelines set by the PCI Security Counsel to prevent fraud. To determine if you are complaint or can become complaint, you’re asked to complete an annual SAQ (Self-Assessment Questionnaire).

A PCI compliant processor has already taken the appropriate measures to provide the highest levels of data security. However, a reliable merchant account provider should provide assistance to you in completing the SAQ.

Furthermore, you should also make sure that the eCheck payment processor also uses tokenization technology and P2PE (Point-to-Point Encryption). This not only guarantees that they’re PCI compliment, it will also drastically reduce the chances of someone stealing sensitive data.

Technical support.

Even though you should be able to just set-it and forget-it after you’ve found the right eCheck payment partner, there will be times when things don’t run very smoothly. When this happens, you want to make sure that you can fix the problem immediately. This means being able to quickly contact technical support and receive a timely response.

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Peter Daisyme is the co-founder of Palo Alto, California-based Hostt, specializing in helping businesses with hosting their website for free, for life. Previously he was the co-founder of Pixloo, a company that helped people sell their homes online, that was acquired in 2012.

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