In this day and age, it's easy to assume that everyone prefers to use a credit or debit card. PayPal and other digital wallets are also prevalent, and for the most part, checks have become a thing of the past. However, that isn't always true.
Many people have negative associations with the word "check." The idea of checks brings to mind slow processing speeds, mental images of waiting behind someone in line as they painstakingly make one out… you get the idea.
It's easy to assume eChecks are equally inefficient, but that's not true at all. In fact, eChecks improve upon paper checks significantly, and there's a definite place for them in eCommerce right alongside more "modern" payment methods.
On this article, we'll show you how eChecks can help your online store appeal to customers that use these are their preferred method of payment.
How do eChecks Work?
An eCheck combines the convenient aspects of a check (yes, there are some) with the enhancements afforded by electronic processing. The customer provides their routing and bank account numbers, just like with a paper check. But rather than being processed manually, the eCheck goes through the Automated Clearing House (ACH), a secure network run through the Federal Reserve.
The Advantages of eChecks
eChecks process much faster than paper checks, and they also have stronger security features. There's no risk of a returned check, since if the customer has insufficient funds, the eCheck just doesn't go through. Deposits are made much faster as well. Out-of-state and international eChecks can be accepted safely. There's also no limit on the monetary amount of an eCheck. In fact, the U.S. Treasury has chosen eChecks as the only means of making a large transaction over the internet. This makes eChecks perfect for online stores that sell highly priced items, although any store can accept them.
Transaction fees for eChecks are lower than fees for credit or debit cards, making them quite cost-effective. And since bank account information remains the same for the life of the account, eChecks are great for recurring payments — unlike card numbers, which change regularly. And the fact is that some customers still prefer to pay by check. eChecks allow these customers to use their preferred payment method, enhanced with extra security.
As a seller, you'll also benefit from the extra speed and security provided by eChecks. They deposit quickly, cut down on fraud, and as mentioned above, have lower transaction fees than other methods. You'll also be able to serve customers who prefer checks, or for whatever reason don't have their debit card at the moment. Remember that if a customer's card is lost or stolen, sometimes they have to wait several days to get a new one, but they may still need to make purchases before their new card arrives. By accepting eChecks, you can help customers in this situation.
How to accept eChecks
To accept eChecks on your online store, you'll need to connect with an eCheck-processing payment gateway. If you're using an eCommerce platform with eCheck processing built in, you can have it set up in a few simple steps.
Of course, there are many other payment methods your online store could benefit from. We've put together a free ebook to help you learn more. You can download our Guide to Digital Wallets and Alternate Payments below.