Guide to ACH payments

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What is an ACH payment?

3 minute read

ACH payments are electronic payments to and from the US that are delivered through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network. In the US, it provides a means of moving funds between banks electronically rather than using cash, cheques, credit card networks or more costly wire transfers.

International ACH payments provide a way to send funds to and from the US and can therefore be used for direct deposits and direct payments, and for both personal transfers and international business payments


How long does an ACH payment take to process?

Even within the US, an ACH transfer is not instant; international ACH payments are subject to the same rules and timescales. Payments could take up to three working days to clear, depending on the timing of the transfer. Incomplete paperwork may cause the payment to fail, which could cause further delays as the processing begins back at the start. Notification of errors only takes place as the third step in the process, after the funds have been debited from the sender’s account, so it’s worth making sure you get it right.

Once the payment has been approved, it takes another step to fully complete the transaction. This rigorous process highlights the efficiency and security of ACH payments, which for many makes the delay compared with more instant methods acceptable. 


How much does an international ACH payment cost?

The cost is another benefit of ACH payments both within the US and internationally. Wire transfers within the US are faster than ACH payments, but they are also more expensive. Fees for international wire transfers can be even higher so unless your payment is urgent, it’s worth considering whether a wire transfer is needed. If you have multiple payments to make over the year, all those transfer fees can add up to a significant additional cost. 


What information is needed to make an ACH payment?

Failure to provide all the right information can result in a delay to your payments. At moneycorp, we can use the ACH payment system to send non-urgent funds to and from the US and we work with you to ensure that you have all the information you need to send the money without any issues. As well as standard details such as your name and the payment amount, you’ll need to provide the bank routing number, the account number and the type of business or personal account, such as a savings or current account. 

If you’re sending funds to or from the US, it’s worth considering whether you require the speed of a wire transfer, which is higher cost, or could opt for an international ACH payment for an efficient way to make and receive money transfers in US dollars. 

Speak with one of our currency experts for more guidance on our range of corporate FX solutions and how they can cater for your international currency exchange requirements. 


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