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eCheck Payments

What is an eCheck, or electronic check? Processing electronic payment works much like accepting credit card payments. This article will review what an eCheck is, the pros and cons, and how to accept eCheck payments through your payment gateway.

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Many online shoppers are increasingly eschewing credit cards. They want a way of paying for your goods and services that does not involve debt. In such cases, it can help if you accept eCheck payments.

What is an eCheck?

First of all, it is important to understand what an eCheck is. Simply put, it's like the paper checks only it is electronic. Instead of writing a paper check, the buyer can decide to authorize funds for deduction from their checking account. And, just like a paper check, there is often a number assigned to the eCheck for ease in tracking it down.

An eCheck also has another thing in common with paper checks: It can take more time for the eCheck to clear. Some buyers like to pay with an eCheck in order to "float" the purchase, waiting a few days for the money to clear. In some cases, the three to four business days that it takes an eCheck to clear is still faster than if a check is mailed. With a mailed paper check, you have to wait for the check to arrive, and then take it to the bank, where it may take one or two business days for the funds to be cleared for your account. This means that it can take seven to ten days or more for you to be paid if you accept a paper check.

Be aware that an eCheck, like a paper check, can bounce. In some cases the eCheck may not clear the buyer's bank account. It is important that you wait until the funds are in your bank account before you provide any agreed-upon products or services.

Accepting an eCheck

You can accept an eCheck online through most payment gateways. This service, though, may cost more. Some payment gateways charge an extra monthly fee in order for you to accept eChecks. Other companies simply charge you on a per-transaction basis. There are some payment gateway services that will charge you nothing extra in order to accept eCheck. In fact, if you use PayPal, you can save money when you accept eChecks for amounts of more than $165. The fee for eCheck acceptance does not exceed five dollars at PayPal, so if you have large orders, you can save money by accepting eCheck over receiving instant funds.

Setting up your Web site to accept eCheck payments can be a good idea. It allows your customers to avoid using credit cards if they wish. And, it gives you the security that you are more likely to be paid. When you see an eCheck instantly, you know that the funds are in the process of being verified immediately; there is no waiting to see if payment arrives in the mail. The waiting time is significantly cut when you accept an eCheck.

Ensuring the privacy and security of your customers

When you accept eCheck payments, you need to make sure that you ensure the privacy and security of your customers. Your clients need to know that you have a secure Web site. Make sure that your payment gateway employs SSL (secure socket layer) encryption to help scramble your customers' personal information. You should also make sure that you have a current and valid security certificate. You want your clients and customers to trust that your Web site is reasonably safe. You can usually share a certificate with your ecommerce Web host or buy your own certificate (this is more expensive, but the certificate is yours).

Before you commit to a payment gateway, you should decide what features you want. If you want to accept eCheck payments, you should look for a payment gateway that allows you to do so. You should also compare prices of services that allow you to accept eChecks. You want to get the best deal for the money, and you want to be able to make sure that your customers can use the payment method of their choice when purchasing your products and services.

Related Article: What is a Payment Gateway? >>

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