If you’ve been in business, even for a short amount of time, you’ve likely heard the terms EFT and ACH thrown around. You may have even heard them used interchangeably. But the truth is, while both of these acronyms represent a type of money movement, they are technically not the same. Here are a few important facts to keep in mind.
In basic terms, ACH stands for Automated Clearing House and EFT stands for Electronic Funds Transfer. Some EFT payments are ACH, but some are not. Here’s where it can kind of get confusing, and it’s important to understand the difference because each carries its own legal and operational meaning.
ACH payments are electronic payments that are processed through the Automated Clearing House Network. This system is used to securely clear e-payments between banks. Managed by NACHA, the ACH network enables much faster payment processing than paper checks. In 2018 alone, the ACH network handled more than 27 billion payments.
From a business standpoint, ACH payments (both in and out via direct deposit or direct debit) offer a convenient and cost-effective way to send and receive money. And because ACH payments are fast and secure, they’re a much better option for managing cash flow than traditional payment methods. No more waiting for checks to come in and clear.
Electronic Funds Transfers work similarly to ACH payments, but this category is far more encompassing. For example, EFTs also include things like wire transfers, debit payments and electronic bill payments, all of which move money from one account to another. EFT payments typically take around 1 to 4 business days to process.
Again, from a business perspective, EFT transactions are easy, safe and convenient. They also reduce the chance of errors, cut down on delays and provide faster access to cash.
ACH vs. EFT – Which is Best?
The real difference between each of these payment methods is the types of transactions they cover. As mentioned earlier, some EFTs are ACHs. In other words, an ACH payment is basically just one of the several types of EFT transactions. EFTs simply cover a wider range of transaction type. Both, however, are processed via the ACH network.
Benefits of ACH/EFT Payments
Regardless of which type of transaction you choose, electronic payments can benefit your property management business in a number of ways. For instance, because ACH and EFT transactions take place electronically, they can support a paperless environment. This can help you minimize costs. Additionally, as we touched on above, e-payments improve cash flow.
With Netintegrity, you can put the power of electronic payments to work for your business. We offer a variety of easy payment solutions designed to help simplify receivables, eliminate data entry, reduce errors and enable you to offer your customers the payment options they prefer.
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