Difference Between ACH and e-Check (With Table)

Growing businesses with the emergence of new technologies bring changes in money transactions. Transfer of money through electronic way is the best safest and rapid method and choosing the right way for payment of money can be complicated especially when there are too many options like ACH and eCheck.

ACH vs e-Check

The main difference between ACH vs e-Check is that ACH is a kind of electronic payment for moving funds between bank accounts and eCheck also called electronic checks, it is a modern version of the old-style paper check and which make electronic payment more convenient, safer, and rapid.

ACH vs e Check

ACH or Automatic Clearing House is a type of EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) that connected all the financial and banking institutions within the US. ACH is a network that allows your baking information to process all the payments. ACH is like posting the credit to an account like direct deposits.

Electronic checks (e-Checks) are a type of electronic fund transfer (EFT) that depend upon ACH networks to process their all payments. It makes all the paper checks of the business into e-Check which is submitted and processed electronically. Electronic checks are made for faster and smoother processes for business owners.

Comparison Table Between ACH and e-Check

Parameter of comparisonACHe-Check
DefinitionIt is a transaction process between a customer and company or a similar kind of transactionIt is a method of payment that replaces old-style paper check to fully digitally for financial transaction
Mode of functionA process used to manage the transfer from one account to anotherA payment method conducted through the ACH network
Processing speedThe processing speed of ACH may vary. Normally they take between 3 to 7 daysProcessing of e-Check is faster than manual processing a physical check
Nature of paymentACH involve many types of payment through the ACH network and e-Check is one of themPayment is done only through the online processing of the e-Check
SafetyACH is less safe because it involves payment detail in advancee-Check ensure maximum safety because it involves multiple levels of authentication

What is ACH?

ACH or Automatic clearing house payments which made through the automated clearing house networks that added another level of security validation for ACH payments, which make him a trustable and reliable system of payment between banks in the United States. Normally ACH transfer takes 3-5 bank business days to process. It is faster cheaper and safer than using paper checks.

Whenever we make payment through any website then we are required to enter bank details and routing number is an example of ACH. This type of computerized and centralized system of payment is beneficial for the merchant, consumer, and business owner because from the electronic base it is easy to track.

ACH is a paperless transaction where bills and invoicing can be done digitally and most importantly it is kept to store all the records of payment in your banking or payment system ledger. Without any bank details of the other party payment through ACH does not happen hence it requires bank details for initiating payment in the other party’s bank account.

ACH is popular for government payments like social benefits after their retirement but also popular for business operations and non-government transactions.

What is e-Check?

Electronic checks or e-Checks is an electronic funds transfer that depends upon ACH, they are similar to paper checks which are not bank obligations. In this transaction and authorization for within the same document. Technically e-Check is the term of ACH debit where merchants got authentication to withdraw monthly money from customer accounts. This system of e-Check benefits merchants to offer the best and most advantageous deal to their regular customers with an easy and convenient mode of payment.

Paper checks are also converted into e-Checks by business electronically which make business function smoother and faster. They are just like a paper check except they are not printed but digitally accepted over mobile phones, the internet, and fax and business owner need to open an account to access e-Check.

e-Checks allow the banks to handle the risk measures which is helpful for the customer who uses a checking account.

The growing e-commerce sector needs that gave the development of eChecks to make the transactions faster and smoother.

Main Differences Between ACH and e-Check

  1. The main difference between ACH and e-Check is that ACH is an electronic payment system whereas e-Check is the method of ACH
  2. ACH is an example of a centralized system of payments whereas e-Check is between 2 parties.
  3. Electronic checks are based on newer technologies whereas ACH is introduced earlier.
  4. ECH is managed by specific entities which require banking information whereas e-Checks are payments between two parties.
  5. eChecks need ACH for completing their payment whereas other types of payment are done through ACH


Both ACH and e-Check processing are similar than they are different. Both need customer authentication in their type of transaction to debit their bank account. However, their expenses for ACH and the charges involved in processing e-Checks distinguish these two. AHC and e-Check has a common purpose that is transaction transfer funds from one bank to another bank.

ACH and e-Check showcase different type of transaction which are based on different type of business models. they are also different in term of risk management but the good thing is that both allow different services and different needs. Linkage with electronic and newer technologies made them choose able to both customer and merchants.

Emerging economic and global connection between companies of different world need safer and faster payment services. Both ACH (Automatic clearing house) and electronic checks are good options in their respecting areas.


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  2. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/hsp/jpss/2007/00000002/00000001/art00008