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This is an inside look at electronic payment processing through the Automated Clearing House network and is for educational purposes only. There is no warranty, expressed or implied in connection with making this information available. Electronic Funds Corporation is in no way liable nor responsible for omissions or errors, herein.

The Automated Clearing House (ACH) is an electronic payment network used by individuals, businesses, financial institutions and government organizations. Electronic ACH payments provide better cash management capabilities and lower costs than traditional paper payments. The nationwide network exchanges funds and information throughout the 50 states as well as the U.S. territories and Canada with participation by over 98% of the nation's financial institutions, including thousands of savings banks and credit unions. Efforts are underway for the development of a worldwide ACH Network -the Worldwide Automated Transaction Clearing House (W.A.T.C.H).

The ACH network allows funds to be electronically debited or credited to a company's or individual's deposit account. Currently these deposit accounts include checking and savings accounts. As of September 15, 2000, ACH credit transactions may be directed to loan accounts and ACH debit and credit transactions to financial institution general ledger accounts. ACH transactions carry basic entry details such as the individual name (except Point-of-Purchase transactions), financial institution routing number, account number, amount and effective date for the transaction. Additional payment information may be sent in expanded record formats called addenda records. The addenda may include payment-related information such as invoice number or shipping advice.

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