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ACH & eCheck Payment Processing
While credit cards and payment apps are incredible financial tools, millions of consumers still have a checking account. What does this mean for you? It means Unity FI can provide a simple, safe and speedy way to allow your customers to pay directly through their Bank accounts. Please see below to learn more about ACH & eCheck Processing.
What is ACH?
Known as The Automated Clearing House, ACH is an electronic payment delivery system that processes credit and debit transfers for businesses, small and large. ACH Payments deduct funds directly from your customer’s checking or savings account adding value to the customer experience and providing an efficient alternative to traditional credit card or even paper check processing.
How can ACH & eCheck help your business?
ACH transactions offer a wide variety of benefits and efficiencies over traditional credit cards and paper checks. You can start increasing operational efficiencies immediately with one or all of the following product applications:
Automatically collect from repeat billing customers
Try mobile ACH for simple and secure payments anywhere your devices take you
Avoid transaction fees while securely processing ACH payments from your website
Pay by Phone
ACH over the phone allows customers to seamlessly make payments from their checking account
What are some challenges with traditional checks & cards?
Challenges with Traditional Check Payments
- Require time and effort to write and deposit
- Carry risk of lost, stolen, or late checks
- Require postage expenses
- Require administration and operation expenses to process
- Carry risk of check fraud and stop payment charges
Challenges with Credit/Debit Card Payments
- More expensive to establish, operate and maintain
- Credit/debit cards and PayPal demand higher rates
- Not ideal for recurring or subscription payments
- Limited percentage of the market compared to ACH
Remote Deposit Capture
Remote deposit capture (RDC) is an increasingly popular service that enables businesses to scan any type of check, as well as money orders, and transmit the images to a bank for posting and clearing. A growing number of businesses are adopting RDC to expedite their check depositing process, saving them time and money.
The process for remote deposit capture is simple. After you receive a check, just place it in a scanner provided to you by Unity FI Solutions, then scan it to send it to your bank via an encrypted internet connection. Your bank then posts the funds to your account and assigns availability.
Adopting a remote deposit capture solution will reduce the number of return items you receive, allow for earlier fraud detection, cause fewer data entry errors and greatly decrease your processing costs.
Our Unique Solution – RDC Deposit Anywhere
Normally, remote deposit capture involves using a separate scanner for each depositary bank to which a user is sending checks. Because using multiple scanners can be very costly and time-consuming, Unity FI Solutions developed RDC Deposit Anywhere. This solution allows for all checks to be scanned with one scanner, and then deposited to multiple banks using our Unity FI Solutions software. This not only saves space in your workspace, but also helps your business significantly reduce scanner and software costs.
Companies that choose to take advantage of remote deposit capture stand to gain numerous benefits, including:
- Faster check clearings – because RDC allows checks to be deposited from the location of your business, there is no need to spend time transporting checks to your depository bank. Compared to manual check deposit, remote deposit capture typically allows businesses to receive funds two to three days faster. Plus, remote deposit capture is available to use 24/7, so you don’t have to wait until your bank opens to deposit checks.
- Improved cash flow – when your checks clear faster, your company’s cash flow and working capital improve, providing additional flexibility for your business.
- Lower processing and transportation costs – companies that use remote deposit capture save money on multiple fronts. Expenses associated with traveling to the bank, such as gas, employee wages to transport the check, etc., are eliminated. Occasionally, you may still have to take a check to the bank for deposit, but nearly all checks are compatible with RDC scanners. Additionally, remote deposit capture recognition software can extract data from checks to reduce or eliminate the amount of time it takes to manually key information.
- Expanded banking options – remote deposit capture expands your business’s banking options by eliminating the need to bank with a financial institution near your place of business. You no longer have to find a bank whose physical location is convenient for check deposits. By removing these geographical constraints, you can begin looking for a banking relationship anywhere in the nation and find the one that works best for you.
- Reduced return item risk – since remote deposit capture results in faster check clearings, you’ll know about return items sooner, giving your business more flexibility in collecting on these items.
Many customers choose to couple our remote deposit capture solution with our check guarantee solution. This enables you to use your RDC scanner to send us return items, which we’ll re-present for you (up to two times) and collect the money owed to you.
RDC requires very little setup. To get started, you’ll need:
- A check scanner (which is provided by Unity FI Solutions)
- A depository bank to receive the check images
- A computer with a secure internet connection
- Software from your RDC provider – Unity FI Solutions provides this to all of our remote deposit capture clients
- Updated legal agreement
Despite being a relatively new technology, remote deposit capture holds limited risks for users. Using an encrypted connection limits the risks associated with transferring your check images over the internet. Financial institutions using remote deposit capture should consult all FFIEC guidelines regarding Internet banking before using the solution.
How long does it take to get remote deposit capture set up at my business?
After signing all the necessary agreements, we can have the solution up and running at your company in just five business days.
What are the typical savings for businesses using remote deposit capture?
The savings you’ll realize from using remote deposit capture vary from business to business. It largely depends on the number of checks you regularly deposit and how frequently you’re used to going to the bank to do so.
How much does a remote deposit capture solution cost?
Unity FI Solutions uniquely tailors its products to meet each individual client’s specific needs. Our remote deposit capture solution is typically less expensive and more flexible than those from banks. Give us a call and our experienced team will discuss how we can customize a solution to fit your requirements.
Why not just get a remote deposit scanner from my bank?
Although most banks offer remote deposit scanners for businesses, Unity FI Solutions provides one scanner that works with all banks. So, if your business needs to deposit checks into more than one bank, our solution saves you both money and space.
How do I receive my scanner?
For faster and smoother set-up, we recommend our clients purchase a scanner through us, and we will deliver it. If your business already has a scanner and wishes to reduce costs, we will do our best to make your existing scanner work.
Banking rules allow for re-submission of non-sufficient funds (NSF) return items. The re-presentment of returned items (RCK) is either the conversion of a physical check to an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or the re-presentment of a returned electronic item (ACH). This allows a business to re-present the item through a debit transaction via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) in order to collect owed funds.
Businesses can spend a substantial amount of time and money attempting to collect on return items, often with minimal recovery. RCK provides a way for businesses to protect themselves from loss due to NSF items.
When a business deposits a customer’s check payment, its financial institution presents the check to the customer’s bank. Either the payment is processed or the bank returns the check as NSF. If the check is returned as NSF, the business can use an RCK solution to submit it to be re-presented to the customer’s account through the ACH network. The re-presented check can only be for face value, but a state allowable return fee can be charged to the customer to cover any expenses associated with collecting the funds. Once the money is collected, it is deposited into the business’ account.
Our Unique Solution – Smart Returns
NSF checks must take a specific route in order to be processed, so most RCK programs use similar methods to re-present checks. However, Unity FI Solutions offers a unique RCK solution, called Smart Returns, that electronically re-presents returned checks up to two times for collection and lets the client choose the re-presentment schedule. This can lead to as much as a 90 percent collection rate. It also allows your business to resubmit return items immediately, saving significant time in the collection process.
In addition to offering a customized re-presentment schedule, Smart Returns offers many unique and personalized features. The solution provides an intuitive user interface that can be “white labeled” to seamlessly integrate into your brand’s established look and feel.
Smart Returns offers 24/7 access to NSF check images and the option to upload paid data files to the accounts receivable system. In addition, Smart Returns offers a fee income function so that businesses do not have to separately apply processing fees to their customers. Our experienced team at Unity FI Solutions will also handle all customer service inquiries related to Smart Returns.
There is no equipment needed for Smart Returns. You can access the software and all of your information through one convenient online portal.
RCK for ACH originated transactions
RCK can also be used for Automated Clearing House (ACH) originated transactions. The Smart Returns system is capable of receiving daily NACHA return files. Once in the system, it allows a merchant or business to re-present the returned ACH item by originating a new ACH debit transaction in order to collect owed funds.
The benefits of RCK are immense for both businesses and their consumers. The streamlined service offered by Smart Returns allows your company to focus on its core business, rather than spend time chasing down returned checks. It is also beneficial to your customers, allowing them to pay their debts and return to purchasing.
Key benefits for merchants and customers include:
Benefits to merchants
- Reduced staff-hours spent attempting to collect on return items
- Significantly reduced collection costs
- Faster and more efficiently processed payments – Smart Returns typically reduces the return item recovery period to five business days. Businesses that do not use an RCK solution often spend much longer or never get the money owed to them.
- Up to a 90% collection rate that goes straight to the bottom line
Benefits to customers
- Expedited return item processing
- Faster return to “ready to buy” status
- Eradication of negative file records
Any business that receives checks as a form of payment can benefit from having an RCK solution like Smart Returns in their toolbox. The more checks a business receives, the more likely it is to receive NSF checks and have a need for this type of solution. Nearly any type of business can benefit from an RCK Solution, but some common business types include:
- Stores – grocery, department, convenience, etc.
- Schools and daycares
- Apartment communities and other rental companies
- Professional service businesses
- Utility providers
- Not-for-profit organizations
Due to financial regulations, not all checks can be re-presented. The eligibility requirements for NSF checks or other return items to be re-presented include factors such as consent, item amount and timeframe. Although Smart Returns will help your business recover funds, it is important to be familiar with constraints on the collection of NSF payments. Some of those constraints include:
- The customer must be notified. Verbal consent is not required. Consent can be obtained by posting a sign at the point-of-sale or by having the verbiage on the agreement or sales slip the customer signs.
- The check must be returned for NSF
- The check must be less than 180 days old
- The check must be for an amount equal to or less than $2500
- The check must not have already been presented twice electronically. A check is allowed a total of three presentments, one physical and two electronic.
Smart Returns operates in compliance with the Federal Reserve, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, the Uniform Commercial Code and the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA). All NSF re-presentments are subject to NACHA regulations and are reviewed before processing.
Your business clients want options to manage and integrate their receivable payments. Despite the rise of online and mobile payment options, your clients still spend a substantial amount of time and money attempting to reconcile and collect through multiple payment channels, including checks and paper EOBs. Lockbox converts paper to electronic, actionable data so your client can immediately update their receivables and make timely business decisions based on what has been paid and when.
Wholesale and Retail Lockbox
Unity FI Solutions offers multiple lockbox options to meet your client’s business needs. Traditional retail lockbox is priced to meet the needs of your clients with a higher volume of low-dollar payments accompanied by a standard remittance. Wholesale lockbox is typically for higher dollar payments with multiple pages of remittance data. Through OCR and 2D barcode technology, data can be automatically lifted from a check or remittance and imported directly to a client’s accounting software. Using a third-party lockbox also provides your clients with separation of duties to meet audit requirements.
Benefits of Outsourcing
- Speed to market and low cost of entry
- No scanning equipment to buy or maintain
- Dedicated customer service support
- Additional revenue stream without added employee overhead
- Web-based detailed reporting with image data
- Competitive pricing and leverage to win bids
- Competitive and HIPAA compliant mail collection site in Charlotte, NC
Industries Who Benefit
- Property Management
Revenue Cycle Management is a major focus for healthcare companies of all sizes. The administrative costs of reconciling complex EOB (Explanation of Benefit) statements correctly back to each claim account for up to 40% of healthcare costs.
Unity FI Solutions Healthcare Lockbox provides your clients’ billing departments with a secure, single point of reference for claim research, image archival, reconciliation and allows them to quickly manage payment and coding discrepancies in time to collect from insurance providers. Our solution integrates both paper EOBs and 835/837 EDI formatted data to automatically match all claim data and immediately display items that do not match for special collections and processing. By eliminating the need for the healthcare client to key enter data, this redirects existing resources to increase revenue collection percentages from patients and insurance providers.
Your healthcare clients will experience the following revenue cycle management benefits:
- Conversion of paper EOBs to a standard virtual EOB formatted image
- Paper EOB and check data converted to an electronic 835 posting file
- Re-association of ACH or check payments with ERA remittance files
- Redirect administrative time and focus away from labor-intensive and error-prone manual key entry posting to automatic data imports
- Refocus A/R labor towards research, correcting exceptions and denials management – adding dollars to the company’s bottom line
Payment fraud losses impact nearly all businesses. Whether it is from forgery, counterfeiting, alterations, paperhanging or kiting, the end result is the same: you lose money that is owed to you. Check Verification uses the most current and accurate data to combat this type of fraud and significantly reduce risk associated with accepting potentially fraudulent checks.
Check Verification comes in two levels of protection:
- Level One: Account and Routing Numbers – if the account or routing number on the check is found to be invalid, the payment is rejected. This screening process stops a very high percentage of payments initiated through the web where a customer or subscriber enters an inaccurate number to delay payment.
- Level Two: Negative Account History – a payment is declined if the check writer has a history of writing bad checks and/or still has outstanding debt to you or any other business partner.
Collecting payments that have been rejected for non-sufficient funds can be a costly and time-consuming process.
Allow us to deposit your paper checks through Remote Deposit Capture, Lockbox, and/or Electronic Checks (ACH)
to take advantage of our Guarantee service.
Our Check Guarantee solution will make sure that your company gets 100% face value of any Returned Item, while we do all the work.
Unity FI will provide your organization with in-depth reports on the status of all transactions.
As your business and client base grows, you’ll likely start receiving a greater volume of payments – possibly more than you can process. Oftentimes, this requires outside help. Our Integrated Receivables solution aggregates all of your accounts receivable information, and converts it into a file that can be easily integrated into your system for convenient data management.
EBPP: Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment
Electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) is a process that enables bills to be created, delivered and paid online. Financial institutions, utility providers, apartment complexes and telecommunications companies commonly use EBPP, but Unity FI Solutions can tailor a solution to fit any business, regardless of industry.
Why does your business need EBPP?
Technology is evolving so that your customers are spending more and more time online. Consequently, many of them no longer want to receive physical paper bills in the mail. Our EBPP solution allows you to send them a bill via email. In addition, our software gives your business the ability to monitor a bill’s status so you can see when it has been opened, viewed and paid. Our safe and secure platform offers great benefits to both merchant and customer.
Our EBPP software provides a flexible and comprehensive solution to seamlessly invoice customers and receive payments efficiently. An electronic statement is emailed to the customer who then logs in to your company’s branded payment portal. Here they can make a payment, set-up recurring payments and view payment history.
There are two types of EBPP. The first is the biller-direct system. This solution involves a company using its own branded portal to facilitate direct payments from customers. The second system is the bank-aggregator system. It allows customers to make electronic payments to multiple billers simultaneously. Unity FI Solutions offers the biller-direct system and works with individual clients to build a portal that integrates with their brand’s look and feel.
EBPP allows merchants to cut both costs and time by streamlining the bill payment process, leaving more resources to focus on other essential business functions. Key benefits of EBPP include:
- Time savings – The process of mailing a bill, opening an envelope, entering the data and then depositing the payment is extremely time consuming for any business. An automated and integrated payment processing service increases the speed of payment capture by reducing the need for these tasks. And when you save time, you also save money.
- Cost reduction –By cutting labor, printing and postage costs, our EBPP solution helps your company save money. Our customer dashboard gives a highly detailed account overview that often reduces customer support calls, which are frequently billing-related.
- Risk minimization – Our EBPP solution meets the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a set of industry requirements that work to ensure companies that process, store or transmit credit card information preserve a secure environment. We maintain these standards so that you can protect your customers’ privacy and sensitive information. Our software also approves and processes credit card transactions in real-time to minimize any potential loss on your end.
EBPP provides convenient bill presentment and payment services to customers. In today’s world, people use their mobile phones, tablets and laptops to do more than communicate with family and friends. They are using technology to keep track of finances, monitor credit and pay bills. With an EBPP solution, you have access to your customers at any time during the day via multiple devices.
Customers can access their invoices and statements at their convenience by simply logging into our portal. Our customer dashboard provides detailed account information that allows them to view their payment history and current bills. By giving customers easy access to this information, it reduces their need to call customer support to make inquiries about their bill or payment history.
Customers can also link multiple payment accounts, such as credit and debit cards, to our software so that their invoices and payment histories are located in one portal.
Our EBPP solution includes a number of key features that make it the best option for companies and financial institutions seeking to streamline their billing processes.
- E-bill – Online bill presentment and payment reduces costs and reaches customers quickly and conveniently. No more waiting on payments from customers due to slow mail.
- Branded portal – The branded portal we create for your company increases customer satisfaction and engagement with your brand.
- Accepts several payment types – We accept check, credit card, debit card and
- Payment options – Customers can set up and manage one-time, future or recurring payments.
- Disbursement services – Your business can easily disperse credits and refunds that are due to customers.
- CSR integration – Our solution easily integrates with your current customer support efforts to allow representatives to easily look-up payment profiles, view pending payments and schedule and manage payments for customers.
Covering the processing costs that come with EBPP is important, and our solution allows the biller to decide what party bears the fee. There are four options, and we work with each individual client to determine the fee strategy that works best for them:
- Merchant Absorbed – the merchant takes the responsibility
- Convenience Fee – the customer pays a fee at time of bill payment.
There are two variations:
- You keep the fee to cover the transaction costs
- Unity FI Solutions keeps the fee and you have no transaction cost
- Hybrid (combination of Absorbed and Convenience) – both parties split the responsibility
Bills contain sensitive information, so security is our top priority. We comply with industry standards to protect sensitive information in the interest of both our clients and their customers. Our electronic bill presentment and payment solution uses best industry practices to maintain compliance with Automated Clearing House Association (ACHA) and PCI DSS regulations.