How Long Does an ACH Transfer Take?

We often come across business owners who wonder how long does an ACH transfer take. They are unfamiliar with the technology, and the big scary terms like National Automated Clearing House throw them off. Therefore, many of them end up selecting a payment method that is entirely unsuitable for their business. Such inappropriate payment methods eat into their profits and slow down their transaction processes. 

So, here we will answer the most common questions about the ACH payments network to help you understand if it is the best choice for you or not.


How long does an ACH transfer take?

ACH payment solutions were known for being notoriously slower compared to other payment methods. A few years ago, if you chose to send or receive payments through the ACH technology, you had to wait for at least 3 to 4 days. However, banks now take significantly less time to process these transactions with modern-day technologies.

Banks now take only 1 to 2 business days to process ACH transactions. Some banks and financial institutions also offer a same-day or next-day ACH transfer facility. Comparatively, wire transfers and credit card transactions are still much faster. They usually take just a few seconds. So, should you choose ACH even though it is slower, or should you go for the other payment processing methods? Well, as it turns out, ACH might be slower, but it offers other tremendous benefits.


Why should I prefer ACH transfers?

ACH is an underrated technology that can change the way you conduct financial transactions for your business. Here’s why more and more business owners are opting for ACH transfers now.

  • Lower Processing Fees: ACH transactions are cheaper than wire transfers and credit card transfers. Learn more about ACH transfer fees.  
  • Easier Reversals: Since ACH transactions take a while to process, you can cancel them before they are processed successfully. The reversal process for an ACH transfer is also more accessible than other payment methods. 
  • Higher Security: Tracking and consolidating ACH transfers is a piece of cake. Once you understand the different codes associated with these transfers, you can quickly identify them on your bank statements.
  • Automated Transfers: One of the main reasons why individuals prefer ACH payments is that they offer a seamless method to transfer funds automatically. Users can set up automated recurring payments with ACH. Learn how to set up loans and other recurring payments with ACH.
  • Cash Discount Program: Paying via ACH on hosted payment portals helps your customers leverage the benefits of cash discounts.


Who should prefer ACH transfers?

The benefits mentioned above make ACH payment methods very lucrative. They eliminate the need for writing paper checks almost wholly. So, everyone can start using ACH for their fund transfer needs with just a few steps. However, using ACH as their primary mode to send and receive money is highly encouraged for the following cases:

  • High Transaction Volumes: The small credit card processing fees may seem insignificant at first. However, as the number of transactions increases, this amount can rack up significantly. 
  • Higher Upper Transaction Limits: The processing fees associated with other payment methods are not fixed. Instead, they increase as the total amount to be transferred increases. With ACH, you can enjoy a small flat fee on all your transactions regardless of the total amount.
  • No Need for Lightning Fast Transfers: Business owners and individuals who do not mind a slightly slower processing time can use ACH. 
  • Automated Payments: Anyone who needs to process payments on a recurring schedule can use ACH to automate the entire process. Most banks and financial institutions use ACH to collect the loan EMIs from their customers.


How do I start accepting ACH payments?

Established business owners offer multiple modes of payment like ACH and credit card payments to their customers. They go the extra mile to enable different payment modes so that their customers have the convenience to pay through paper checks, ACH, credit cards, cash, etc. These business owners usually rely on payment gateways to seamlessly activate these different modes of payment. Here's how to start accepting these payments for your business.



ACH as a payment method has been around for decades. With modern technology, Nacha-preferred partners are automating and revolutionizing it to be faster, more efficient, and cheaper every day. New business owners can rely on ACH to save money and accept recurring payments automatically from their customers. 

Business owners who are new to the world of payment processing can end up in trouble with the federal reserve if they do not have a guide. To ensure that you have the most efficient setup ready for accepting ACH debit transactions on your checking account, you should partner with a reliable payment processor. We can help you set up new ACH and credit card payments to help you leverage modern payment solutions to their full potential. Want to learn more? Reach out to one of our experts.


Date originally published: January 11, 2022’s innovative solutions help you accelerate payments simply, securely, and reliably.

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