Online fraud is a growing concern for small businesses. Bank Info Security recently named ACH and wire transfer fraud against small and midsized businesses as its top fraud concern for 2010. (ACH, or automatic clearing house, is the secure network that banks use to connect to each other and process direct deposits, electronic payments and debit-card payments.)
But while fraud is growing, the number of ACH transactions isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon. According to financial services industry research firm TowerGroup, ACH transactions will total $31.24 trillion this year, and will grow 7 percent annually through 2012.
One company that says its solutions can help is ACH Federal. An electronic payment processing company that offers secure online solutions to businesses and banks, ACH Federal began working with small and midsized businesses earlier this year and has already processed more than 1.8 million transactions. ACH Federal has a direct connection to the Federal Reserve through its relationship with United States financial banking institutions.
This week, ACH launched a new suite of electronic payment solutions for businesses that includes ACH processing and merchant services. The company also offers services including business-to-business payments, electronic checks, electronic commerce payments and federal, state and local tax payments.
ACH Federal says its system is designed to be simple and user-friendly. The company provides one central system that businesses can use to collect payments from their customers, make payments to their vendors and deposit payroll funds into their employees’ bank accounts. Payments and deposits can be set up on automated schedules, as one-time direct debit or credit transactions, or as batch uploads from existing payment systems.
ACH Federal’s system enables direct uploads from most accounts receivable systems and accounting software. The service eliminates the cost of purchasing and mailing checks, so you save money on invoicing, payment collection and payment processing.
Another big advantage, ACH Federal says, is that there’s no software or hardware to buy. The system is Web-based, so all information is stored online. That means updates are added automatically too, without users having to pay for them.
Users simply enter a username and password to begin creating or uploading transactions. ACH Federal says it uses best-of-breed data encryption technology, a multi-layered customer authentication process and dual approval systems for all transactions.
You can find out more about ACH Federal at the company’s Web site.