ACH Blog Series, Part 2: Why Do Billers Need to Offer ACH Payment Options? 

Steve Schult

In the first installment of our ACH blog series, we explored what ACH payments are and how the Automated Clearinghouse system works. But why exactly is it so important for billing organizations to integrate an ACH option into their omni-channel payment offerings?  

Let’s kick off the second part of our series by exploring the benefits of this frictionless payment option for both billing organizations and their customers.  

Customers get their digital experience expectations met 

Thanks to consumer brands like Amazon, Capital One, and AT&T, billpayer expectations are at an all-time high for digital experiences – and billing and payment interactions are no exception. Above all else, customers expect convenience. In fact, InvoiceCloud’s annual State of Online Payment research report uncovered that nearly half of survey respondents prefer digital payment methods like ACH because of their superior convenience. 

Offering ACH payments is an effective way to reach the level of convenience today’s customers have come to expect. Beyond the ability to “set and forget” the often-stressful task of making monthly payments, customers love the real-time reconciliation ACH offers for their bank account statements. 

Additional research conducted by InvoiceCloud uncovered that 88% of survey respondents are enrolled in automatic payments (ACH) for at least some of their bills. For the remaining 12%, the primary concern was the possibility that funds would not be available in their account when it was time to make an AutoPay withdrawal. To take your ACH offering to the next level and exceed the expectations of today’s customers, billers should consider providing a robust communication system to notify customers of upcoming or rejected payments (don’t worry, we’ll get into this element more in part three!).  

Billers enjoy the benefits of receiving more on-time payments 

On the biller side of things, ACH offerings ensure a few key values – most notably, that your organization receives consistently on-time payments, every collection cycle. Automatic payments feed a consistent flow of revenue that can mean everything from keeping employees paid, keeping rates down or essential services on, and maintaining customer retention

There are also considerable benefits gained from increased customer satisfaction. If customers enrolled in ACH payments don’t have to stress over their monthly bills, organizations like yours tend to see a reduction in phone calls and in-person visits. Not to mention fewer angry calls from delinquent customers and fewer outbound calls trying to track delinquent payers down. This leads to saved time, allowing staff to focus on more high-priority projects, and lightened workloads can even have a positive impact on morale and employee retention (something that’s become critical during this time of staffing shortages). 

Ultimately, as your customers use ACH more frequently, you’ll be able to reduce manual processes that your team is responsible for today – but this depends on how many customers your organization can encourage to enroll in the system. Look for part three for more on that. 

More billing and payment trends 

Interested in hearing more about this year’s biggest billing and payment trends? Check out the latest iteration of our annual State of Online Payments report for more data on ACH and other customer payment options habits. 

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Steve Schult

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