10 Commandments of ACH Processing For Brokers
deBanked recently spoke with Zalman Notik, the Operations Manager of MCA Track & GoACH. Notik offered up so much advice about ACH processing that it’s been codified into a helpful list! Below are his 10 Commandments of ACH Processing.
1. Always disclose your fee. Merchants are generally okay with paying something they agreed to pay if it is disclosed.
2. Make sure that everything agreed to is in writing and plainly stated. e.g. “We’re going to debit your account for $1,000 when we get you approved for a loan.” There’s a difference between the short, long way and the long, short way. To avoid lengthy disputes, negative Google reviews, and claims of undisclosed fees, opt for the straightforward method rather than the convoluted one.
3. Remind the merchant (in writing and by phone) that you will be debiting their account on X date. As a courtesy reminder it’s probably a good idea to give that merchant a phone call saying, “Hi, John, congratulations, I got you the $100,000, we’re so excited that it worked out well and I’d like to remind you that for our agreement we’re going to debit your account tomorrow.” This can avoid a broker’s payment getting returned if in fact that merchant planned to transfer all their funds elsewhere.
4. Any change to the amount that was agreed to should come with new signed paperwork. If a broker has a piece of paper stating that they’re allowed to debit somebody’s account $10,000 and then debit them $4,000, $5,000, or $8,000, that merchant could dispute it, and they will win because they never agreed in writing to $8,000, they agreed to 10.
5. Collect a copy of the merchant’s ID and a voided check with the business name on it. Be sure that everything matches.
6. Confirm with the merchant that they own the account – Not a spouse, cousin, or friend etc. When checking state records and the business is owned by a spouse, that spouse should be signing the agreement. For example, if a couple owns Joey’s pizzeria and one of them signs the paperwork there could be a possibility that broker will receive a dispute two months later. Turns out that the other spouse is the legal signer on the bank account and now that broker is out of money. A good way to verify is through IDs or a voided check with the business name on it.
7. Communicate with your ACH provider – e.g., “The merchant said the payment will not clear etc.” No one likes surprises. Communication with the ACH provider makes them feel comfortable about working with that broker again in the future.
8. Store paperwork in a secure location so that if there is a dispute you can provide everything to the ACH processor in a timely fashion. NACHA Operating Rules & Guidelines are enforced by the government for every ACH payment. If a broker debits an account, and that merchant disputes the transaction over a period, that broker will need to provide paperwork to prove those disputes. Keep those files in a Dropbox or Google Drive account or somewhere safe and accessible.
9. Keep funds in your bank account to cover fees and returns. Having $0 in your account is a bad fit so be disciplined in keeping money in one’s account.
10. Don’t be an A*$%#%$ – if you treat your merchants well and communicate with them, you won’t find yourself fending off disputes etc. Despite what someone may sign, if the merchant feels they have been mistreated throughout the process it’s not going to stick, potentially leaving that broker with problems.Last modified: May 18, 2023
Anaya Vance is a reporter for deBanked. Connect with me on LinkedIn.