ACH or Credit Cards? Which is better for me?

The money from ACH transactions does not get transferred to your account immediately. ACH transactions usually take from 2-5 days for the money to transfer or for the transaction to be rejected (usually for non-sufficient funds, or NSF).

What is the Cost?

For credit card processing you will pay:

  • A monthly fee of $10-20
  • A per-transaction fee of about $.20 per charge
  • A percentage of each transaction, which will vary from about 1.7-2.0% for swiped transactions to 2.0-3.5% for batch (non-swiped) transactions.

For ACH processing you will pay:

  • A monthly fee of $10-20
  • A per-transaction fee of about $.25 per charge
  • NSF fees of $2-4 for each rejected transaction

Bottom Line: If your members never bounce an ACH transaction, then ACH is less expensive. Otherwise the NSF fees can add up. But it really depends on your member demographics.

How long before I get my money?

Credit cards win here. It takes 3-4 business days for ACH funds to appear in your business bank account, and it may take 4-5 days before you receive notice of a rejected transaction.

Credit card transactions clear in real-time — you will know immediately if a charge was approved or declined. And the funds should appear in your bank account the next day.

Which is more convenient for members?

Almost everyone now carries a credit card or a bank card with the VISA or MasterCard logo. Fewer people have checking accounts.