Difference Between ACH and e-Check (With Table)

Growing businesses with the emergence of new technologies bring changes in money transactions. Transfer of money by electronic way is the best, safest, and most rapid method, and choosing the right way to pay money can be complicated, especially when there are too many options like ACH and eCheck.

ACH vs e-Check

The main difference between ACH and e-Check is that ACH is a kind of electronic payment for moving funds between bank accounts, and eCheck, also called electronic check, is a modern version of the old-style paper check and which makes electronic payment more convenient and safer, and rapid.

ACH vs e Check

ACH or Automatic Clearing House is a type of EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) that connects all US financial and banking institutions. ACH is a network that allows your baking information to process all the payments. ACH is like posting the credit to an account like direct deposits.

Electronic checks (e-Checks) are a type of electronic fund transfer (EFT) that depend upon ACH networks to process all payments. It makes all the paper checks of the business into e-check, which is submitted and processed electronically. Electronic checks are made for faster and smoother processes for business owners.

Comparison Table Between ACH and e-Check

Parameter of comparisonACHe-Check
DefinitionThe processing speed of ACH may vary. Normally, they take between 3 to 7 daysIt is a method of payment that replaces old-style paper checks to fully digital for financial transaction
Mode of functionA process used to manage the transfer from one account to anotherA payment method conducted through the ACH network
Processing speedPayment is made only through the online processing of the e-CheckACH involves many types of payment through the ACH network, and e-Check is one of them
Nature of paymentProcessing of e-check is faster than manual processing a physical checke-Check ensures maximum safety because it involves multiple levels of authentication
SafetyACH is less safe because it involves payment detail in advanceACH is less safe because it involves payment details in advance

What is ACH?

ACH or Automatic clearing house payments, which were made through the automated clearing house networks, added another level of security validation for ACH payments, making it a trustable and reliable payment system between banks in the United States. Normally, ACH transfer takes 3-5 bank business days to process. It is faster, cheaper, and safer than using paper checks.

Whenever we make a payment through any website, we must enter bank details, and the routing number is an example of ACH. This type of computerized and centralized payment system is beneficial for the merchant, consumer, and business owner because, from the electronic base, it is easy to track.

ACH is a paperless transaction where bills and invoicing can be done digitally, and most importantly, it is kept to store all the payment records in your banking or payment system ledger. Without any bank details of the other party, payment through ACH does not happen; hence, it requires bank details for initiating payment in the other party’s bank account.

ACH is popular for government payments, social benefits after retirement business operations, and non-government transactions.

What is e-Check?

Electronic checks or e-Checks is an electronic funds transfer that depends upon ACH; they are similar to paper checks, which are not bank obligations, in this transaction and authorization for within the same document. Technically, e-check is the term of ACH debit where merchants get authentication to withdraw monthly money from customer accounts. This system of e-Check benefits merchants by offering the best and most advantageous deal to their regular customers with an easy and convenient mode of payment.

Paper checks are also converted into e-Checks by businesses electronically, making businesses function faster. They are just like a paper check, except they are not printed but digitally accepted over mobile phones, the internet, and fax, and business owners need to open an account to access e-Check.

E-check allows the banks to handle the risk measures, which is helpful for the customer who uses a checking account.

The growing e-commerce sector needs the development of eChecks to make transactions faster and smoother.

Main Differences Between ACH and e-Check

  1. The main difference between ACH and e-Check is that ACH is an electronic payment system, whereas e-Check is the method of ACH
  2. ACH is an example of a centralized system of payments, whereas e-Check is between 2 parties.
  3. Electronic checks are based on newer technologies, whereas ACH was introduced earlier.
  4. ECH is managed by specific entities that require banking information, whereas e-Checks is payment between two parties.
  5. eChecks need ACH to complete their payment, whereas other types of payment are done through ACH


Both ACH and e-Check processing are similar, but they are different. Both need customer authentication in their type of transaction to debit their bank account. However, their expenses for ACH and the charges involved in processing e-Checks distinguish these two. AHC and e-check have a common purpose: the transaction transfer of funds from one bank to another.

ACH and e-Check showcase different types of transactions, which are based on different types of business models. They are also different in risk management, but the good thing is that both allow different services and different needs. Linkage with electronic and newer technologies made them choose both customers and merchants.

The emerging economic and global connections between companies of different worlds need safer and faster payment services. ACH (Automatic clearing house) and electronic checks are good options in their respective areas.


  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/e3b4586b6e3284dee4b2ae16f4f61962/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=47754
  2. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/hsp/jpss/2007/00000002/00000001/art00008

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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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