An eCheck or an electronic check serves the same purpose as a paper check but an eCheck is usually paid through the internet. One of the advantages of an eCheck is that it can be processed faster than a paper check. Another good thing about an electronic check is that it is more secure since it has more security features including encryption, authentication, digital signatures, cryptography, and many other security features. Do not worry about all these security features since using an eCheck is quite simple. Yes, many online shopping websites accept to pay eCheck (Electronic Check), when you buy anything.
Here is a summary of the features of an electronic check-
- An eCheck is a form of electric payment which performs the same purpose as a paper check. The difference is that with an eCheck the transaction takes place via the internet.
- Many employers use the direct deposit system which is one of the most common versions of eCheck payment methods.
- It is cheaper to use an eCheck than a paper check or credit card while making payments.
- It is more secure to use an electric check since it has more security features than a paper check.
Another great thing about an electronic check is that you can pay it to do online shopping. There are many stores nowadays which accept electronic check payment and this makes shopping way much easier. If you love to shop for apparel online, then you are in luck because you get a huge variety of not only the clothes and the stores that you can buy them from.
How Do Electronic Checks Work?
People have been making payments through checks for a long time but eChecks have completely modernized the concept. With an electronic check, it is possible to transfer money from your current account to the merchant’s account. The difference as stated earlier is instead of writing a paper check to the merchant, the process is performed electronically saving both time and paper. It is also more convenient.
When you pay through an electronic check, you give the authorization to make the payment to the merchant. You can do this through an online payment form, through telephone calls or you can sign paperwork showing that you authorize the eCheck payment to the merchant (the merchant refers to the store or business you are making the payment to).
After you have authorized the payment, then the company feeds the payment information into the software they use to process online payment. If you would like to make the payments over and over again, then the business also feeds this information into the system.
Once the company has correctly fed the information into their system, they save it and the ACH transaction process starts.
Once the payment has been confirmed, then the money is withdrawn from your checking account and deposited into the seller’s account. You will receive a payment receipt from the merchant’s software system which shows the transaction details. The money usually reflects into the seller’s bank account after 3 to 5 days after the transfer has been made.
Do ACH and EFT Mean The Same as eCheck?
The initials EFT stands for Electronic Funds Transfer. This is a wide term that covers areas which include:
- Direct deposits
- ACH disbursements
- Wire transfers
- Electronic benefits payments among others
The term ACH on the other hand means “Automated Clearing House.” In the US, financial institutions including banks and credit unions use an electronic network that provides an infrastructure that payment processing companies can use which is called the ACH.
This means that when you pay using an eCheck, the money is transferred from your account electronically (EFT) to that of the merchant through a system or network known as Automated Clearing House. The money gets from your accounts to that of the merchant through the ACH network. In other terms, ACH is the channel through which money moves electronically from your checking account to that of a merchant.
In summary, this is how eCheck works
Your checking account – ACH network- The merchant’s bank – the merchant’s bank account.
Online Shopping Sites That Accept To Pay by Electronic Check
Thanks to online stores, you now have a wide selection of where to do your online shopping. It is also possible to compare the prices of different products and get amazing discounts. The best part is that with most online stores, you do not need to get out of the house; your goods are delivered right at your doorstep.
Another beautiful thing is that most of these stores also accept eChecks which are much cheaper than using a credit card.
Below Is a List of Online Shopping Sites That Accept Pay by Electronic Check
Amazon is one of the largest shopping sites and it is a good thing that they accept eChecks. You pay for your purchases using eCheck on the platform through bank transfer.
In order to pay using an electronic check-in Amazon online shopping site, get to the “Shipping and Payment” stage, select the “add a checking account” tab. At this point, the page will ask you to feed in your address, routing number, name, account number, and also your government-issued ID or your driver’s license number. After you complete these steps the system will tell you that your transaction is successful. In case you miss something, the transaction will not go through. However, it is really a straightforward process.
If you want to shop at B&H you can pay using either a physical check or eCheck through PayPal.
To commence with the payment, you need to contact the company’s customer care through (800) 952-3386 if you are paying through a physical check. If you want to pay using eCheck, you have to log into your PayPal account through the PayPal payment option. Once you get to your account, you can then transfer money from your checking account to B$H.
3. Appliances Connection
This is another store where you can get all your home appliances at a great bargain. The good news is that it accepts both paper checks as well as eCheck.
If you want to pay using your check, then you just need to call the company through (800) 299-9470 and set up payment through a personal check. The check clears within a week, and once that happens you will receive your order. You can also pay for the order using PayPal.
Cabela’s is another store that you can get any kind of staff that you need. To set up a payment using an eCheck or physical check, call the company’s customer care desk at (800) 237 – 4444. You will then be directed on the steps to take and the process is quite straightforward.
eBay is also another leading online store where you can get almost anything you need from electronics to personal effects to self-improvement products. It is therefore a good thing that the store accepts eCheck.
When you successfully bid on an item or select one with a fixed price, then you will see the pay by eCheck (Electronic Check) option if the seller has enabled the option.
Gift Cards That Can Be Purchased with an Electronic Check
The gift card market is growing since it is a very convenient way of sending and receiving gifts. You can either use cash, debit, or credit card to purchase a gift card. The good news is that if you do not have either of the above or you do not want to use these methods, you can still buy the gift card using an electronic check.
Below Are Gift Cards That You Can Purchase Using eChecks.
1. Walmart Gift Cards
It is possible to buy gift cards from Walmart through its website. The other good news is that you can also buy gift cards from other retailers and restaurants through Walmart’s site. You get to purchase gift cards from these restaurants and other retailers by using Walmart Money Card.
Before you buy the gift card from Walmart, you need to load your Money Card with cash using eCheck. The process of loading cash into your card is quite simple as all you have to do is click on “Add Money” and then click on the “Deposit a Check” tab.
The rest of the process is quite simple as the app will walk you through the whole process. In order to enjoy this service, you have to be a Preferred Wal-Mart Money Cardholder.
2. Amazon Gift Cards
Amazon is also another great option where you can buy gift cards using an electronic check. The best thing is that with the platform, you can add your checking account as one of the payment options. Once you add your checking account and then activate it for ACH which enables Amazon to receive cash from your account and process your gift card purchase.
You also need to provide your checking account number and your routing number. To verify your account, you will need to provide your DL number. Once you have done the above, you are able to buy gift cards from Amazon using an eCheck. You are also able to buy Apple iTunes and Visa gift cards through Amazon.
3. PayPal Gift Cards
PayPal is also another way that you can use to buy gift cards using your checking account. When you go to PayPal- Gifts .com, you will see a large list of retailers who sell gift cards. Buy the gift cards that you want using your PayPal account which you have already linked to your checking account.
4. Card Cash Gift Cards
The fourth option is buying gift cards from Card Cash using an eCheck. The platform has a large list of gift card retailers and you can choose any one of them and pay using your PayPal account. When you buy gift cards of more than $1000, then you can have money deducted directly from your account through the ACH system.
Benefits of Using eChecks
There are some advantages of pay by eCheck (electronic check) when conducting online financial transactions, especially online shopping. First, it is way cheaper to use an electronic card as compared to a paper check. With electronic checks, there is no postage fee charged as opposed to a physical check if it is being mailed to a recipient who is far away.
Paper checks also cost money to print an expense that is eliminated when it comes to electronic checks.
Another great benefit of an electronic check is that it has many levels of security which makes it more secure than a paper check.
It also takes a much shorter time to make payments using an eCheck than it does with a paper check. With a paper check, you will have to draw the check, deliver it to the payee either by mailing it or by hand delivery. On the other hand, with an electronic check, the process is done electronically so there is no need to make a physical transfer which saves you time.
How to Use eChecks
Using an eCheck is pretty simple and once you get the hang of it you are good to go.
Here is the process:
- Before sending an eCheck, it is important to ensure that you have enough cash in your account.
- After ensuring that there is enough cash in your checking account, complete the eCheck form that the seller provides. To find your account number and your routing number look at your bank’s website. On the page with the eCheck, you should find your account and routing number.
- If you are filling this information on a merchant’s site, then you can easily find your routing and account number either in your bank statement or a check. The routing number is usually nine digits long while the account number is either eight or ten digits long.
- Enter the amount that you want to pay and you might also specify if you want the payment to be recurring or it is a one-time payment. If it is recurring, then you need to specify after how long the payment is happening.
- The final step is to ensure that you have fed the information correctly and send it. This will start the payment process.
The Risks of Using Electronic Checks and How to Reduce Them
- One of the greatest risks of an eCheck is usually to the merchant. A customer might send an eCheck and claim that somebody else used their eCheck without their knowledge and demand for a refund. Electronic checks are generally a very secure mode of payment and do not have much risks associated with them.
- Another risk of echeck especially a paper check is a forgery. The check uses a signature to safeguard against fraud. However, a signature can easily be forged which might lead to financial fraud.
However, the eCheck addresses this risk of fraud by using three algorithm systems and asymmetric cryptography.
The functions of the three algorithms are as follows
- The first algorithm is for generating a random private key which must correspond to a public key
- The other algorithm is to generate a signature
- While the third algorithm is to confirm the signature’s authenticity and also confirm the public key is the correct one.
Because of the algorithms, it is useless to alter the signature because the system will detect the alteration. It is also impossible to steal or forge the signature.
Another risk that eChecks can have is that your details including your name, bank number, and routing number can be stolen and this information is used to create an eCheck. It is therefore important to keep your details safe and not to share them with someone that you do not personally know and trust.
Another risk that eChecks pose especially to a merchant is bouncing back. Similar to a normal check, if the customer does not have enough funds in their account, the eCheck will bounce.
Another way that receiving payment through an eCheck is risky is when a fraudulent person pays and then cancels the payment before the process goes through. As a seller, to protect yourself from this fraud, do not release the goods to the customer until you have received cash into your bank account.
However, the time the check takes to clear might add to your service or product delivery time but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Although all payment options have some level of risk, eChecks are safer than paper checks.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Why Accepting eChecks Reduces Payment Processing Costs
The reason why accepting eChecks reduces payment processing costs is because you avoid the networks that credit and debit card use which charges high assessment and interchange fees. With eChecks, you use the ACH network whose fees can be zero or very low.
How do you write an electronic check?
Writing an electronic check is quite easy. All companies that accept EChecks form where you fill in all the required information like your name, the amount of cash you want to send, your account, and routing number. To send the eCheck, you simply hit the send button after successfully filling in the required fields.
Why should I accept eChecks instead of credit or debit cards?
One of the top reasons why you should go for eChecks is because of the processing fees. When you accept debit and credit cards, you will be charged very high processing and interchange fees. On the other hand, fees charged on eChecks are very low.
What information do you need for an eCheck?
In order to make a payment using an eCheck, you will need to provide your bank routing number, your bank account number, the name of your bank account, and the amount you are paying if the payment is a recurring one, you also need to specify how often the payment will be taking place.
How much does it cost to process eChecks?
It depends on the providers of the eCheck account that the merchant is using, some charge a high monthly fee and a low transaction fee or vice versa. Generally, the cost ranges from $0.30 to around $1.50 per eCheck transaction.
How do I pay online with an electronic check?
The process of paying online through electronic cash is very simple as merchants who offer the service have an eCheck payment option on their website. Just click the option and follow the prompts.
Do banks accept eChecks?
Yes, banks do accept eChecks since many employers use eChecks to send salaries to their employees’ bank accounts.
Can I set up automated debits with eCheck?
Yes, you can use eChecks to make recurring payments and it is one of the most popular ways. One of the ways that you can use eCheck to pay for recurring payments is by setting up an automated eCheck payment for your rent every month.
Can I process paper checks with eCheck?
The only way to process a paper check like an eCheck is by sending the paper check using an app. There are apps in the market which enable you to send a paper check electronically. However, a paper check is different from an eCheck.
Can eChecks bounce?
Yes, it is possible for eChecks to bounce. Just like paper checks, if you do not have enough cash in your account, your eCheck will bounce.
How Long Does It Take to Clear and Process an Electronic Check (eCheck)?
The time it takes for an eCheck to clear depends on the eCheck system providers. It might take between 3 to 5 days for the check to clear.
Is paying by eCheck safe?
Yes, making payments through electronic payment is very safe. Electronic checks have security features including authentication and asymmetric cryptography. Which makes them pretty safe to use?
One of the greatest advantages of eChecks (electronic check) is that they give you an alternative to pay for your shopping online. Although the process of paying using an electronic check might seem intimidating at first compared to a paper check, it is actually very simple.
An electronic check has a couple of advantages over a paper check. They are faster to send since you do not have to mail them physically, they are also harder to forge which makes them more secure. Electronic checks are also a cheaper option than credit or debit cards.
Therefore, the next time you do online shopping, choose the pay by electronic check option.