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E-Check Use Continues To Climb
According to the Electronic Payments Associations (EPA), consumer e-check payments are expected to surpass the one billion mark in 2003, doubling the number of transactions in 2002.
An e-check is a one-time electronic debit to a consumer's checking account. The transaction may be initiated over the telephone, on the Internet, at the point-of-sale, or as the result of an invoice sent by mail.
ACH Risk Management
The ACH (Automated Clearing House) has provided a fast, reliable, inexpensive and safe means of moving payments electronically for more than 30 years. These features have resulted in a steady increase in ACH volumes, as well as the introduction of new types of ACH transactions over recent years. These new payment types include debits authorized over the telephone (TEL), Internet authorized payments (WEB), and check to ACH conversions (known as ARC) at point-of-sale or through a lockbox system. Increased ACH utilization has increased both risks and unauthorized ACH debits.
It is important to note that given the volume of ACH transactions processed daily, the number and dollar value of fraudulent entries are relatively small. However as a third party service provider, inSource has a number of procedures in place to effectively manage ACH risk.
1. Use the "Know the Customer" principle
Before providing ACH services we conduct a series of checks to insure we know who our customer is and how their business works. We become familiar with the customer's procedures for obtaining debit information and authorization and for "opting out" of a automated debit program.
2. Comply with NACHA (National Automated Clearing House Association) Rules
inSource maintains and complies with the NACHA operating Rules and insures that customers utilizing ACH understand the rules and operating procedures that impact their transactions.
3. Utilize a Settlement Period
inSource holds all ACH collected funds for a period of 48 hours. Under the NACHA Operating Rules the bank or financial institution receiving the ACH debit has 48 hours to return and ACH which notifies the originator that the funds are not available, i.e. the account is closed, overdrawn or does not have sufficient funds to cover the debit. This settlement period protects us as well as out customers.
4. Monitor ACH Returns
inSource continually monitors all ACH returns and notifies our customer as soon as they are received. We also provide guidelines for identifying candidates for ACH payments and when direct debit may not be the best payment option.
A well through out risk management program that is consistently applied allows our customers to take advantage of the benefits offered by the ACH payment network, protecting you and your customers.
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