Instant Echecks, What Are They?

Dec 09, 2021

Echecks, or Instant eChecks, also known as electronic checks, are electronic payments that are made from a customer’s checking account. Another way of looking at it is that it’s a “virtual version” of your everyday paper check.

When customers pay with an eCheck, as a form of payment, the funds go to the merchant’s business bank account by way of the Automated Clearing House Network (ACH). 

What Types Of Businesses Accept Echecks?

Although most consumers pay with credit cards, eChecks are also growing in popularity. For merchants, processing eChecks are a no-brainer as the processing fees are considerably lower than credit card processing fees. 

As far as who takes eChecks as payments? The most common users of eChecks are subscription and eCommerce business models:


If you are a business that has a subscription-based business model, accepting eChecks is the perfect payment method. For property managers of apartment complexes, tenants may be required to fill out a recurring eCheck rent payment form. This allows the company to automatically deduct the rent amount on a specified day every month directly from the tenant’s checking account. 

E-checks can also be accepted in the following businesses:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Gym memberships
  • Credit card payments
  • Car loan payments
  • Legal retainer fees


Although most customers use debit or credit cards to make their purchases on e-commerce websites, there has been a drop in recent years. Some customers simply prefer not to share their sensitive card information online and are looking for other forms of payment.

Echecks still allow customers to make their online purchases because they are still treated as digital payments. 

Merchants win because they are offering another form of payment. There is also no risk. If the customer does not have sufficient funds in their bank account to make a payment, the transaction simply does not go through. You don’t need to pay a returned check fee. There is no limit on the amount of the eCheck. It’s also a much safer way to accept international transactions. 

Are Echecks Safe?

Fraud and security breaches are an unfortunate reality in our modern world. But, one of the winning elements of using eChecks is that it is a very secure payment method. In fact, they provide more security than using a paper check. Why? Because there is no paper check, there is nothing physical that can be lost or potentially stolen in order to commit identity fraud. 

Here are more security components that are included in an Echeck:

  • Encryption – All sensitive information is masked. All ACH transactions are encrypted.
  • Authentication – The payments provider ensures that the account that is releasing information is verified. 
  • Public key cryptography – As an extension of the encryption process, it guarantees the information is protected during transmission. The public key ciphers the data
  • Certificate authorities – They issue digital certificates to protect data, facilitate encryption, and enable secure communication. 

What Are The Benefits Of Echecks?

Echecks are a reliable means for both consumers and businesses to pay their bills. Transactions take place almost instantly and they are reliable. They are more cost-effective since merchants do not have to purchase paper checks and mail them out on a regular basis.

There is no more worry of a payment being late, delayed, or lost in the mail. All eCheck payments can be tracked digitally. Businesses can use this to keep track of payments for their employees and vendors. They can also see when they have received payments from their customers. 

Echecks Are Safe And Convenient

Merchants simply cannot go wrong by featuring a multitude of payment methods within their e-Commerce business. As more consumers become wary of providing their credit and debit card information for security issues, it is best to offer eChecks as another safe and effective form of payment processing. 

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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