Business, Flywheel, Marketing
Say goodbye to high transaction fees—ACH is now available for Growth Suite!
Agency and freelance business owners have enough on their plates without having to deal with expensive or unexpected credit card fees.
But in order to accept credit card payments, businesses of all sizes often pay an assortment of processing charges for each and every transaction—anywhere from 1.3% to 3.5%!
For businesses with thin margins, these fees often go beyond the “cost of doing business” and chip away at the bottom line, even though credit cards offer an easy-to-use payment method (which is key to increasing conversions and reducing churn).
When forced to choose between exorbitant fees and happy customers, what’s a small business owner to do?
For starters, they might consider Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers, which are electronic bank-to-bank money transfers that provide a significantly lower cost alternative to credit card transactions.
Not only is ACH a great way to easily process customer payments while avoiding steep transaction fees, it’s often preferred by your customers. Now, with Growth Suite, you can accept ACH as a payment method for all of your new and existing clients!
ACH for Growth Suite
While Growth Suite previously offered the ability to accept credit card payments via Stripe (and still does), users can now provide their clients with options when it comes to their payment method—credit card or ACH.
This makes it easier than ever to onboard new clients and please existing ones with options for seamless, straightforward recurring payments.
The best part? ACH is now available with your Growth Suite plan at no extra cost. Just follow these easy steps to set up your ACH payment profile!
The benefits of ACH
ACH presents a ton of upside for your business, from lower transaction costs to client peace-of-mind:
ACH costs a lot less
Like credit card payments, ACH transactions will most likely come with a fee, but it’s a fraction of what you’d be paying the credit card companies. While all payments and transactions vary depending on different providers, ACH will almost always represent major cost savings compared to credit card transaction fees.
For example, a single, $300 credit card transaction might incur a 2.5% processing fee—that’s $7.50 for that transaction alone. On the other hand, a comparable ACH fee would be closer to $0.30.
ACH is excellent for recurring payments
Not only is the one-time difference between ACH and credit card fees significant, it adds up over time. For example, over the course of a year, the transaction above would amount to $90 in credit card fees vs. $3.60 with ACH—and that’s just one recurring transaction.
The lower cost of ACH begins to make a serious impact when you look at recurring payments across all of your client billing or subscriptions, and ACH direct debit, or auto-pay, makes it easy to replicate and rely on these types of payments each month.
ACH is a churn-reducer
Because it’s easy, predictable, and hassle-free, ACH makes payments painless for both you and your clients, which alone is a great way to reduce voluntary churn.
But ACH also reduces payment errors and avoids the prospect of failed credit card payments, which represent the #1 cause of involuntary customer churn. By setting up verified, recurring payments through ACH, businesses with long-term, monthly services will see a churn reduction for that reason alone.
ACH is fast
One of the reasons credit cards charge higher fees for their transactions is because those transactions process quickly, often within a 24-48 hour timespan. While ACH transactions were once viewed as a slow second to credit card transactions (“no wonder it’s so cheap!”) that’s simply no longer the case.
Today, the ACH network offers options for same-day, next-day, or two-day payment processing, with one important caveat: ACH transactions typically process on business days, i.e. when banks are open.
Avoidable issues with ACH
Like any payment gateway, you can encounter issues with ACH transactions, many of which are easy to prevent:
While it’s less important to worry about when recurring transactions take place, it is important to remember that ACH transactions don’t settle immediately, and real-time purchases can be ”completed” even if there are insufficient funds in the purchaser’s bank account.
In this scenario, the transaction would ultimately be rejected by the ACH network, which again, is less of a concern in the recurring payment scenario (you will need to request a new payment). But if any goods or services are being exchanged before the transaction settles, this is a key element to keep in mind.
While ACH has the lowest fraud rate of any payment type, there are still ways that ACH fraud can occur, from unauthorized debit transactions to fraudulent purchases. Still, ACH fraud is extremely low at 0.08 basis points, or 8 cents for every $10,000 in payments.
One of the best ways to ensure long-term success with clients using ACH for recurring payments is to be proactive. This means not only setting expectations around how long a transaction will take, but making sure it’s not a surprise to the customer when the transaction does occur.
To avoid any friction here, make sure you let customers know when a transaction is processing and how long it will take for the funds to be withdrawn from their account.
Ideas for promoting ACH payments
Make sure you let your customers know that ACH transactions are available and easy to use! Here are a few ideas for getting the word out:
If your existing clients don’t know ACH is available, they’ll never ask to use it. Make sure you bring up the new availability in your ongoing conversations with clients or highlight it in your regular client reports.
For new customers, make sure all of your payment options are highlighted on any plans or pricing page, and be sure and offer it when setting up a new customer’s payment profile.
One great way to add ACH to the conversation is by creating a discount for customers who use it. If you’re saving X% on transaction fees, why not bake some of that back into the value you’re providing your clients?
As a one-time offer, this can be a great way to set up new customers with ACH. If it’s ongoing, a discount will continue to pay dividends, not only by pleasing your clients but by saving you long-term dough on what would otherwise amount to expensive credit card fees.
In a similar vein, creating a rewards program for ACH purchases or payments is another incentive you can use to steer customers in the recurring, low-transaction-fee direction.
One idea you can use is to offer a 30-minute website audit after six or 12 months of consecutive ACH payments. Not only will you encourage your client to use ACH, but an audit of their site will also provide you with new opportunities to offer them additional services.
Say goodbye to high credit card transaction fees
And say hello to ACH! When You consider the cost savings alone compared to credit card transaction fees, ACH really is a no-brainer. It’s ideal for recurring payments, and your customers will benefit too.
Just remember to set expectations and present clear communication when it comes to any and all of your payment transactions. If you do, ACH will set you up for long-term savings and continued success!
Find out more about Growth Suite, the all-in-one agency platform for growth, here.