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6 Best ACH Processors for Small Businesses in 2024

Ashley Hague Ashley HagueFinance Specialist April 05, 2024
April 05, 2024
Even with the rise of credit card and mobile payment options, ACH payments are still an ideal option for many small businesses as they have low processing fees and a lower risk of fraud.

But not all ACH payment processors are the same. With so many ACH processors on the market, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best fit for your business.

You shouldn’t just consider the cheapest option because there may be hidden costs, subpar customer support, a lack of advanced features such as in-depth reporting or recurring payments – or a combination of all three. Alternatively, if your ACH payment volume is quite low or you don’t have an e-commerce store, a top-of-the-line option might be excessive.

That’s why I’ve spent weeks researching various payment processing options to help you determine which one works best for you. Personally, I’ve found Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) to be the most versatile option. With negotiable pricing and a variety of features, ACH is just one of the many features on offer.

While LMS is my overall pick, read on to learn about other top ACH processors that may work best for your small business.

Short on Time? These Are the Best ACH Processors for Small Businesses in 2024

  1. Expert’s Choice
    1 1LMS_Monogram Leaders Merchant Service
    Leaders Merchant Services is a popular choice with our readers
    Ideal for newer small businesses that want to negotiate rates.
  2. 1 1logopayarc PAYARC Great for small businesses that offer subscription or recurring billing options.
  3. 1 1Payementcloudlogo PaymentCloud Perfect ACH processor for high-risk businesses that struggle to attain approval elsewhere.

What We Look For in the Best ACH Processing Companies for Small Businesses

Not all ACH processors work the same. When researching different options, I considered the following features:
  • Competitive pricing. While low transaction fees are a given with ACH payment processing, I considered the overall cost for monthly fees and other types of transactions. Some of the ACH processors on my list will even encourage you to negotiate the best rates for your business.
  • Advanced features. I looked at the availability of additional features, such as reporting capabilities, invoicing, and recurrent payment options as these are particularly useful for ACH payments.
  • Proactive security. While ACH payments may be lower in risk than other types of payments, they aren’t fraud-proof. That’s why I only considered payment processors that abide by industry standards like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the National Automated Clearinghouse Association (NACHA) Operating Rules.
  • Software integrations. Because ACH payments are made online, I looked for payment gateways and API options to make accepting payments through a website or checkout page simple and easy.
  • Customer support. Accepting ACH payments isn’t too complicated, but it’s always good to have accessible customer support in case you need it. During my research, I considered the availability of personal support, as well as other resources available for access.

1. Leaders Merchant Services: Best ACH Processor for New Businesses1

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) is the best all-around ACH processor for small businesses. With a 98% approval rate – one of the highest in the industry – you can potentially start accepting payments in less than 24 hours.

LMS uses Authorize.net to process ACH and eCheck payments that you receive online, over the phone, or even through mail order. This can be a one-off purchase or a recurring subscription. Because Authorize.net is owned by Visa, it has an excellent reputation for trustworthiness and security. So when you accept ACH payments through LMS, you’ll know your payments will be protected to the highest industry standards.

Plus, LMS allows you to negotiate your rates, so you can choose the features you want and avoid paying for the things you don’t need. This is great for newer businesses on shoestring budgets that don’t need all the bells and whistles that bigger names offer. The exact amount isn’t made clear on the website, though expect to pay around $9.00/month, plus a low per transaction fee.

Features and Benefits

  • “Meet or beat” guarantee. LMS offers a price-match guarantee – if it can’t match or beat your current processing rates, you’ll earn a $200 gift card.
  • Dedicated account manager. When you sign up with LMS, you’ll be assigned a dedicated account manager that walks you through the onboarding process.
  • 24/7 technical support. LMS offers technical phone support any day of the year, to solve any issues that may occur.
  • Selection of POS terminals. If you also accept payments in person, LMS offers several popular POS systems like Clover to lease or buy, plus the ability to bring your own compatible device.
Read our full Leaders Merchant Services review for more.

Payment methods accepted Credit and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH, bank transfers
Integrations Authorize.net, CartManager
Customer support 24/7 phone support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan ~0.15% + $0
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $9.00

Stax is a great option for more established businesses with higher sales volume that want an advanced payment system that includes ACH processing. ACH processing comes as standard with all plans, in addition to the other payment options, such as all major credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallets.

With Stax, you’ll pay a 1% transaction fee on all ACH payments. You can set up the ACH payments through your Stax account and easily track and manage all ACH payments through its dashboard. Stax also makes it easy to set up digital invoicing and recurring billing, which is especially important if you run a service-based business.

With a flat monthly subscription fee, Stax works differently than many other payment processors. Stax’s all-in-one plans start at $99.00, which may be steep for small businesses just getting started. However, if you earn more than $8,000 a month in revenue, it’s a good option to consider.

Features and Benefits

  • Pre-built shopping cart options. If you need to create an online shopping cart, Stax offers no-frills, pre-built templates designed with small businesses in mind.
  • Advanced integrations. With Stax, you’ll get access to a one-click shopping cart setup and advanced API integrations to accept online ACH payments with ease.
  • In-depth reporting. You’ll gain access to a user-friendly dashboard to make tracking and reporting ACH payments simple.
  • Customer support. Stax offers a thorough knowledge base on its website, as well as a dedicated support team available through chat, email, and phone.
Read our expert Stax review for more details.

Payment methods accepted Credit and debit cards, selected digital wallets, ACH, bank transfers
Integrations 14+ including QuickBooks, Zoho, Xero, and Hubspot
Customer support Live chat, email, ticket, and phone support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 0% + 10¢ (online)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $99.00
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PaymentCloud is a payment processor that works with just about any business. With no minimum credit score, PaymentCloud accepts nearly 98% of all applicants, including those in high-risk industries.

Several of the other companies on the list offer ACH processing as an add-on to credit card processing, but PaymentCloud offers an ACH-only processing service. This is especially good for very high-risk businesses that are typically not approved for a merchant services account. Plus, you can sign up for instant ACH payments if you need to improve the overall cash flow for your business.

PaymentCloud doesn’t publicly display their prices online, instead focusing on personalized quotes based on your business needs. This is mainly due to working with high-risk businesses that may need tailored support.

Features and Benefits

  • Robust fraud prevention. PaymentCloud works with you to prevent fraud and chargebacks, including offering account manager support for high-risk industries and advanced ACH and eCheck verifications.
  • Recurring billing and subscriptions. Since ACH payments tend to be popular for recurrent billing, having this as an option is key. PaymentCloud makes subscriptions easy to manage and track – for you and your customers.
  • No setup fees. PaymentCloud does not charge any setup fees for ACH payment processing or any of its other e-commerce features.
  • Paysley mobile payments. With PaymentCloud’s Paysley service, you can send invoices and payment links through email, SMS, WhatsApp, and more.
For more details, read our expert PaymentCloud review.

Payment methods accepted Credit and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH, bank transfers, cryptocurrency
Integrations 100+ including QuickBooks, WooCommerce, Shopify and more
Customer support Email and phone support Monday to Friday from 7:00 – 18:00 (PST)
Transaction fees on cheapest plan Around 2.1% + 15¢
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $14.00

4. PAYARC: Best ACH Processor for Recurring Billing Management

PAYARC is another top choice for small businesses seeking an efficient and reliable ACH processing service. With PAYARC, you can gain access to a host of advanced features that make managing ACH payments easy.

With recurring billing features, PAYARC simplifies the process of managing subscriptions, memberships, and recurring invoices. Since many people use ACH payments for these types of purchases, this is particularly useful for your customers. And if you ever have any issues, PAYARC’s 24/7 support is just a phone call away, guaranteeing that your business never faces any downtime.

PAYARC offers tiered pricing options that are tailored to suit the specific needs of your growing enterprise. However, It’s worth noting that to obtain accurate pricing details, you’ll have to reach out directly – the information isn’t available online. Though that can be a bit frustrating, PAYARC has an excellent reputation for fair pricing and top-notch service.

Features and Benefits

  • User-friendly dashboard. Designed with small business owners in mind, PAYARC’s dashboard is intuitive and easy to navigate. You can effortlessly set up recurring ACH payments, manage customer information, and generate detailed reports.
  • Low-cost non-profit processing. PAYARC is great if you run a non-profit small business, as it’s committed to supporting non-profit organizations through cost-effective processing solutions with discounted rates.
  • Same-day payout available. While PAYARC’s standard payout times are 24-48 hours, you can also opt-in to same-day payouts for only $20/month to ensure smooth operations and timely payments to your suppliers and employees.
  • Advanced APIs for web integrations. PAYARC makes it easy to integrate a payment gateway onto your existing website so your customers can pay with a secure solution.
Want to learn more? Check out our full PAYARC review.

Payment methods accepted Credit cards, debit cards, ACH, digital wallets (Apple Pay and Google Pay only)
Integrations 10+ including WooCommerce, ApplePay, Verifi, and more
Customer support 24/7 phone and email support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.49% + 30¢ (in-person)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan N/A

5. Flagship Merchant Services: Best ACH Processor for Fast Approval and Onboarding

For small businesses looking for an easy sign-up process, Flagship Merchant Services is another great option for ACH processing. After you’ve signed up, you’ll get access to a personal account manager who will walk you through the simple onboarding process and address your specific needs and concerns. Its streamlined setup empowers you to quickly start accepting ACH payments for an additional $5/month.

One standout advantage is Flagship’s flexible month-to-month contracts and negotiable pricing. This ensures that you are not locked into long-term commitments, giving you the flexibility to switch providers or adjust your services as necessary.

While Flagship generally offers very affordable rates for small businesses, pricing isn’t available online. Instead, you’ll need to contact the support team for a quote. Flagship offers 24/7 technical support to help you if you have any issues, but we have found that trying to contact the team during odd hours can be difficult.

Features and Benefits

  • iAccess dashboard. Flagship offers a powerful analytics tool called iAccess which allows you to track, manage, and monitor ACH payments, customer data, and more.
  • Online payment gateway. Flagship uses Authorize.net to secure card-not-present transactions, protecting your customer’s sensitive information and ensuring that transactions stay private and secure.
  • Mobile payment solutions. With Flagship’s mobile payment capabilities, you can conveniently process transactions using smartphones or tablets, providing flexibility and convenience for both you and your customers.
  • Advanced security and fraud detection. Flagship uses robust fraud protection measures for e-commerce transactions, with the option to add address verification and CVV2 checks, plus set up payment thresholds and location restrictions.
See our in-depth Flagship review for more details.

Payment methods accepted Credit and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH, bank transfers
Integrations Authorize.net, shopping cart integration through API
Customer support Phone support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 1.58% + 19¢ (in person)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $7.95

6. ProMerchant: Best ACH Processor for Flexible Pricing Options

ProMerchant offers a range of payment solutions to fit the needs of any small business, including ACH payments. Like PaymentCloud, ProMerchant is particularly good for high-risk businesses. As such, it provides advanced fraud detection and support like IP detection, fraud filters, and address verification.

ProMerchant uses Authorize.net to process ACH payments made online or over the phone. Authorize.net offers a user-friendly interface and seamless integrations with over a hundred e-commerce, accounting, and subscription management software.

There are two pricing options available through ProMerchant: zero cost processing and interchange-plus. You can benefit from zero-cost processing, where a monthly payment will be deducted, and your customers will incur the processing fee. Conversely, the interchange-plus model will impose a set processing fee, a transaction fee, and a modest monthly fee on your account.

Both plans have their advantages, but you’ll need to speak with a ProMerchant representative to see which is right for your business.

Features and Benefits

  • Month-to-month contracts. ProMerchant offers month-to-month contracts with no cancellation fees, making it easy to switch if you find the pricing or services no longer align with your business needs.
  • Dedicated customer support. Access responsive 24/7 phone customer support from ProMerchant’s team, receiving assistance and guidance whenever you have questions or concerns about your ACH payments.
  • Variety of POS systems. If you plan to offer in-person card payments in addition to ACH processing, ProMerchant has a wide range of POS models to choose from, including Clover, Pax, and Verifone.
  • Payment Hub. Payment Hub is a robust payment management tool provided by ProMerchant with no monthly cost. It works as a virtual terminal to enter ACH payments taken over the phone.
Our comprehensive ProMerchant review has more information.

Payment methods accepted Credit and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH, bank transfers
Integrations Authorize.net
Customer support 24/7 phone and email support
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 3% + 10¢ (debit)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $7.95

The Best ACH Processing for Small Businesses Will Fit All Your Needs

Accepting ACH payments benefits most small businesses. After all, ACH payments can save you money on transaction fees and can be a convenient option for subscription-based businesses or recurring billing. But to reap the benefits, you’ll need to find a merchant account provider that makes the process transparent and easy

If you’re looking for an ACH processor to add to your all-in-one payment service, Leaders Merchant Services is my top recommendation1. It makes it easy to negotiate rates based on the services you need. This is especially helpful if you run a small business and don’t want to pay for features you’ll never end up using.

PAYARC is another great ACH processor that is perfect for subscription-based businesses. With easy recurring billing options, you’ll be able to accept automatic ACH payments each month.

But, if approval is your biggest concern, consider going with PaymentCloud. As an ACH processor that is dedicated to helping high-risk businesses, PaymentCloud offers some of the highest approval rates on the market.

Check out my full summary comparison below:
Best Feature Best For Monthly fee on cheapest plan Transaction fees on cheapest plan
Leaders Merchant Services Negotiable rates Small businesses on a tight budget $9.00 ~0.15% + $0
PAYARC Recurring billing management Subscription-based businesses N/A 2.49% + 30¢ (in-person)
PaymentCloud 98% acceptance rate for all business types High-risk businesses $14.00 Around 2.1% + 15¢
Flagship Merchant Services Same-day approval and onboarding New businesses that need fast approval $7.95 1.58% + 19¢ (in person)
ProMerchant Two pricing options for flexibility Startups looking for tailored solutions $7.95 3% + 10¢ (debit)
Stax Detailed reporting and analytics Established businesses with high sales volumes $99.00 0% + 10¢ (in-person)

FAQ

What’s the average cost to process an ACH payment?

The cost to process an ACH payment can vary depending on the payment processor you choose and the type of transaction. Some charge a fixed fee for each ACH payment. Other processors, like Stax, charge a percentage of the transaction amount, usually around 1%.

Do I have to sign up for a contract to process ACH payments?

Some ACH processors require a contract to use the services. ProMerchant, though, offers month-to-month services with no fixed term contract, making it ideal for businesses that don’t want to be locked in.

What processor works with high-risk businesses?

PaymentCloud is the ideal ACH processor for high-risk businesses. Whether you operate in an industry considered high risk, have bad credit, or are struggling to get approved elsewhere, PaymentCloud is your best option – and it tailors its solutions specifically for high-risk businesses.

What ACH process has the best rates for new businesses?

ACH payments have lower transaction fees compared to credit card processing and faster payment processing times. Additionally, ACH payments are highly secure and can reduce the risk of fraud or chargebacks. Luckily, many of our top credit card processors in 2024 also accept ACH payments either as an included service or as an add-on.

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