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Payments Processors Play a Key Role in High-Quality ACH Payments

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One important reason why electronic payments continue to gain popularity is that they’re easy and convenient. In the subscription industry, there are several advantages to customers having charges deducted directly from their bank account by ACH. The costs involved are considerably lower compared to other forms of payment, so more money can go to the bottom line. Cards have expiration dates, which is a major reason for churn in the subscription industry, while bank account numbers don’t expire. This leads to fewer returned payments, lower overall churn, and higher retention rates.

There’s also the confidence businesses and consumers have knowing their payments are safe and secure. For the average person, it doesn’t merit a second thought, but the payment industry knows why: Nacha—as steward of the ACH Network—works tirelessly to ensure high-quality ACH payments.

All participants using the ACH Network have important roles to play in that. Payment processors—known as Third-Party Senders or TPSs—are no exception. But they lacked a clear source of guidance, leading Nacha to create the Nacha Certified program.  The program provides a clear set of expectations for processors’ role in the ACH payments industry, along with support to meet those expectations.

The goal of the Nacha Certified program is to strengthen the ACH Network by bringing compliance awareness to, and creating a compliance culture within, TPS businesses. This in turn reduces potential risk events, which makes banks and merchants feel a lot better. In fact, merchants and other organizations looking for ACH compliant payment processor partners can find a full list of Nacha Certified payments processors at

What’s involved in becoming Nacha Certified? You’ll find our detailed criteria available to download free on, so you can see what’s required and what’s expected. Yes, it’s 36 pages. Yes, it’s rigorous. But by reviewing the criteria you’ll enter the process knowing up front what Nacha looks for in its review. It’s all straightforward, there are no surprises, and if your organization is doing the right things, you’ll start off on good footing—with Nacha there to help at every step of the way.

In our review, some of the basics Nacha will look for include showing that you have robust compliance and risk management programs in place, sound corporate governance, and appropriate disaster recovery and business continuity plans and insurance coverage. We’ll also want you to demonstrate compliance with the Nacha Operating Rules, show your return rate monitoring program, and have qualified staff responsible for ACH operations.

If approved, Nacha certification is good for two years.

When your organization becomes Nacha Certified, it shows you take your obligations seriously. It puts you in a higher standing with banks when they see you have been vetted by Nacha. That, in turn, often makes banks feel more comfortable about welcoming or continuing to do business with a Nacha Certified organization as a customer.

Earning the right to display the Nacha Certified logo gives a competitive advantage by sending a clear signal to your merchant and banking partners that you are meeting Nacha standards. Are you?

Learn more about Nacha Certified, find Nacha Certified Payment Processors, and download our case studies and criteria at

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