WePay's new ACH and email security benefits

April 11, 2016 Risk & Fraud
Jeremy Milk
By Jeremy Milk, Head of Marketing
Jeremy Milk
By Jeremy Milk, Head of Marketing

Today we announce two sets of product changes designed to better serve platforms and their users.

ACH enhancements including more insights, recurring payments

We launched Pay With Bank (commonly known as ACH or eCheck payments) in September 2015 as an alternative payment method well suited for partners dealing with large-volume transactions, where credit card fees become simply too expensive for merchants and/or the transaction amounts exceed payers’ card limits.

Your feedback since the launch — thanks again — sparked us to pursue a number of improvements to the Pay With Bank processing solution:

  • Providing better error information to platforms via our API if a payer’s bank rejects an ACH payment (for example, when a bank account has insufficient funds to complete the payment)
  • Improving our email messaging for both payers and merchants if a payer’s bank rejects an ACH payment
  • Adding the ability to set up recurring ACH payments (coming May 6, 2016)

In addition to these enhancements, we are making a policy change that increases the time we hold ACH payments from 2 business days to 4 business days, effective May 6, 2016. The additional hold window brings WePay’s processing time in line with other major ACH payment processors and allows us to address a key source of user confusion (and potential loss exposure) when exceptions happen after settlement to the merchant.

This means WePay will rarely, if ever, have to recover funds from a merchant after they have already settled to their bank account, resulting in a much better merchant experience. Remember, any payment that is held for risk review will take an additional business day to process (no change from current policy).

Please keep in mind that these changes only affect consumers making ACH payments — WePay’s settlement of funds to merchant bank accounts is completely unchanged by this update.

What partners should do:

You can help ease your merchants into the new Pay With Bank experience by setting expectations on how long it will take them to receive funds from ACH payments. Unlike credit card charges, which are authorized in real-time by your bank, it takes several days for payments via ACH to be verified as “good funds.”

This means that, while payments via credit and debit cards are typically reflected in your merchant’s available balance almost instantly, payments via ACH take 4-5 business days to process and be reflected in the available balance.

Once the funds are in the available balance, banks’ settlement times on merchant withdrawals are the same as settlement from credit card payments: 2-5 business days. Altogether, this means that from the time a payer verifies their account, it will take 6-10 business days for funds to be completely settled in a merchant’s bank account.

Merchant account admin email requirement boosts security

To increase security on your merchants’ accounts, we will limit merchant account administrator rights to a single email address. Existing merchants who currently have admin rights tied to multiple email addresses are permitted to keep their settings unchanged and even update their primary admin email address; however, they will not be able to edit non-primary admin email addresses, nor designate any additional admin email addresses.

There is no change in merchant admin users’ ability to invite non-admin users to help manage a merchant account, with separate login and specified access for each user. This can still be done with ease via our Merchant Center.

Additionally, when any merchant user seeks to edit their email addresses, they will now need to verify the change is legitimate by clicking a link in a confirmation email from WePay. This too is consistent with security best practices.

What partners should do:

To help ensure your users are clear on this, we suggest you update any language in your website and/or application related to these merchant account email details. Also, it can’t hurt to recommend that your admin users take a minute to ensure their preferred email address is indeed accurate and designated as being their primary email address in the Merchant Center.

About the author

Jeremy Milk

Jeremy Milk, Head of Marketing

Jeremy is WePay's head of marketing. Earlier, he held marketing and product leadership roles for Intuit QuickBooks, where he got hooked on fintech, and The Clorox Company. He's also a die-hard UNC basketball fan.

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