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ACH vs Wire vs Card Payments (and Why You Need ACH)

More and more of our payment customers are seeing success in reducing costs with ACH. Just last week, I heard a story of a property
saving $11k after just three months of enabling ACH. But I also come across properties who are hesitant to adopt it. You may be one of them, especially if you’re already satisfied sending wire instructions.

As always, when it comes to payments, both the minutia and the big picture matter if you’re looking to implement the easiest, fastest, most cost-effective payment process.

Here's the thing: you should not evaluate ACH payments against wires at all. You should evaluate ACH payments against card payments.

Let’s walk through a couple scenarios to explain why (and in both scenarios, I’m assuming you’re already offering the convenience of card payments to your guests).

Scenario A: Cards and Wire Instructions

Card = Convenient

Guests can instantly enter their card information into a form and securely send it to you.

Wire Instructions = Less Convenient

Guests must follow your manual steps to pay you (and absorb the wire fees).

Results = Higher Card Volume and Higher Fees for You

Even if a guest prefers bank transfers, they’ll opt for a card payment because it’s more convenient.

Scenario B: Cards and ACH

Card = Convenient

Guests can instantly enter their card information into a form and securely send it to you.

ACH = Also Convenient

Guests can instantly enter their bank information into a form and securely send it to you (and for many, this may be their preferred method to pay you).

Results = Lower Card Volume and Lower Fees for You

Now your guests have two easy ways to pay you, so you’ll inevitably have guests who opt for ACH over card, especially if you prompt them to. For example, setting ACH as the default payment method in Sertifi and/or requiring ACH for transactions over certain thresholds.

And because card transactions have higher fees than ACH transactions, you’re able to reduce your overall cost to process payments online. The customer I mentioned above was able to save $11k by converting just 15% of online payments from card to ACH.

So, if you’ve already decided to offer guests the convenience of card payments, it’s a no brainer to add ACH as an additional option to help drive down your costs. You’ll also be able to automate manual processes for your team:

✅ Instead of sending wire instructions over email, you can automatically request, apply, and track payments to an event from Sertifi and your integrated PMS or sales and catering solution.

✅ ACH payments are easier to reconcile because the payment will be tied to an event, rather than scouring bank statements trying to find the right wire payment.

✅ ACH payments via online form are easier to submit, whereas wires may require more follow-ups to ensure you get paid on time.

✅ With banking details kept securely on file, you can easily use it for additional deposits and charges.

✅ If a refund is needed, you can send it electronically instead of cutting a paper check.


To help you see expected savings, we’re happy to send you a personalized ROI calculation and of course answer any questions you may have.

About the author

Mike Ryan

Mike Ryan is the enterprise director of payments at Sertifi. Mike brings over 20 years of experience in sales and payment technology. At Sertifi, he manages the strategy and adoption of payment solutions, particularly SertifiyPay, Sertifi’s proprietary payment processor – all aimed to make payments simpler and more secure for the hospitality and travel industry.