The Automated Clearing House Network, or ACH, is a network used for electronically moving money between bank accounts across the United States. It’s run by an organization called Nacha, formerly the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA). Nacha governs the ACH network, creating and upholding the rules required for the ACH network to operate as a safe and effective payments system. The organization was formed in 1974 and has overseen the development of ACH since then: in 2020, over $61.9 trillion worth of funds was transferred as ACH transactions, a year-on-year increase of almost 11 percent. Transaction types include government, consumer, and business-to-business transactions, as well as international payments. The ACH network may also be referred to as the ACH payment system, scheme, or simply as ACH.
An ACH payment is a type of electronic bank-to-bank payment. The ACH system is a way to transfer money between bank accounts, rather than going through card networks or using wire transfers, paper checks, or cash. The Automated Clearing House network is only available in the US, so ACH payments can't be made in the UK, Eurozone, or anywhere else outside the United States. ACH payments are also commonly referred to as ACH transfers or transactions.