How long does it take an electronic payment to process? Or, “Hey, why does my payment say pending?”

Posted on May 19, 2017

E-Payments are posted to your account immediately; however, they do not fully clear for 3-5 business days.

We credit your account with a payment, and provide a receipt, as soon as you initiate an electronic payment. However, it generally takes 3 to 5 business days for an electronic ACH payment to fully clear the system.

Limits while Payment Pending

  • You cannot make another electronic payment
  • We cannot refund the payment or any portion of it
  • We cannot move a payment to another ledger (in the event you accidentally paid the wrong account, for those of you with more than one unit)

From Bank to Bank, Several Steps

First, you initiate it. Then the third party processor notifies your bank and it has to clear your bank. Your bank approves it and removes the funds from your account. Then the third party processor is notified and it requests to transfer the money to our bank, it goes through the Federal Reserve (a step that only happens once daily, overnight!), our bank approves it and acknowledges transfer. At that point, the payment is fully cleared in your account and should no longer “pending.”

Yes, we think this should be nearly instantaneous, but it isn’t. And its not an issue with our system but rather with how these things work in the financial world…

Broken Steps: NSF, Bad Account

Sometimes the process fails. Generally, there are only two reasons the ePayment will fail:

  1. NSF/Insufficient Funds. Just like a bounced check, the epayment will bounce if you do not have enough money in the account. Calling your bank to see what happened on their end is the first step.
  2. Bad Account. This is a setup issue. Usually it means there is a typo in your routing number or bank account number, or you switched the two. Double checking the numbers is the first step here. Sending us a voided check will allow us to do this for you.

In both cases, if you happen to have more than one epayment account, making sure you actually selected the right one is a good step. This is documented in the transaction, and we can access it in the audit trail–even if you change the numbers or the whole account on your account after you initiated the failed transaction.

In any event, we are happy to help you try to sort it out.

Cancelling a Payment?

In very specific circumstances, we can delete a payment if you catch it quickly and meant to make it for a larger amount, but it has to be rather soon after it was initiated (hours not days).  Just don’t dispute it, because that will cost you and us fees from all banks, and they’ll be past back to you. Not good, right?

Let us know if you need help!