Most businesses are familiar with the desire of their customers to make payments rather than provide the full purchase price up front. This is especially the case when an item has a large sticker price that would otherwise be impossible for a lot of people to handle. If the only options were to pay cash or to do without the item, many customers would do without, whether they wanted to or not. This leaves a lot of retailers struggling to find ways to finance their wares in order to maximize sales, yet ensure that they actually receive the balance of their money in the agreed-upon fashion.
The preferred solution for sellers of these higher value items is to offer the customer terms in the form of several relatively affordable monthly payments. For those who have a credit card, this offers no problem at all. Yet this still leaves a large pool of potential customers who, for one reason or another, do not possess a credit card but still wish to purchase the product. Here is where direct payment solutions come into play.
In effect, direct payment solutions are electronic checks that are withdrawn from one bank account and immediately deposited in another account. The technical term is ACH, or Automatic Clearing House, transfer. For most retail usage, ACH transfers are agreed to by the buyer and these transfers are scheduled to automatically occur on certain specific dates. By removing the fallible human factors from the equation, payment becomes a much more certain thing. It is no longer necessary to depend on someone to fill out a check and mail it in with the requisite payment stub.
Instead, these bank-to-bank movements reverse the process. Rather than payment being made provided a human acts to authorize the transaction, they go through unless a human acts to cancel them. The difference in effort means that payments are much more likely to be made. More importantly, these payments are likely to arrive in a timely fashion. Merchants who do not avail themselves of ACH payments are saying goodbye to a large slice of the buying public.