An ACH (or Electronic Clearing House) is an electronic network that connects different financial institutions in a territory and facilitates the clearing and settlement of cheques and electronic transactions between them.
The ECACH (Eastern Caribbean Automated Clearing House) is an ACH network between qualifying financial institutions operating in the 8 territories of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
Who are the members of the ECACH?
Currently the ECCB and banks in the ECCU territories namely Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent that are part of the ECACH. In the future we expect credit unions and other regulated financial institutions to participate in the ECACH.
What is MICR line on my cheque and what is its purpose?
The MICR (short for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) line, an international standard, is the series of numbers printed at the bottom of a cheque using a special font and magnetic ink which allows the information such as the cheque and account number to be read electronically.
What is an EFT?
Imagine sending funds directly from your account to a friend’s account at another bank, or having your salary deposited automatically into your account every 23rd, or having your insurance premium debited directly from your account. These are all examples of EFTs via the ACH. An EFT (or Electronic Funds Transfer) is a process that is used to electronically move money from one account to another. If the accounts are at different financial institutions, the ACH may be used by your bank to complete the transaction.
What is a routing number?
An ACH routing number is a 9-digit, unique numeric ID assigned to each banking institution in the ECACH. It’s needed for banks to identify where payments should be taken from and sent to. The routing number is used in conjunction with an account number to send or receive an ACH payment.
But don’t worry, when sending an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), you just need to provide the name and 5 digit transit of the receiver’s bank along with their account number. Your bank will figure out the rest.
Can I send $USD funds to my aunt in Texas via the ACH?
No. The ECACH only allows the processing of Eastern Caribbean dollars (XCD) between participating financial institutions within the territories of the ECCU.
Why don’t I get back my physical cheques anymore?
Cheques are now exchanged electronically between banks across the ECCU. This means that your physical cheques are no longer returned to your bank when deposited at another bank. Please speak to your bank about obtaining images of your cleared items if copies are required for your records.
Does the ECACH impact the security of my account?
No, the ECACH is governed and protected by the Payment Systems Act and the Electronic Transaction Act. However, it is your personal responsibility to continue to monitor your account regularly.
What information do I need to provide to receive funds via the ECACH?
You will need to provide the sender with the following details: Your Financial Institution Name, Branch, Account Number and Type of Account (Chequing or Savings)
What information do I need to provide by Financial Institution to send funds via the ECACH?
You will need to provide your Financial Institution with the following minimum information: Name of the receiver, Financial Institution of the receiver, Branch of the receivers account, the Receiver’s Account Number and Type of Account (Chequing or Savings). You may also need to provide your Financial Institution with additional information to satisfy their authorisation, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) or Know Your Customer (KYC) processes. Please contact your Financial Institution for detailed requirements on their process.
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