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Most companies are eager to get customers to sign up for ACH — after all, automatic recurring payments reduce manual processing and have been found to reduce delinquency rates by as much as 80%. However, the paperwork burden of signing up for ACH has typically kept customers away. By adopting dynamic, mobile-friendly eForms, companies make it easy for new customers to say “yes” to ACH.

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Paperwork Keeps ACH Authorization Rates Down

A typical ACH process today is practically designed to keep customers away, however unintentionally. To apply for and authorize automated ACH payments, the customer has to complete yet another long and complicated form, often providing detailed personal and financial information that they have already submitted to apply for an account or financing.

The forms are frequently not editable online, so they have to be downloaded, completed, and then uploaded again for submission via email. Documents that require a signature need to be printed and then scanned back in, and sometimes customers are required to have certain software or applications installed.

The inability to edit forms online, combined with static fields (e.g., no auto-fill) tends to cause a high rate of errors and omissions, increasing the probability that forms will be sent back for correction. Customers who have suffered through several attempts to complete an application or onboarding process are even more likely to give up and abandon their ACH application at this point.

Having to replicate the effort already put in to apply for an account, plus the frustration of rework on incomplete forms and the friction of multiple touchpoints culminates in the understandable abandonment of over 50% of all ACH payment applications. Even if in the long run signing up for ACH would save customers time and hassle, in the moment of signing up, it’s just one more paperwork task.

But signing up for ACH doesn’t need to be a burden. In fact, it can be practically effortless with the right technology in place.

eForms Foster ACH Uptake

With nearly 70% of searches for loan information conducted on mobile devices, and 43% of adults saying that they regularly use their smartphone to manage finances, optimizing ACH application forms for mobile use is a requirement to increase ACH signup.

Unlike PDFs, smart eForms don’t require customers to install any special software. Smart eForms minimize the amount of required information by using features like auto-fill, conditional logic, and autocomplete. Here are some of the time-saving features of eForms:

  • Smart Fields: Fields in existing paper and PDF forms are transformable into smart fields. These smart fields are delivered to the customer via an easy-to-fill mobile eForm which can be completed in seconds with auto-fill functions.
  • Agent-Guided Completion: In-call form completion ensures that customers get the agent guidance they need to complete forms.
  • Mobile Optimized: Customers can share information with the company straight from their mobile device, wherever they are.
  • Easy to Complete: Conditional logic ensures a smooth user experience as forms are easier to understand and fill, showing only relevant fields.
  • No Longer Than Required: Smart eForms hide fields that were completed elsewhere or are not relevant for the workflow.
  • Personalized Experience: Conditional logic displays tailored fields, messages, and formats to make the customer experience personal.
  • Multiple field types: Free text, collapsible menus, numerical fields, and drop-down lists are all par for the course.
  • Workflow-based: Automated dynamic workflows ensure that the correct forms are sent to the customer based on their purchase or service need. This helps avoid human error, reduces non-compliance risk, and simplifies agent processes.
  • Omnichannel Self-Serve: eForms can also be integrated within all customer touchpoints. eForms can be harnessed for call centers, websites, IVRs, Alexa, or an in-store POS device so customers can complete and sign forms instantly and independently.
  • Integrated With Your Existing Systems: eForms can be easily integrated into your existing workflows, CRM, agent toolbars and third-party business applications, so information can be pre-populated in the form fields and centrally stored with a complete audit trail.

A simplified ACH form based on these features creates a frictionless authorization process. With fewer fields to fill in, employees can assist a customer in completing fields in real time, in person, over the phone or via chat.

Take the following ACH form, for example. With eForms, companies can simply send the form to the customer with their Full Name, Merchant’s Name, and possibly even Billing Information already filled in thanks to data synchronization with the CRM.

The terms and conditions (T&Cs) section of the eForm is also a critical time-saving component. It eliminates the need for a company employee to read an agent script. Customers simply provide consent from within the ACH form. This also makes it easier for compliance teams to perform audits, and eliminates ambiguity.

In addition, the eSignature field at the bottom is also effortless for the customer to add with a simple finger swipe.

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The Bottom Line

Companies who use simplified, streamlined, mobile-optimized eForms have been found to double ACH adoption. This has a tremendous positive impact on decreasing the rate of missed payments and delinquency. Customers are open to signing up for ACH — we just need to make it easy for them.

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