Automated Clearing House Network

Why Trust Techopedia

What Does Automated Clearing House Network Mean?

An automated clearing house network (ACH network) is an electronic network for the automatic batch processing of financial transactions.


ACH networks simultaneously process very large numbers of credit and debit transactions. The primary purpose of ACH networks is for making electronic direct deposits or money transfers. They are considered the backbone of the electronic movement of finances and financial data.

An automated clearinghouse network may also be referred to as simply an automated clearing house.

Techopedia Explains Automated Clearing House Network

The ACH network is in place to automate the large-scale processing of automated payments. This has a number of functions, including:

  • Payroll deposits
  • Government-issued payments such as Social Security
  • Regular payment debits, such as payments for rent, loans, household bills, mortgages etc.
  • Business-to-business payments
  • E-commerce transactions
  • Federal, local, state tax, and other contributory payments
  • Internal transfers between banks

A survey released in 2011 by Ecom Advisors found that only 34 percent of businesses with between two and 100 employees used direct deposit. The study suggested that despite the widespread use of ACH networks there continues to be a market for small businesses, while medium and large businesses already use ACH networks to a much greater extent.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.