How To Fill Out ACH Authorization Form?

Updated June 16, 2023
7 min read
folders, laptop, payment history, paper named "ACH Authorization Form"

Introduction

One of the most delightful feelings is when money makes its way into your bank account. In all that euphoria, a deeper look would reveal the machinery that facilitates transactions. One of these types of machinery is the ACH, which governs bank fund transfers. This network is a sturdy one that has been carrying interbank transfers for years. 

However, this success is not a fluke. It comes off the back of efficient execution and, of course, strict regulations. One of the regulations involves the authorization of a future debit from a bank customer’s account. If you could find yourself in this situation at some point, then you may want to get the hang of getting authorization for ACH. 

How To Complete an ACH Authorization Form

It has been established that the ACH Network is the framework behind interbank transfers. However, you can narrow it down to perhaps their most popular service – managing future debits from an individual’s account to a business account. This means A (payor) can authorize the network ahead of time to debit $50 from their account to B’s account for services B (payee) rendered or will render. This service is convenient but can occasion some tricky legal issues. 

In comes an ACH Authorization Form, a legal document that expressly grants permission for ACH debits and conditions for it. As such, the payor must request or draft up the form and know how to fill out ACH Authorization Form through any of three means:

  1. Online Authorization for ACH: The National Automated Clearinghouse Association (NACHA) is the body behind regulating the ACH network. This body has made provisions for the online completion of ACH Authorization Forms, subject to the validation of the details you submit. The additional requirement helps to prevent fraud and errors.

  2. Paper Authorization for ACH: This is the physical collection where the parties fill out ACH authorization form. The payor usually keeps a duplicate copy, while the original copy goes to the payee.

  3. Authorization by phone for ACH: This completion method allows authorizing ACH payments over the phone. However, it is subject to several conditions. These include evidence of the call (recordings or a written notice), a clear statement of all relevant details, and a written contractual or patronage relationship.

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What’s Included on an ACH Payment Authorization Form?

The set guidelines have a number of standard features expected of a valid ACH Payment Authorization Form. These are mentioned below.

The parties' contact information

The form must contain the contact information of both the payor and the payee. These include names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. This is necessary for easy correspondence, mainly as the ACH payment relationship dwells on communication between both parties.

Authorization statement

A statement explicitly authorizing debits from the payee is next on the agenda. It forms the substance of the ACH Payment Authorization Form. This is necessary so that the parties’ intentions will not be mistaken.

Payment information

Payment information consists of the terms of the agreement. These include the duration of the contract, the number of debits that will occur, and the interval between debits.

Bank information

The bank information of the payor is required for the agreement to be redeemed by the payee. The information in question often includes the account number, account type, and routing number.

Guidelines for termination

The parties are free to determine the procedure for cancellation of the authorization for ACH, and it is mandatory for it to be clearly stated on the form.

Signatures and dates

Signatures are required in the case of paper authorization but not for other modes. It is also necessary to include the date the agreement was drafted and when it would come into effect.

How To Manage and Cancel ACH Payment Authorizations

You may be wondering what comes next beyond the authorization for ACH process. The real deal is that the system is a self-running one. 

Once the parties get how to fill out ACH Authorization Form and the business has been served, the commitment will be activated by the bank according to the details of the agreement. Every other form of management and responsibility will be done outside of the ACH network and, more likely, between both parties directly.

However, what happens if one of the parties wishes to opt out of the agreement? In this case, a cancellation of the authorization for ACH is in order. Recall that one of the requirements for a valid authorization is the provision of a cancellation procedure. As such, termination of the authorization for ACH must proceed in accordance with the agreed guidelines in the ACH Payment Authorization Form.

Conclusion

That wraps up the exposé on the all-important ACH Payment Authorization Form. Filling out the form is a meticulous process and for good reason. 

The effect of the form extends from the customer to the business and even the banks involved. A faulty or improper ACH Authorization Form could end up being a threat to the parties rather than a form of protection. As such, you may want to consult a legal practitioner when you want to learn how to fill out an ACH authorization form, or use a trusted template.

Article by
Yevheniia Savchenko
Lawrina

Yevheniia Savchenko is a Product Content Manager at Lawrina. Yevheniia creates user interface copies for Lawrina products, writes release notes, and helps customers get the best user experience from all Lawrina products. Also, Yevheniia is in charge of creating helpful content on legal template pages (Lawrina Templates) and up-to-date information on US law (Lawrina Guides). In her spare time, Yevheniia takes up swimming, travels, and goes for a walk in her home city.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the product or UX content for Lawrina, feel free to contact Yevheniia directly at y.savchenko@lawrina.org or connect with her on LinkedIn.