IVR Payment Solutions

What is IVR and how can a business automate ACH payment collection using IVR in 2023?



What are ACH IVR Payments

IVR or Interactive Voice Recognition is a technology that can remove human interaction within call environments. Put simply IVR offers automated Payments by Phone.

Business phone systems offer voice cues that then automatically route calls to an ACH IVR payment system that otherwise must be handled by live CS reps. ACH refers to moving money via the ACH network. An ACH or ECheck debit is typically 80-90%+ less expensive than credit cards with significantly lower payment decline rates.

 A Pay by Phone system can smoothly accommodate a high volume of calls that would typically require enormous staffing to accomplish what an IVR system can handle. Offering Telephone Payment Solutions significantly reduces workload while improving cash and reducing man-hour expenses.

The integration of modern payment gateway technologies allows credit card and ACH (eCheck) transactions to processed using IVR technology. This integration enables a business or organization to accept receivables in an automated fashion, without human interaction.

What are ACH IVR Payment | ACH Pay by Phone Benefits?

An IVR Payment System or Telephone Payment System makes it easy for your customers to make payments and eliminate loads of man-hours accepting payments. Benefits of IVR Payments | Pay by Phone:

  • No need for human involvement on the organization’s side.
  • The system is always on, 24/7/365.
  • Self-service; no waiting on hold.
  • Greatly reduce company man-hours spent.
  • EZ setup.
  • Multiple language support.
  • PCI IVR compliant platform.
  • Complete integration with our virtual terminal and API integrations.
  • Single source for all credit card and eCheck payment reporting.
  • Convenience fees able to be assessed to consumers, often resulting in ZERO cost to implement.
  • Ease of use for a caller to submit an IVR Payment. Payments via Telephone made easy.


With the ACH Payments ACH interactive voice response (IVR) system, customer service time involving staff is eliminated. Customers no longer have to wait on hold waiting for a customer service rep to answer, improving timely payments and providing better customer satisfaction. Payment by Phone solutions make your customer’s happier experience.


 What types of business benefit from implementing an ACH IVR payments | ACH Payments by Phone solution?

Virtually any organization that has receivables or collects donations can benefit from an IVR payment solution.

Think about how you collect payments now and more specifically what happens when payments are late and your collection process begins. In the vast majority of cases there is significant manual work involved. Typically begins with outbound calls. Representatives call homeowners and hope they answer and are in a good mood. 

Studies show access rates for first-time outreach are only about 5%. So you are spending a lot of time and money on low probability collection success.

Contrast this with an IVR solution. You would allow you to specify a rule set for late payment collection.

eg If a loan payment is X days late, initiate an outbound automated phone call [IVR] or text [SMS] or email to the member. 

From that call, the member could pay loan balance via ACH or credit card. No manual work. You would get reporting on payments made with member info. You could charge a convenience fee and the solution would cost little to nothing to implement.

The only work on your side would be an upload of late payer info. The automated nature removes embarrassment from the transaction, resulting in smoother customer interaction.


Types of ECheck IVR | ECheck Telephone Payment calls

Inbound: By far the most common type of an IVR call is where a customer is calling into a company or organization looking for information or to make payment.

Outbound: Where the IVR system auto calls out to customers. A good example of an outbound call might be for late or forgotten payments that need to be made by a customer.

 IVR | Payment by Phone Reporting

ACH IVR phone payment transactions can be reported in real-time using API’s Reporting integration to specific software platforms can be realized using our API webhooks and/or callbacks. Webhooks post transaction messaging from the IVR payment originations to endpoints that the organization defines. These messages can be used to track transactions that are disputed, maintain customer payment information via reference tokens and provide updates on transaction status for reconciliation and account updates.

Moreover, a differentiating reporting tool available is the Payment Reconciliation Funding Report which matches-up funding deposits to your account to all the transactions associated with a given deposit.

 Transaction types

ACH Payments IVR payment systems provide a business or organization the ability to accept both IVR ACH (eCheck) and IVR credit card transactions. Customers can make payment by phone quickly and without need for manpower.

Organizations and merchant companies can choose to open a merchant account for credit card processing in conjunction with the IVR payment system. Processing rates can be configured on a flat rate basis or, more ideally for the merchant organization, on an interchange plus basis – giving the merchant organization a solid understanding that all credit card transactions will be charged at whatever the interchange table rate is for a given card type.

eCheck payments are nothing new, having been around for a long time. ACH payments now exceed a total volume of $40 trillion. If you have made monthly AutoPay payments for your mortgage or paid a credit card bill, those transactions were via eCheck (ACH). By having eCheck transactions available in your IVR payment system, you are able to process payments much more economically than when processing payments via credit card transactions. If your organization decides to implement consumer convenience fees on the payment transactions, eCheck convenience fees can be much more palatable to your calling customers than credit card convenience fees. 

If your organization already has an existing credit card merchant account, it is possible to utilize our IVR payment system. Our gateway transmits to most all back-end credit card processors. This gives us the ability to utilize our value-add products like the IVR system | Telephone Payment Solution and process your transactions. To enable this, the merchant organization would register for a gateway-only account in addition to the IVR Payments account. In this case the merchant organization would be required to pay a per transaction gateway fee in addition to the small monthly support cost. You would also receive a virtual terminal login where you can pull reporting data for the credit card transactions. If an organization requires an eCheck processing account, this can be done in addition to the gateway account by adding an ACH merchant account.


Reducing payment processing costs with IVR Payments | Pay by Phone

It has become very common for businesses to charge convenience fees for IVR payment | Pay by Phone transactions. Convenience fees can be applied to both credit card transactions and ACH transactions. Whether to implement the convenience fee option is completely up to the merchant organization. For some, it’s a good fit, for others perhaps not. For example, a religious organization might have a hard time justifying the inclusion of a convenience fee, while a utility company might not.

What it does provide organizations who choose to include convenience fees is what can amount to an offset in processing costs that can eliminate the costs completely.


IVR | Telephone Payment Processing Configuration

We provide a few flavors of IVR payments systems. The choice is mostly driven by the capabilities of the adopting merchant organization. In some cases the adopting organization wants the configuration to be handled completely by us. In other cases the merchant organization will want the ability to configure the setup themselves and be able to make edits as organizational changes might be made. There’s also a third option where we can initially configure thing, but still give the merchant organization access to what is their dashboard workflow.

In the hand-off approach, a discovery call is had with a product specialist to gather information. All configurations are done by us and the customer must contact us for any changes. This approach requires a setup fee, beginning at $500.

In the hand-on approach, the customer is granted access to an online workflow dashboard where they can visually configure their workflow using pre-made modules or custom modules to suit their needs.


IVR | pay by Phone customer and payment data population

As with configuration, there are two choices in how a merchant organization can populate data to be used by the IVR payment system. The choice here is largely driven by the technological capabilities of the merchant organization.

In the hand-off approach, system data population is uploaded by a csv file that is based on a template we provide. 


ACH Payments IVR Solutions | Pay by Phone Solutions

Agile Payments can provide an additional inbound payment method that works in conjunction with the IVR payment system. The product is called Bill Pay and is a web based billing and invoice lookup and payment tool. This Bill Pay system allows a merchant organization the ability to populate billing data in the same fashion as the IVR system, via csv file upload. In many cases the same file can be used to populate both systems. Various setup configurations can be accomplished such as what field data can be searched in order to locate a bill or invoice or forcing older outstanding invoices to be paid first. Payments are all originated in a PCI compliant and certified platform, greatly reducing the merchant organization’s PCI scope. And as with the IVR payment system, many, if not all, or the benefits are applicable to the Bill Pay system, including the ability to leverage consumer convenience fees to offset processing costs.

Let’s discuss your requirements

Here at ACH Payments, we’re here to listen to your use case, how you’re currently handling your inbound payments and how we might best be able to configure an IVR or Bill Pay system to reduce and eliminate your man-hour workload involved in your current environment. If we don’t think our system meets or exceeds your needs, we will be the first to say so. Contact us today to schedule a consultation on your inbound payments needs. IVR payment systems inquiries are routed to senior staff, all having over 18 years of payment processing experience, having provided processing solutions to organizations of all sizes – from fortune 50 to small business.