In the USA, an ACH number is a nine-digit code that is useful to identify payment activities between accounts.

Usually, banks and other financial institutions use this number. It also plays a vital role in directing electronically transferred funds to the correct bank account.

As per the survey, there was a 3% increment made in the ACH network with 7.8 billion payments. This proves the strong adoption of ACH routing numbers in the market.

Every bank and credit union has an associated unique code. There are multiple ways to search for this code including directly contacting the bank, the online banking system, or the bottom of the cheque. For receiving and sending the payment through ACH, it is important to know the correct routing number. This ensures the funds reach the correct bank account.

If you want to know more about ACH routing numbers, then reading this blog will be highly beneficial. We will uncover every crucial piece of information from scratch.

What Is ACH Routing Number?

What Is ACH Routing Number

ACH stands for Automated Clearing House. It is a network that transfers money and information between banks and financial institutions in electronic form in the United States. An ACH routing number plays an important role in those places, where payroll management and direct customer payment receiving take place. Understanding ACH is highly beneficial for professionals to run their businesses smoothly.

ACH Routing Numbers History

The ACH routing numbers were started when the banking industry initiated automation with high efficiency. In 1910, the American Bankers Association (ABA) generated ACH routing numbers. The main purpose of ACH numbers is to sort, ship, and bundle paper cheques. Later on, the system was adapted for electronic mode funds processing.

Different numbers in these nine digits have different significance.

  • The first two digits show the district of the Federal Reserve Bank.
  • The second pair shows the district branch of Federal Reserve banks.
  • The 5th, 6th, and 8th digits represent the institute’s unique identifier.

Gradually, with time this ACH process was adopted widely. It eliminates the need for paper documents while enabling fund transfers efficiently and accurately. It covers credit and debit transaction processing which includes direct payment and direct deposits.

Routing numbers play a crucial role in daily financial operations. Overall, a reliable and organized structure contributes to a paperless financial system.

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What Is Utilization of ACH Routing Numbers?

These nine-digit numbers are highly related to the electronic funds transfer process. After knowing what an ACH number is, let’s understand its use. Following are the points to present ACH number utilization.

  • Businesses and individuals use an ACH number for direct deposit. This process is for crediting salary into the employees’ bank accounts.
  • They make it possible to transfer funds between different bank accounts.
  • Many companies rely on them to receive monthly payments.
  • Nonprofits and businesses receive payments and contributions through these codes.

How to Identify an ACH Routing Number?

There are multiple ways to find the ACH routing number. You can find it by following any of the suitable ways listed below.

  • Look at the bank statement because some banks include the number of statements.
  • Visit a financial institution’s online banking platform.
  • ACH routing number can be mentioned on the bank account cheque.
  • There is a FAQ section on most of the banks’ websites where routing numbers are listed.
  • ACH routing number can be identified by contacting the bank representative.
  • The lookup tool of the official American Bankers Association is also helpful to know ACH numbers.
  • The routing number can be known by calling customer service in the case of the credit union.

What Is the Information Required for an ACH Transfer?

There is certain data which is needed to make an ACH payment. The following details are considered for this.

  • Name of the institution that receive the payment
  • Account number of recipient
  • ABA rounding number
  • Type of the bank account (personal or business)
  • Total transaction amount

ABA vs ACH Routing Numbers

ABA vs ACH Routing Numbers

In the story of what is an ACH number, we now cover the difference between ACH and ABA.

The purpose of ABA and ACH is the same i.e. payment processing. However, their uses are for different types of transactions.

The core utilization of ABA is for paper and cheques transfers. ACH routing numbers find their application in electronic transfers.
As ABA is based on the paper cheques, it takes time to finish the transactions. ACH executes fast transactions as compared to ABA.
ABA transaction processing is short. ACH transactions have a long process because they are done in batches.

The differentiation helps in institutions to route the transaction through the correct processing system. The wrong number used can lead to transaction delay or failure.

It is crucial to ask for the ACH routing number in case of ACH transactions. This avoids the misunderstanding or any error in the transfer operation.


ACH routing number has simplified the fund transaction to a great limit. With automation, it also ensures the correct payment transaction with minimal failure. It is applicable for automatic bill payment, fund transfers between accounts, or a direct deposit. Electronic funds transfers are now dominating the world and it will continue.