What is ACH?

ACH (Automated Clearing House) is an electronic network for financial transactions in the United States that processes large volumes of credit and debit transaction in batches. Fortress utilizes MX to surface a widget that end-users connect with directly and securely to select the bank account they would like as a payment method for deposits and withdrawals. The following section will touch on how these payment methods are created.

Steps for ACH:

  1. Generate a url via our API to plug into the MX bank connect script.
  2. End user goes through the MX flow to authenticate and select their bank account.
  3. Integrator gets an id returned from a successful MX flow that is used for a followup call with the API to
    establish a persistent banking object(externalAccount).
  4. Integrator references the created externalAccount to deposit/withdraw funds from/to that particular bank.

Timing and "Instant Settlement Accounts"

Typically, ACH settlement time is T+1-3 as it takes time before the external bank sends in funds to the Fortress account. While this delayed settlement period is ok/less risky for some, it's not always the best end user experience when having to wait for your money. To offer expedited access to funds, we have an optional implementation for an Instant Settlement Account, aka an "ISA".

ISAs are custodial accounts that you as the integrator open up for yourself using your own business identity. These accounts will function as a pool of funds that you can credit to your end users that allows them to access functionality as soon as you'd want them to have it. By keeping a balance of fiat in the ISA account, that money will be transferred to an end user's custodial account as soon as a successful ACH deposit happens. Your end user can now carry out functionality with those credited funds, while their deposit settles from their bank into your ISA account after a delayed settlement period and tops up the pool of funds. Talk to your Solutions Engineer about opting into Instant Settlement.

Note: ISA functionality is all done through Fortress's backend so you will not need to modify your payment flow. Once the ISA account is setup, funded, and configured, payments will automatically flow between the bank, your ISA account, and the end user custodial account. You'll just need to keep an eye on your ISA account balance and add funds if ever necessary to facilitate ACH volumes.

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Risk Mitigation

Because there is inherently a delayed settlement period when using ACH, crediting funds from your own pool to an end user can be a little bit more risky then waiting for the funds to settle into their own account. To mitigate some of this risk, we advocate that you not allow your end user to withdraw any assets they might have purchased with credited funds until a set amount of time has passed, or their funds have arrived from their external bank and topped up your ISA account.


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