Instant bank verification is a tool that high-risk merchants may appreciate now more than ever. It not only helps with quicker merchant account approval, but it can speed up their ACH transaction process.

In today’s digital world, everyone wants everything to be instant. Whether they are checking on information or making a purchase, both individuals and businesses want immediate and near-instant responses.

When it comes to payment systems, things are no different. Customers accustomed to fast processing and instant gratification want the same experience when dealing with merchants.

Businesses, of course, want to provide this speed as well to make sure customers are happy and are more willing to spend their money with them. That means having the latest technology and payment services that provide the fastest possible solutions.

However, if you’re a high-risk merchant, things are often a little more complicated. High-risk processing adds an entirely new layer of complexity and planning. Especially when it comes to executing fast transactions and using various tools to speed up payment processing.

One of the methods to achieve this is through instant bank verification or IBV. This merchant service can help with getting approval for high-risk payment processing with the right merchant account.

Many businesses are also curious about high-risk merchant account instant approval. Including the use of IBV to speed up the overall approval process to as little as one business day.

In this article, we’ll look at what instant bank verification (IBV) is. Including how it works, its advantages, and how it relates to high-risk businesses and high-risk processing.

What Is Instant Bank Verification?

Instant bank verification or IBV is a method for verifying certain specifics of a bank account instantly. Individuals and business can use it. The IVB process essentially creates a “snapshot” of a given bank account to verify that accuracy of certain submitted details before a transaction is initiated or approved.

Merchant account approval processes can also use IBV. Reducing the total approval time.

IBV is possible due to the electronic nature of the modern banking system as well as advances in fintech (financial technology) and integrations. It is nearly instant in many cases and can work both domestically and sometimes internationally for merchants that also process foreign transactions.

IBV is also more thorough than legacy methods of bank verification, such as micro-deposits or even manual verification by phone or fax. So not only is IBV faster, it provides greater security and reduces fraud more than other methods that can sometimes take days or even longer. 

Who Can Benefit From IBV?

Almost any merchant can benefit from using IBV if their current payment processing involves ACH transactions for either recurring payments, down payments, or installment plans. This is especially true for high-ticket items or high-risk items.

How Does Instant Bank Verification Work?

When properly integrated, IBV works seamlessly for both the consumer and the merchant to provide bank verification. The integration will take advantage of the bank’s API or Application Programming Interface. With the right hardware and implementation, IBV can also be integrated into POS situations involving eChecks.

Your payment processor or third-party service will take the customer’s bank information and access the customer’s bank API. The bank’s API will then return information about the account’s balance, transaction history, owner, and other critical details needed to make a decision on accepting payment or deciding on offering credit. 

The merchant can choose to integrate IBV anywhere in the customer journey on their website or checkout pages. A third-party service completes the IBV on the checkout or billing page.

For example, a customer may be looking to make a purchase via a website and will be using an ACH transfer to make the initial payment, followed by 5 monthly installments. As they are ready to checkout, the gateway will ask to verify their chosen bank account to complete the purchase.

This will bring up the secure third-party IBV interface where the customer then enters their bank information to verify it. Once the customer enters the information, the page will reload when the confirmation is complete. It’s usually instant but can take up to a minute in certain cases.

If the API returns an approval based on the merchant’s criteria, the merchant can complete the and send the payments. Completing the transaction.

Overall, this may sound like a somewhat complicated process. But for the merchant and consumer, it’s virtually seamless. Only adding about a minute to the total transaction time. 

How Were Bank Accounts Verified In The Past?

Previously, to verify a bank account there would need to be a few micro-deposits. Which were then checked for a response from either the bank or the customer. They would confirm they received them and the amount of each micro-deposit. 

This process provided little information other than the person having access to the account. The process often took days, which is not acceptable in today’s digital payment environment. 

If you need help setting up IBV or incorporating it into your processing, contact ECS Payments. We offer complete merchant payment solutions for high-risk processing in virtually any industry.

Instant Bank Verification For Merchant Account Approval 

IBV is often used in the approval process for merchant accounts. By using IBV some processors can promise instant merchant account approval.

While some processors can offer fast approval merchant accounts, there are some important caveats that businesses should be aware of.

Conventional vs. High-Risk Merchants

Same-day merchant account approval generally only applies to conventional merchant accounts, not high-risk credit card merchant accounts. A high-risk merchant processor usually needs to do a more thorough approval than simply a bank account verification. Credit card processors may look into other areas like credit scores when evaluating a new high-risk account.

With credit card processing for high-risk merchants, there are many factors to consider before underwriting approval. Bank details are just one of those factors.

Instant credit card processing approval is possible using IVB in certain situations. Depending on your industry and processing limits, it may be available for your business. However, if your business is on a high-risk merchant list of industries, then you need to seek out high-risk merchant account providers who specialize in this area.

ECS Payments is a leader in high-risk processing. We can work with virtually any industry to offer the latest payment solutions for your business. We have optimized and streamlined our approval process, to making sure you receive approval as fast as possible. Even in high-risk industries.

Overall, every merchant is different, and online merchant account instant approval may not be suitable in every situation. But in many cases, using instant bank verification speeds up the approval process and can often take several days off the total time needed to approve.

Only Partly Approved

Another issue is that approval doesn’t always mean the same thing among different payment processors. Some processors may say you are “approved”, but the full underwriting process is still not completed. So this is one area where the merchants need to be careful when researching instant approval or instant verification.

Basics Of High-Risk Processing

High-risk processing involves the sale of products or services that credit card issuers have deemed to have a high chargeback rate, return rate, or fraud rate. This determination is simply based on statistics and not to demonize certain products or industries. 

Because high-risk merchants are already dealing with the potential of higher fraud, they need to be extra careful with how they process payments. They should use every tool they can to filter out any type of fraud or payment attempt that will result in a reversal or chargeback.

For credit card processing, many tools are already available and merchants are mostly familiar with these. Things such as using gateway filters to hold various transactions that trigger alerts can be used. This way, potentially problematic transactions can be processed manually or inspected further before approval.

High-risk ACH Transactions

But many merchants need to use ACH processing for their business. Either online or in-person by converting paper checks to ACH transactions. This saves money over paper checks. Plus, for some types of payment situations, ACH transactions are more suited than credit cards.

But ACH needs various protections as well. Especially for high-risk situations. This is where IBV can work to a merchant’s advantage.

Unfortunately, ACH has no fraud protections built-in like credit cards. As a result, items can often be shipped and delivered before anyone notices that fraud has occurred. People generally keep a closer eye on credit or debit card statements. But bank statements are often only checked every month.

This means fraud involving ACH usually goes on for longer. It can also be for larger amounts.

By fully verifying a bank account, the chance of fraud or reversal is greatly reduced with ACH transactions. This keeps the merchant in good standing with their processor and the issuing banks. This means there is less likelihood of being hit with penalties or losing the merchant account for reasons beyond your control.

Benefits Of Instant Bank Verification For High-Risk Merchants

IBV offers many benefits for regular merchants beyond just being approved faster when first applying for a new account. Below, we’ll go over the most common benefits merchants can enjoy when implementing IBV into their payment flow.


Being instant, speed is of course the most obvious benefit you will get using IBV over any other legacy methods.

The process of verification is often less than a minute and customers are not asked to do any additional tasks, such as check their account or verify that certain amounts have been deposited, like with micro-deposits.

This means less inconvenience for the customer and a better chance of closing that high-ticket sale or recurring billing purchase.

This process can be integrated into websites or even in person or through apps. Because it is based on an API, the verification is extremely flexible. It can be integrated into an almost limitless number of payment scenarios and risk- types.

More Thorough Verification

IBV can provide much more information than just ownership and access to the account.

Standard bank verification just tells you the person on the other end has access to the account. Or even worse, some verifications simply rely on whether the deposit goes through or not. This shows that it’s a valid account, but nothing else

This is less than ideal and hardly a verification, especially for larger transactions. IBV allows for enhanced verification. If needed, it can also provide information such as account balance, transaction history, and account standing over time. 

You are also able to verify phone numbers and addresses with IBV, which adds another layer of security.


IBV also provides a security benefit for companies that use it. The IBV service provider handles all verification. The customer deals with that service, which holds and transmits their sensitive data between the banks and the verification system. Ultimately showing you the result.

So using IBV doesn’t involve additional security risks or procedures for the merchant. If you’re already PCI compliant, integrating an IBV solution won’t add to your security responsibility in most cases.

Less Cart Abandonment

When used in an eCommerce setting, the speed of IBV greatly reduces cart or purchase abandonment. Micro-deposits are time-consuming and often cause customers to think twice and delay completing the checkout process.

By offering an alternative that takes just a minute, merchants can reduced the amount of abandoned carts. Resulting in more completed transactions. Especially for higher-ticket items or recurring services.

Who Can Benefit From IBV?

Providers of loans or credit lines

Any business that offers loans to customers can benefit from a thorough means of bank verification. But this extends beyond just offering traditional loans.

This can also mean merchants who offer credit lines or terms to customers. For example, Customers may need to put a down payment on certain goods such as furniture or other items and then set up recurring ACH payments until the line of credit is paid off.

Merchants can verify the bank account more thoroughly. Reducing the possibility of the charges not going through or the customer using a new or fraudulent account to accept delivery of the goods.

Another example could be suppliers who offer credit to their customers. When setting up these terms, IBV can check that the business has sufficient funds and history to trust them with credit lines when shipping products before confirming payment.

High-Risk Merchants

High-risk merchants need to be especially careful when detecting fraud or suspect transactions. They are generally already flirting with the chargeback or reversal thresholds. So they must manage any additional high-risk payments very carefully.

Using IBV helps merchants do a much more thorough verification process. It’s much easier to confirm an account is legitimate when you receive the full snap-shot view of the balance or transaction history. This shows the account has sufficient funds but is also in good standing and has been active for some time.

Without this type of verification, merchants may end up verifying new accounts that were set up just for fraud, or accounts where fraudsters have recently taken over. 

KYC Compliance Or Investments

Any company that offers brokerage services or investment services, such as a wealth management firm or a financial advisor can benefit from using IBV.

These financial service companies, even if just run by one person, often have to make large bank transfers back and forth as clients either enter or leave the firm. This sets up a situation where you really want to verify where the money is coming from or going before sending it.

IBV can also help with KYC compliance or know your customer compliance. By verifying the bank information matches the other customer information, you stay KYC compliant and also eliminate much of the risk of fraud when handling large transactions or bank transfers.

How to Implement Instant Bank Verification for High-Risk Merchants

Unlike credit or debit card processing, there is little in the way of default fraud protection for ACH transactions. So implementing IBV where appropriate in your transaction chain can greatly reduce your risk when running high-risk transactions.

Speak To Your Payment Processor

The first step is to speak with your payment processor and ask about ACH services or IBV integration. They may have a selected vendor or service they prefer to work with or can recommend for your situation.

If you’re a high-risk merchant looking for a payment processor who can work with your industry, contact ECS Payments. We specialize in high-risk processing and have tools to help your business accept the most payments. All while keeping well below the thresholds that can harm your ability to process transactions.

Decide Where To Introduce IBV In Your Transaction Flow

Next, you’ll want to decide where in your transaction flow you will introduce the verification process. For in-person situations, POS hardware can have integrated IBV solutions. And some hardware and terminals already have this feature ready to use.

If you’re implementing this on a website, then your site will already need to be fully PCI compliant. 


From there, you will integrate the third-party verification service into your checkout page or wherever you have chosen to offer the verification. During the sale, a third-party app takes customers to a new window. From there, the app tokenized their banking credentials for safe transfer.

After the transfer, the API returns the information to your website payment system. Then the transaction is either completed, denied, or the customer is told to contact you for further verification if there is an issue.

An overwhelming majority of banks participate in this process and offer their API for use by verification services. Most often, customers will see their bank’s name displayed by the verification service, which makes the process very straightforward. 

IBV is not allowed over the phone, even if you can accept other forms of ACH or transfers via the phone. The reason is that IBV requires the customer to enter their banking information into the app. This information cannot be given to a phone operator or customer service representative. 

However, customer service representatives from your business can still direct customers to an area on your website where they can complete the IBV process. It’s also important to add an area on your customer service page or FAQ explaining the IBV service you offer, the service company you use, and explain why it is fast, safe, and secure for all parties involved.

ACH Transactions For High-Risk Merchants

If you’re a high-risk merchant, you already understand how critical payment processing is to the success of your business. You need every edge to keep your transactions below thresholds yet still allow the most possible transactions to go through so you don’t lose sales.

ECS Payments is a leader in high-risk processing. We work with merchants in every industry to ensure they have the most advanced processing solution available to maximize sales and manage risk.

We also use IBV services so to approve all new merchant accounts as fast as possible and without unnecessary inconvenience.

Contact ECS Payments today and learn about instant approval merchant accounts and our high-risk services that enable your business to reach the next level.