Blog > ACH and ABA Routing Numbers: What’s the Difference?

ACH and ABA Routing Numbers: What’s the Difference?

By |Published On: March 20th, 2023|

ACH and ABA routing numbers are two critical pieces of information used in banking and financial transactions.

Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the differences between these two routing numbers to help you decide which is the best to use for your business.

What is an ACH routing number?

ACH stands for Automated Clearing House which is a system that facilitates electronic payments and direct deposits between financial institutions. Therefore, ACH routing numbers are unique nine-digit numbers that identify financial institutions participating in the ACH network.

ACH numbers were developed in the 1970s when there was a significantly large amount of checks which threatened to slow down the banking system. This started an even larger industry-wide shift toward electronic banking.

ACH routing numbers work by routing funds from one bank account to another through the ACH network. This system is used to process direct deposits, bill payments, and other types of electronic payments.

ACH routing numbers are different from ABA routing numbers since they’re used specifically for electronic transactions. The first two digits of ACH routing numbers typically range from 61 to 72, whereas the first two digits of ABA routing numbers range between 00 and 12.

The purpose of ACH routing numbers is to ensure funds are accurately and efficiently transferred between financial institutions. ACH routing numbers are used for various transactions such as direct deposit of payroll, government benefits, and tax refunds.

ACH routing numbers can be found on personal checks, bank statements, or by contacting your financial institution. Some financial institutions provide this information on their websites.

where to find routing number, account number and check number on a check

What is an ABA routing number?

ABA stands for American Bankers Association which is a trade organization that represents banks in the United States. ABA routing numbers are unique nine-digit numbers that identify financial institutions participating in the ABA system.

ABA routing numbers work by routing funds from one bank account to another through the ABA network. This system is used for traditional check processing, wire transfers, and other transactions. Unlike ACH routing numbers, ABA routing numbers are used for both electronic and paper transactions.

Similar to ACH routing numbers, the purpose of ABA routing numbers is to ensure funds are accurately and efficiently transferred between financial institutions. ABA routing numbers are used for various transactions such as check processing, wire transfers, etc.

ABA routing numbers can also be found on personal checks, bank statements, or by contacting your financial institution. Some financial institutions provide this information on their websites.

Differences between ACH and ABA routing numbers

While there are several similarities between ACH and ABA routing numbers, there are also key differences when comparing the two.

The main differences between ACH and ABA routing numbers are:

Key differences of ABA and ACH

  1. Purpose and usage:

    ACH routing numbers are used specifically for electronic transactions, whereas ABA routing numbers are used for both electronic and paper transactions.

  2. Security measures:

    ACH transactions are typically processed through secure networks and subject to security measures such as encryption and authentication, while ABA transactions may be subject to different security measures depending on the financial institution and type of transaction.

  3. Compatibility with different payment systems:

    ACH routing numbers are used specifically for electronic transactions, so they may not be compatible with all payment systems. On the other hand, ABA routing numbers are used for both electronic and paper transactions and are more widely accepted.

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Simplified ACH Processing with EBizCharge