THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP! DON’T SKIP IT!
Donations via ACH (bank account direct debits) are great for major donations and monthly subscriptions because they come with a lower transaction fee from Stripe.
However, while the option to “Donate via Bank Account” (ACH/bank transfer) appears on all of our fundraising products by default, it is usually not automatically enabled by Stripe. ACH payments must be enabled within Stripe to prevent your donors from seeing errors.
To check whether it is already enabled:
- Log in to Stripe.
- Click on the “Setting” button (gear icon) in the left-hand navigation menu.
- Click on “Payment Methods” in the “Payments” section and select the “Eligible” tab.
- Click on the little gray arrow at the left of the “ACH Credit Transfer” line to open up details about it.
- If the status is shown as “Active” then ACH is enabled (even though it appears in the list of “Eligible” payment methods). If the status is “Available” then ACH is not yet enabled.
If it is not already enabled, Stripe requires that nonprofits do the following to ensure seamless ACH transfers:
- Sign in to your Stripe account and then go to the ACH Guide page. (It’s easiest to sign in to Stripe and then click on the link in the preceding sentence.)
- Click the blue “Enable ACH” button on the top of the page.
After ACH has been enabled, the button will turn green (see below).
If you are having difficulty with any step, contact Stripe Support.
Once ACH is enabled, when donors give via ACH, they select “Donate by Bank Account” on your fundraising page and are requested to select from a list of banks provided by Plaid, a service that instantly verifies bank credentials. If their bank does not appear, they can click “Don’t see your bank? Search instead” to find it. If their bank is not in Plaid’s database, they will not be able to donate via ACH. After donors select their bank, they will be directed to sign in to their bank’s online portal. Once they’ve entered their sign-in info, they will be returned to your fundraising page where they’ll receive a “Thank You” message for completing their donation.