Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Receiving ACH Payments From the U.S.

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 26th, 2020 8:15 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 3, 2008
69 posts
97 upvotes

Receiving ACH Payments From the U.S.

I have an American customer that wants to start paying via ACH from Chase bank. I did a support chat with Chase and they won't send ACH payments internationally, which seems to be a pretty common thing with American banks (maybe it's anti-organized crime law thing?).

Looks like I need either...

1. An American bank that will allow a Canadian to open an account

2. A Canadian bank that offers a "true" US bank account... meaning it's not just US currency but legitimately considered "American"

Option #1 seems insurmountable due to the COVID travel ban. Not all US banks will allow Canadians to open an account, and the ones that do seem to insist on opening it in person which isn't possible at the moment even though I'm only 30 minutes from Michigan.

Option #2 is doable I believe. TD's website seem to indicate it's possible and I requested an appointment but nobody has gotten back to me. RBC maybe does based on their website information.

Does anyone here have experience accepting American ACH payments and able to tell me their setup?

Thanks
10 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
3179 posts
3252 upvotes
Vancouver
There are lots of threads here in this forum discussing opening a U.S. bank account. Many use it for at least partly the same purpose that you have in mind, receiving ACH payments from U.S. customers.

There is little difference between your options 1 and 2. The U.S. subsidiaries of Canadian banks operate on a very independent basis - there is not as much relationship between the U.S. and Canadian operations as you would think. In most cases you deal directly with the U.S. bank to open an account either way. At best your Canadian bank is good for a banking reference. Don't bother asking Canadian customer service about U.S. banking, even with their own U.S. subsidiary - they don't know anything.

You do not have to go to the U.S. to open an account. You can do it by mail/courier to exchange documents.

TD are virtually incommunicado with customers these days, so good luck dealing with them!
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 3, 2008
69 posts
97 upvotes
Thanks for the feedback, but I'm hoping that someone who has had success receiving American ACH payments can share how they did their setup. I agree with you that banks are being virtually incommunicado so at least hearing about a successful arrangement would save me the time of chasing false leads.
Member
User avatar
Nov 23, 2014
398 posts
380 upvotes
Toronto, ON
drjohnnyfever wrote: Thanks for the feedback, but I'm hoping that someone who has had success receiving American ACH payments can share how they did their setup. I agree with you that banks are being virtually incommunicado so at least hearing about a successful arrangement would save me the time of chasing false leads.
ACH- Automated clearing House.It is the method/set up that American bank use to transfer money between US bank accounts.(purely domestic transfers)
A Bank account in US has a routing number linked to it (assigned to bank /branch) Just like Canadian banks have transit and inst code

If you know routing number and account number,fund can be transferred from one bank account to another

If you have USD Account in Canada ,it is purely a Canadian bank account maintained in USD currency and NOT US Bank account

You can not receive money from USA to your USD account or CAD account in Canada through ACH. But Only wire transfer (mind,there is fee from incoming wire transfers)

If you want to receive money from US bank account through ACH or Zelle,you need to open a account in Bank operating in US .

You can try with BMO or TD .They can open US bank account at their US branch,remotely .You have to mail all the documents
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 3, 2008
69 posts
97 upvotes
Thanks for the feedback. I was aware of that information but it doesn't hurt to have it confirmed.

Again, I'm hoping that someone who is currently already receiving American ACH payments can share how they did their setup... for example, what bank(s) they use with the most success.
Member
May 14, 2012
447 posts
124 upvotes
MARKHAM
If you want to make it less complicated. You can always use a 3rd party merchant like GoCardLess.

They support US debit cards accounts.
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Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
3179 posts
3252 upvotes
Vancouver
drjohnnyfever wrote: Thanks for the feedback. I was aware of that information but it doesn't hurt to have it confirmed.

Again, I'm hoping that someone who is currently already receiving American ACH payments can share how they did their setup... for example, what bank(s) they use with the most success.
And again, there are previous threads on this, so there is lots of information already available in this forum,

Many of us use BMO Harris, the U.S, subsidiary of BMO. You can just call up their customer service number and tell them you have a Canadian business and you want to open a U.S business account. They will guide you. Don't bother going through BMO Canada, they can't help beyond directing you to BMO Harris.

They will send you an application package by courier. Fill out the forms and return them by return courier. You will need to supply your business and personal information, and a completed W-8BEN-E form stating that you are a Canadian corporation with no U.S. presence for tax purposes.

Their basic business chequing account is free if you maintain an average (not minimum) balance of $1500, otherwise there's a small monthly fee. Your account has a U.S. routing number and can accept or make ACH payments. In addition you can use the BMO Harris banking app to remotely deposit U.S. cheques with a hold of only 2 business days (includng Saturday as a business day). You also get a U.S. debit Mastercard linked to the account.

You will likely want to transfer your money back to Canada at a decent exchange rate as well, which is not an option offered by BMO, so you will want to look elsewhere at FX options.
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 3, 2008
69 posts
97 upvotes
Scote64 wrote: Many of us use BMO Harris, the U.S, subsidiary of BMO. You can just call up their customer service number and tell them you have a Canadian business and you want to open a U.S business account. They will guide you. Don't bother going through BMO Canada, they can't help beyond directing you to BMO Harris.
Sounds good. I'll checkout BMO Harris. Thanks :)
Sr. Member
Feb 4, 2019
807 posts
1163 upvotes
BC
As an alternative, Transferwise for Business can be opened online and provides a USD account with ACH and wire details.
Newbie
Jun 7, 2017
7 posts
13 upvotes
HI friends,
My US vendor want to pay for my consultancy work thru ACH payments ,So i tried setup RBC business banking account but that is a Canadian USD account and no proper routing etc information to receive ACH payments directly from US vendor. Please help me process to receive ACH payments from US vendor in USD for Canadian business account
Sr. Member
Nov 22, 2012
543 posts
506 upvotes
NS
Techsavvy wrote: HI friends,
My US vendor want to pay for my consultancy work thru ACH payments ,So i tried setup RBC business banking account but that is a Canadian USD account and no proper routing etc information to receive ACH payments directly from US vendor. Please help me process to receive ACH payments from US vendor in USD for Canadian business account
You need a US based bank account for AHC payments, not a USD account at a Canadian bank. As mentioned already in this thread and many other threads, viable options to consider are Transferwise or one of the several Canadian banks which own US based subsidiary banks in which you can open an account (TD, RBC, BMO, CIBC). I use TD for cross border banking. I believe you have more options with personal accounts vs business accounts.

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