Small business service providers, property owners and anyone else who accepts checks or electronic payments often use bank account validation as a tool to mitigate risk. Depending on your needs and the numbers of annual verifications, this can be done manually or through fee-based electronic methods. As a first step, inform your customer or tenant in advance that you intend to validate the account.
Fee-based online verification is available if you need more information, such as when account verification is part of a credit application. To use it, you’ll need the nine-digit bank routing number in addition to the account holder's name and account number. In general, a fee-based service will not only verify that a bank account is valid, but also if it's a checking or savings account, the opening date and the account holders name.
Small business owners who accept electronic payments can use an Automated Clearing House network to access a customer’s bank account, verify information and transfer funds in real time. An ACH system links participating financial institutions into a network. Validation services, which are available in-person and online, can include both current and historical information. The service first checks to see if an account is open and in good standing. A second validation level searches the customer's record for bounced checks.