What is ACH Authorization? (U.S. Customers Only)

May 13, 2021:
Released to locally installed users
April 20, 2021:
Released to RGP Cloud users


Note: This article is intended for users of ACHWorks in the U.S. If you are using ACHWorks, we strongly recommend that you run a billing authorization 7 days BEFORE and 7 days AFTER you run your regular monthly billing. This will ensure that as many accounts as possible are processed each month. 


The North American Clearing House Association (NACHA) has issued new guidelines which require banking information received online to be screened prior to authorization. These rules are intended to prevent fraud using a "commercially reasonable fraudulent transaction detection system".

Working in coordination with ACHWorks, Rock Gym Pro has implemented a system to help ensure that banking information submitted through the website is valid before it is used. The RGP software implements this authorization for facilities using our ACHWorks integration. If you are using another system to process electronic check payments, you will need to work with your third-party system to make sure they are verifying this information.

The authorization system process transmits a zero-amount transaction on a customer bank account and then waits several days to ensure it is valid before using it for the actual transaction. 

If the transaction fails, the account will be marked as having failed authorization within RGP. 


Beginning the Authorization Process 

Banking information entered manually does not use this process. These new rules only cover banking information submitted through the web, which means that only information copied from a membership change request form will be marked as "needing authorization".


The first step occurs when you copy banking information into a customer dialogue and save the results. Opening the customer again will show that it is now marked as "Needs Authorization" 




Processing the Authorization Request 

Authorizations are created as normal ACH transactions and are processed in the billing system. When you open the billing system, a new tab will appear - ACH Authorization - if there are any accounts needing authorization.


Four Options for Processing Authorizations: 

1. Click the 'Authorize All Accounts' button on the ACH Authorization tab. This will create a single ACH billing event with all authorizations.

2. Click 'Bill All Customers' in the Balances Due tab. Choosing to process all ACH transactions here will include any pending authorizations. 


Note: It is recommended that this option be used if there are any other ACH transactions to process. This will avoid multiple batches in one day.

3. Automatic Billing - Billing Launch -- you'll find an option for "Authorize ACH Accounts". Running this will process the authorizations through the automatic billing process.


4. Automatic Billing- when creating automated tasks for billing, "Authorize ACH Accounts" is an option here as well. RGP Cloud customers only.



Customers cannot be billed if their banking information has not been authorized-- this will be treated as a missing or invalid account.



Successful Authorizations 

A week after an authorization request has been submitted, opening the Billing Center will mark the account as "Authorized" and can then be used for payments. If the ACH Authorization was not included in other ACH transactions you will need to move the pending billing event from Submitted to Completed. See note at the bottom of the article.


Failed Authorizations 

A failed authorization will be processed with ACH responses. To ensure authorizations are processed in a timely manner, we recommend checking the "Automatically download ACH responses as part of daily maintenance" option under the ACH Responses tab.



Failed authorizations will show a customer warning when the customer is selected. 




Warnings will also appear from the  View >> Customer List: With Warnings (if customer is a member).




An Authorization Failed warning will also appear in the customer details under the EFT/Billing tab.




If a customer confirms the account information is actually correct, and that the authorization failure was only temporary for whatever reason, the authorization process can be restarted by using the "Retry Auth" button. This will change the status back to "Needs Authorization" so the process can start over again. 


Tracking Authorizations 

To help find customers whose accounts are in the authorization process, there are two new filters available for customer queries: 

1) Has Failed ACH Authorization

2) Has Pending ACH Authorization


You will also see a new automatic email option for Failed Authorizations. 


This email will be sent as part of the daily processing to any failed authorizations that were processed the previous day.


Please note: In the Billing - Billing Event tab, $0 ACH Authorization billing events will need to be manually moved from Submitted to Completed as there is no return communication from ACHWorks for $0 Authorizations unless the authorization fails. Even if the authorization fails, the authorization billing event is technically completed.

In Billing Events [PENDING EVENTS], highlight the red pending event line - click Edit Event and move the Current Status from Submitted to Completed.

ACH Authorizations that are transmitted to ACHWorks with other >$0 transactions will automatically be moved to Completed when the settlement for the other transactions comes through.


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