What Are ACH Routing Numbers?

What Are ACH Routing Numbers?
Image Credit: payphoto/iStock/GettyImages

Automated Clearing House numbers are 9-digit numbers that help banks route transactions properly. You'd need the ACH number of your financial institution to ensure that automated payments, such as direct deposits from an employer or Social Security benefits, reach your bank account. This number is sometimes is identical to the one that appears on your personal checks, but not always.

Check with Your Bank

Determining an ACH number isn't as simple as opening your checkbook. The 9-digit number printed at the bottom left corner of your check is the American Banking Association routing number, and is used for paper or check transfers. In contrast, the ACH routing number is used for electronic or wire transfers, and you have to check with your bank for that because it's not always the same as the ABA routing number. Your bank's customer service number should have that information, and you might also be able to find it online. The ABA number might be listed as the check routing number, while the ACH number would be the electronic or direct deposit account number.