I assume all banks everywhere allow eChecks. But I am learning that ACH only works in the US. Other countries have their own similar networks, but I don't know if they can work smoothly with each other.

I guess my question is more specifically, can an eCheck from a US bank be accepted to any bank account in any part of the world?

In my understanding, the answer is a big "no", and that's why Western Union and companies like it exist, as well as wire transfers and foreign transaction fees and stuff.

I still wonder, is that because banks can't do it in a simple ACH way or because they don't want to? Also, international companies probably have to send money around to different parts of the world all the time, whether to customers or other parts of the company. Do they have some kind of loop-hole, or are they getting charged all kinds of fees to move money around? Neither of these two questions are my actual question, but I include them to let you know why I ask.

1 Answer 1


eChecks (and ACH) are a (desperate?) try of the US banking system to get into the 21st century.

All EU countries (and some others) have direct deposits and transfers as the standard way of transferring money since about 20 years, and since about 5 years it is cost-free and one-day across all the EU.

The rest of the world runs mostly country specific system, as there is not that large a demand for cross country shifting, and exchange rates are also an issue in any such transaction.

Because they have different ways that work fine since decades, other countries will consider the eCheck idea as a step backwards and will probably ignore it, so your answer is 'none'.

International companies work with banks in a different relationship than retail customers, so they can do things you and me cannot do - depending on size and volume. Some large companies get a banking license and then handle their own stuff; medium sized companies make favorable contracts with banks (they are golden goose customers - never an issue, no brick and mortar presence needed, banks love them), or they simply suck up the transfer cost (if you move millions, who cares about a 40 $ fee). Small businesses whine and live with what they get...

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    +1 definitely a step backwards... I can never understand why the US banks insist on working as if it is still the sixties, and why their customers let them...
    – littleadv
    Aug 3, 2016 at 1:05
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    @littleadv because our only choices are to bank with Brontosaur Bank, Stegosaurus bank, Allosaurus bank, or to keep our money under out mattress and pay cash for everything. As long as they all remain in lockstep with each other nothing will change short of the next Chicxulub impact; which is just the way they like it. Aug 3, 2016 at 18:02

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