Electronic Clearing Service: All you need to know

  • Updated on: 10 Jun 2024
  • Published on: 22 Feb 2024
Electronic Clearing Service: All you need to know

The Electronic Clearing Service (ECS) is one of the main drivers of digital transactions in India. This facility allows customers to automate fund transfers from one bank account to another. 

To know more about the ECS mechanism in banking, its types, how it works and more, read on. 

What is an Electronic Clearing Service

Here are some details related to the ECS mechanism:

  • The Electronic Clearing Service is generally used for making bulk transfers that are both repetitive and periodic in nature
  • Large institutions use this method for executing transfers, like salaries, interest and dividend payments, loan instalments and more
  • ECS also handles transactions processed under the National Automated Clearing House (NACH)

What are the Types of ECS?

There are two categories of electronic clearing systems in banking:

  • ECS Credit: Institutions use ECS credit by raising debit against their bank account to make transfers of salaries or dividends to large beneficiaries 
  • This mandate type will help you to get the payments on a fixed date without any uncertainty.
  • By using this ECS credit mandate, you can reduce costs like administrative charges that include dispatching costs, buying papers, etc.
  • ECS Debit: Large institutions use this service to raise debits to a large number of customers of utility services, investments, loans, etc. 
  • This can help eliminate regular tracking due dates or payment deadlines. Transactions happen automatically on or before the due date, once it is set up.
  • This system is highly secure and the transactions are always encrypted that reduces the risk of fraud.

How to Opt for an ECS Mandate

Here is how you can avail of the electronic clearing system:

  • Step 1: Visit your nearby bank branch and collect the ECS mandate 
  • Step 2: Provide necessary details to the bank authorities, including the account number, account holder’s name, branch name and more
  • Step 3: The bank will send these details for scrutiny to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) after verifying them
  • Step 4: The bank will debit the specified amount through the ECS mandate once NPCI completes the scrutiny

Benefits of Opting for an ECS Mandate

Here are some of the advantages of utilising the electronic clearing service:

  • The ECS mechanism streamlines the payment process and reduces the paperwork
  • As transactions are automated, the margin of error becomes tapered
  • The automation of payments increases the efficiency of all the parties involved
  • It helps individuals avoid late penalties as payments are automatically scheduled
  • It is convenient and saves time, as it doesn’t require you to make repeated payments manually   

ECS Charges

Charges for electronic clearing systems in banking may vary depending on the type of transaction and the bank’s policies. Here are some of the charges associated with the ECS payment method:

  • ECS Verification: Most leading banks don’t charge any fee for ECS verification
  • ECS Return Charges: Banks levy this fee in case of an ECS bounce due to insufficient funds

Difference Between ECS and NACH

Check the following table to know what distinguishes the Electronic Clearing System from the National Automated Clearing House. 

Operational ModelA regional clearing system managed by the RBI and is applicable within the circle where implementedNACH is a part of ECS system, managed by NPCI and applicable to all banks and financial institutions
Mandate VerificationIt doesn’t generate any unique transaction reference numberThis system generates a unique reference number for each transaction
Transaction TimingsThese payments are processed on a certain date as per the predefined cycle of paymentIt operates on a scheduled basis and transactions are processed in batches during specific time slots
Settlement Time3-4 working daysA maximum of 24 hours

By giving an ECS mandate, you can streamline your loan repayments and avoid missing an EMI payment. However, if you are looking for quick credit, you can get a Personal Loan of up to ₹5 lakhs on Fibe. This loan comes with affordable rates for your various requirements, ranging from funding a vacation to covering the expenses of a wedding. 

Download the Fibe Personal Loan App to enjoy quick funding with a simple application process and minimal paperwork.

FAQs on Electronic Clearing Service (ECS) in Banking

What is the ECS process in banking?

Here is how the electronic clearing service works:

  • Collect ECS mandate from the bank by providing essential details, like account number, account holder’s name, branch name, etc.
  • The bank will verify these details and send them to the NPCI for scrutiny
  • The bank will debit the specified amount from one bank account to another after the scrutiny

How long does ECS clearing take?

The processing of transactions takes 3-4 working days through ECS in baking. 

What happens if ECS is returned?

If a transaction through an electronic clearing service fails due to lack of sufficient funds, here is what will happen:

  • The bank will levy a penalty in the form of ECS/NACH return charges
  • This penalty can even range up to ₹500 with GST charges for some of the leading banks

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