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Our team is working on a market place web application where the application will collect payments from individual users then deduct a small percentage fee before paying the balance to the users chosen service vendor. We've encountered problems finding a service provider that will allow outgoing ACH. We've asked both several merchant accounts and banks looking for a solution. Although out going ACH is possible through some banks, we are so far unable to find a bank that exposes an API for automating the process.

We're hoping the community has found a viable solution for the redistribution of funds as described. We're certainly not stuck on any particular technology or method such as ACH.

Your thoughts, idea or solutions are greatly appreciated.

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How do the banks that support it have you do it? Is there a web form? – Jetti Mar 12 '12 at 21:00
Yeah, they have a web form. At least in the two banks I called. It is possible to use the web forms to automate the tasks we need done but it seems a little hack for the type of customer we're building the app for. Since posting this question, I found a company called ACHWorks which has a SOAP API, I'm still digging into it at this point though. – user1265072 Mar 12 '12 at 23:07
For the future yous. I was educated today regarding this type of business model. Although processing transactions as described in my question is programmatically trivial, the banks and underwriters however, have other ideas. This type of model (middle man or broker) is know to the industry as an "aggregator" or Third party payments aggregation (TPPA). Though not impossible to find a willing underwriter, expect an impound account requirement and a more stringent financial qualification requirements. – user1265072 Mar 14 '12 at 3:48

So this is what I would do in this situation: Write your own API based on one of the web forms and use that as your own API.

I am working on an application at work that so we can accept post-dated credit card charges and the gateway we use only has a single web form that is POST'ed to the server. So, to get the automation we need, I just wrote a wrapper so that I can call the POST from my code using the proper parameters and go from there. From the code's point of view, it is a normal API/library. From the business' point of view, I got the job done and it works. In your case, you may be able to save some money on 3rd party charges if you can do it this way.

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