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ACH CASE STUDY: A Big Fish Catches a Whale of an ACH Partner

11.04.13 – Big Fish Payroll in Orange, CA. provides Payroll Services, HR Systems, HR Support, Time and Attendance Systems, and other industry related ancillary services to small and midsized employers.

There are ancillary services that complement that offering, but Big Fish remains true to its mission and its clients, by not becoming distracted trying to “be all things to all people”, Justin Dignam, Owner of Big Fish Payroll, states. “There are other companies that are very large and publicly held that can sell you anything you want: payroll, 401k administration, unemployment claims handling, etc., but what the client finds is that this portfolio of services is managed by different people, in different locations across the country, with different technology platforms. The only thing integrated is your invoice!”

The Problem

Big Fish Payroll in order to provide guaranteed ACH Processing for their clients, wanted to secure a proven ACH provider that would eliminate the worry of payday processing errors or delays.

“The business problem we needed to solve was we were reliant solely upon one ACH processor to facilitate all of the money movement we needed to support our client’s ACH and Tax collection and remittance,” stated Dignam. “We are huge fans of redundancy, and our success is predicated upon moving our client’s money safely and timely. A second processor was a requirement.”

Dignam contacted NatPay based on the fact that our industry reputation for maintaining compliancy and proven ACH track record was exactly what Dignam was looking for in a ACH processing vendor.

The Challenge for Big Fish Payroll was to find the ideal provider that was aligned to their business ethic and model in order to offer the services that they needed to accomplish the redundancy goal.

“We needed a vendor who understood our industry and had the appetite for our business model, and who also had the systems and related support infrastructure to accommodate our requirements,” remarked Dignam.

The Solution

NatPay has been in the ACH processing business since 1991, and has 100% accuracy rating in processing client funds. As a member of the IPPA (Independent Payroll Providers Association) and The Payroll Group, NatPay has earned a reputation of being more like an ACH Processing partner than a vendor for many of the association members. Recent banking regulation changes and stringent compliancy audits have caused many processors to look for providers that have strict audits in place to ensure error-free processing and stability in the ACH processing industry.

Several factors stood out for Dignam when choosing NatPay as the ACH processing partner of choice. “One feature that we were seeking was the ability to suspend an individual credit, rather than having to suspend an entire client file.  This was a task that needed to be completed several times a week, and NatPay delivers,” remarked Dignam. This functionality was crucial to day-to-day operations for Big Fish Payroll.

Flexibility in timing options was another reason Dignam decided that NatPay was the partner of choice. “The two day processing window was critical to our selection of NatPay. We move millions of dollars weekly, and we need credited funds within the window we desired to accommodate our internal daily balancing requirements”, said Dignam. “Despite numerous rigid requirements imposed by the banking industry for moving money via ACH, NatPay has been a solid partner in helping us to both remain compliant, while also affording us some areas of flexibility to accommodate our unique business processes.”

Return on Investment

Price is commonly a factor in selecting a vendor – yet Dignam wanted security and stability over lower costs. “While searching for a vendor price was not a factor. Our first goal was to find someone who had what we needed, and who we felt would be a good fit for us and our clients. The price discussion came afterwards. That phase of the project was very fulfilling as we have seen a decrease in our overall fees, while experiencing significant growth to the number of transactions we process based upon our growth”, Dignam commented.

NatPay abides to very stringent underwriting practices that require clients to know their clients. Annual independent audits, SSAE 16 (SOC 1) Type 2 completed examinations, and annual NACHA audits provide clients like Big Fish Payroll the security and peace of mind when it comes to issues of compliancy. The response to NatPay was quite favorable overall from account set up to implementation of ACH processing. “My team has found the NatPay team to be very accessible. It is evident that they balance service to us with their own internal compliance metrics as well as industry legislation. We appreciate knowing that we will not be allowed to do something that can be construed as improper,” said Dignam.

When asked what Dignam has learned from selecting NatPay as an ACH processing partner, Dignam replied, “Don’t wait. Use NatPay. Need to speak to a client? Call me and I will put you in touch with my folks who interact with the system every day.”