ABA vs ACH Routing Numbers – Difference and Comparison

What is ABA?

The ABA number is printed in an unusual font. Magnetic ink character recognition is the unique typeface employed and is inked in an electrical link. You can look it up on your bank’s website if you don’t know your routing number. The routing number varies from one bank to the next and from one branch to the next. As a result, a bank can have several routing numbers.

ABA routing numbers are primarily utilised in transactions involving paper checks. Check routing numbers are also referred to as ABA routing numbers. It’s also known as a bank routing number. The first four digits of an ABA routing number show the bank’s location, while the next four digits indicate the federal reserve bank to which the bank conducts transactions.

The final digit is a checksum that verifies the first eight digits. The ABA number can be changed if a new bank takes over your previous one. The ABA number begins with two numbers ranging from 00 to 12.

What is ACH?

The full form of ACH is Automated Clearing House. Electronic transfers are made using ACH Routing Numbers, which are nine-digit codes. All ACH numbers can also be ABA numbers. The format of an ACH Routing number is the same as that of an ABA number. Each bank in the United States has its numerical code.

The routing number assists the bank in determining where payments should be accepted and where they should be transferred to. Individuals can use ACH to receive or send money. Direct deposits are also made with ACH Routing numbers. ACH stands for Automated Clearing House, a sort of electronic transfer that makes direct debits and deposits easier. Although ACH payments take a little longer to process, they are much less expensive than wire transfers.

The first digits of an ACH number might be anywhere between 61 and 72. The National Automated Clearinghouse Association sets the rules for the ACH network. On a chequebook, the ACH number is seen next to the account number. The routing number can also be found on the bank’s website under the electronic or direct deposit option.

Difference Between ABA and ACH Routing Numbers

  1. ABA stands for American Banking Association and ACH stands for Automated Clearing House.
  2. ABA has been in use since 1911, whereas ACH debuted in 1960.
  3. The first two digits of an ABA number vary from 00 to 32, while the first two digits of an ACH Routing number range from 61 to 72
  4. ABA routing numbers are used only for paper check transactions, whilst ACH routing numbers are used only for electronic transactions.
  5. Not all ABA numbers are ACH numbers. But, all ACH numbers are ABA routing numbers.

Comparison Between ABA and ACH Routing Numbers

Parameters of ComparisonABAACH
Full formThe full form of ABA is, American Banking Association.The full form of ACH is Automated Clearing House.
FormationABA came into existence in 1911.ACH came into existence in late 1960.
Used forABA routing numbers are used for paper check transactions.ACH Routing numbers used for Digital transactions.
The first two digitsABA’s first two digits run from 00 to 32.ACH’s first two digits run from 61 to 72.
LocationA check’s ABA routing number can be found on the bottom left side.ACH Routing Number is located next to account number.


  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/fcf299a8e9def23ac5480d09985bb05a/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=47754
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ajhb.22950