For the origination of a Single-Entry debit transaction to a consumer’s account persuant to an oral authorization obtained from the consumer via the telephone or an authorization received in writing prior to the ACH debit.

Telephone-Initiated Entry (TEL)

TEL is a one-time charge transaction against a customer’s personal checking or savings account.

TEL Restrictions

TEL transactions may only be submitted against personal checking and savings accounts. TEL transactions may only be originated when a business relationship between the merchant and the customer already exists; or if no relationship exists, only when the customer initiates the telephone call to the merchant.
An existing “business relationship” is defined as:

  1. when a written agreement is in place between the merchant and the customer, or
  2. if the customer has purchased goods or services from the merchant within the past two years.

Affiliates or partners of the merchant are NOT considered to have an existing relationship with a customer by association.

A TEL transaction may not be used by a merchant when there is no existing relationship between the merchant and the customer and the merchant has initiated the telephone call. Recurring billing transactions are not permitted for TEL.

TEL Authorization Requirements

Payment authorization is obtained from the customer via the telephone for each TEL transaction. Authorizations must be either:

  1. tape recorded by the merchant, or
  2. provided to the customer in written form prior to initiating the ACH transaction.

For an oral authorization obtained over the telephone to be valid, the merchant must record the following:

  1. a clear statement that the customer is authorizing a charge to his or her bank account
  2. the terms of the authorization in a clear manner, including:
  1. the customer’s name
  2. the date the authorization is given
  3. the date on or after which the customer’s banking account will be charged
  4. the amount of the transaction to be charged
  5. a telephone number that is available to the customer and that is answered during normal business hours for customer inquiries.

Either a copy or the original audio recording of the authorization or the written notice of authorization must be retained for two (2) years from the date of the authorization.


To confirm your order, I understand that you, [customer’s name] authorize [merchant’s name] to charge your [bank account type] on [month, day, year] for the amount of [$X.XX] for [description of the transaction]. The account information you’ve provided me is as follows:

Bank Name: [name of the customer’s bank]
Bank ABA Routing Number: [customer’s bank’s ABA routing number]
Bank Account Type: [checking, business checking, savings]
Bank Account Number: [the customer’s bank account number]

Is this information correct?
As of today’s date, [month, day, year], this payment authorization is valid and to remain in effect until you, [customer name], notify [merchant’s name] of its cancellation by calling [merchant’s customer service number]