Difference Between ABA and ACH Routing Numbers (With Table)

Routing numbers are essential while doing a transaction. Most of us do our transactions through banks and it can be done via net banking, checks or through slips given by the bank or from any online platform. In such cases, routing numbers are quite important. Routing numbers are used to guarantee that transactions are appropriately routed. These routing numbers are nothing, but a string of digits. ABA and ACH are nine-digit routing numbers used during a transaction.

ABA vs ACH Routing Numbers

The main difference between ABA and ACH Routing Number is that the former is used for checks and the latter is used for electronic transactions. On the other hand, these both routing numbers contain nine-digit numbers.

ABA is also known as Routing Transit Number or RTN. It is made up of nine digits. The American Banking Association introduced these routing numbers in 1910. The use of an ABA routing number simplifies the transaction process. The ABA routing number can be found in the bottom left corner of the check. The ABA code is also used to send money via wire transfer. Approximately 30,000 ABA numbers are now in use. Currently, there are about 30,000 ABA numbers are in use.

The Automated Clearing House, or ACH, is a routing number that looks a lot like the ABA. ACH is a nine-digit routing number. ACH is a computerised transaction format that is used for things like direct deposit and payment. ABA is unique from bank to bank and their branches. Every bank and branch has a unique code. The ABA and ACH numbers can sometimes be the same. On the bank’s website, look for ‘electronic’ or ‘direct deposit’ to locate the ACH number.

Comparison Table Between ABA and ACH Routing Numbers

Parameters of ComparisonABAACH
Full form The full form of ABA is, American Banking Association.The full form of ACH is Automated Clearing House.
Formation ABA came into existence in 1911.ACH came into existence in late 1960.
Used for ABA 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.
Location A check’s ABA routing number can be found on the bottom left side.ACH Routing Number is located next to account number.

What is ABA?

The ABA number is printed in an unusual font. Magnetic ink character recognition is the unique typeface employed, and it is inked in an electrical link. If you don’t know your routing number, you can look it up on your bank’s website. 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 mostly 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, and it is 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.

Main Differences 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.


We rely on banks for both large and small money transactions. However, we are always concerned about security. Routing numbers such as ABA and ACH are utilised in transactions. Although these two code is similar, there are some variances.

The ABA routing number is mostly used for paper check transactions. ACH, on the other hand, is utilised for electronic or digital transactions and deposits. These codes differ from one bank to the next and from one branch to the next. They’re both nine-digit figures. In the event of an ABA routing number, the numbers can be seen at the bottom left of the check.

The first two digits of a routing number denote the bank’s location. One can easily check the routing numbers by checking the check or visiting the website. All ACA numbers are ABA numbers. But, not all ABA numbers are ACA numbers. These routing numbers can be found in the US banking system, making the transaction procedure more efficient.


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