Electronic Payments

NACHA to phase in same-day ACH settlement capabilities

NACHANACHA—The Electronic Payments Association announced on Tuesday a number of changes to phase in same-day ACH network transactions to allow for faster funds availability and settlement capabilities.

“NACHA has conducted extensive work over the past year to outline the parameters and requirements of a ubiquitous, same-day capability for the ACH network that enables financial institutions, large and small, to provide value to their end-users,” NACHA President and CEO Janet O. Estep said. “A phased implementation enables us to introduce new capabilities more quickly, and then continue to build over time, creating value for all participants at each step along the way.”

The phased-in approach would first allow same-day ACH transactions related to payroll, person-to-person payments and bill pay. In the second phase, same-day ACH posting would be available for debit transactions, and the third phase aims to improve the overall service level and to reduce counter-party risk.

“The concept of phased implementation is the result of thoughtful exploration of feedback we received over the past year,” Estep said. “This is the next step to help create a rule proposal for the industry to enable same-day ACT through the NACHA rulemaking process.”

To prepare for future rulemaking, the organization will begin a study to assess the costs and potential transaction volume for same-day ACH settlement, as well as determine RDFI investment and operating costs. NACHA said a rulemaking could come as early as this fall.

“ACH network participants have always been supportive of the concept of same-day settlement, but all parties must fully prepare as businesses for implementation,” Estep said. “The study and phased approach provide the foundation needed to fully embrace and execute same-day ACH. The network has always served as a foundation upon which we can build and innovate to meet the growing needs of today’s users and those of tomorrow. The time is right to move the industry forward.”

Discussion on NACHA’s phased-in approach will be available at the 2014 PAYMENTS conference—held April 6-9 in Orlando, Fla.—during the opening session and in a follow-up discussion.

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