NACHA, the industry group that sets the rules for theautomated clearing house network has formerly proposed the development of thesame day payments system for ACH – and asked for comments by February 6, 2015. Previously, ACH payments were settled atnight and funds were settled next day and in some situations the secondday. This proposal was discussed inMarch 2014 and NACHA provided more details on Tuesday. This announcement is the latest announcementacross the U.S. payments industry in an effort for speeding uptransactions. The Federal Reserve, TheClearing House, FIS Global and Dwolla are a handful of organizations working onreal-time and near real-time payments.
“Same-day ACHclearing and settlement is an essential step to move payments faster,”Janet Estep, NACHA’s president and chief executive, said in a phone interview.”
NACHA will be requiring banks to upgrade their systems sothey could receive same-day payments. Tofund this effort, a flat fee of 8.2 cents per transactions would be paid by ACHoriginating banks to receiving banks to help cover the costs of ITupgrades. This will apply to allfinancial institutions so the faster payments initiative is realized trulysystem wide. The fee will be adjustedautomatically based on volume – so as more same-day transactions are processed(vs. plan), the lower the fee.
The intent of a faster ACH mechanism is to benefitconsumers. These benefits could includemore certainty on the clearing time for employee payroll checks, allowingconsumers to request expedited bill payments, and to provide businesses withthe ability to quickly pay invoices.
The NACHA same-day faster payments plan is expected to workin conjunction with the Federal Reserve roadmap for faster payments (and theClearing House plan announced in October 2014) to expedite payments in the U.S.– impacting different types of transactions.
Overview by Ron Mazursky, Director, Debit Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group
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