Federal Reserve Nudges Same-Day ACH Forward…But Challenges Remain

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

Same day ACH via the Federal Reserve was made technically possible last fall, but adoption has been slow. One major hurdle appears about to fall; vendor Fiserv says it has readied an add-on extension to its widely used PEP+ payment processing program that will support same day payments. They expect Citibank to complete its upgrade of PEP+ by the end of June, and will roll out the solution to other banks later in the summer.

Andrew Johnson of the American Banker reports:

The upgrades to Fiserv’s software are an important step, though most banks won’t flock to the Fed’s service because of other limitations, including the opt-in nature of the service and the fact that the types of ACH payments that qualify are restricted.

NACHA itself remains uncommitted, reluctant to fracture the ubiquity and consistency of its network given that the changes approved to date apply to only certain types of payments, and are operational only with the smaller number of banks that have so far opted in to Federal Reserve same day processing. Fiserv certainly hopes that the release of its software upgrade will help to proliferate same day processing, but banks face other barriers with respect to integrating with existing DDA systems. Ultimately, same day will prevail, but it will not be an overnight success.

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