May 15, 2024

ACH State of the Union: Over 1 Billion Same Day ACH Payments Expected in 2024

Photo of Mike Herd, Jason Carone, Alex Romeo at Payments 2024

MIAMI BEACH, Fla.—Records are made to be broken, and that’s especially true when it comes to ACH.

Both standard ACH and Same Day ACH are seeing tremendous growth. Where the latter is concerned, “About every three or four months we hit a new peak record,” said Jason Carone, AAP, APRP, CTP, Senior Vice President, ACH Product Management at The Clearing House, one of the two ACH Operators. “April 12th, we hit a new value record. We did more dollars in a day than we’ve ever transacted. We just keep exceeding the record over and over and over.”

In fact, Michael Herd, Nacha Executive Vice President, ACH Network Administration, said in March of this year there were over 95 million Same Day ACH payments and “it’s going to be over 100 million for April.”

“We’re going to do more than a billion same day payments this year,” well past 2023’s 853.4 million, Herd added during the May 7 “ACH State of the Union” at Smarter Faster Payments 2024.

Carone said it’s not just volume that’s up, but also value, since the per-payment limit for Same Day ACH went to $1 million in 2022.

“We’re starting to see more use cases using those larger dollar amounts,” said Carone. 

Giving financial institutions on the West Coast more opportunities to use Same Day ACH has long been on the radar, and there’s a development on that front.

“We are looking at an additional window, a later window,” said Alex Romeo, Vice President, Vice President, Operations Strategy, at Federal Reserve Financial Services, the other ACH Operator. ODFIs would have until 5 p.m. Pacific Time to submit same day payments to the ACH Operators. Nacha will be issuing a request for comment later this year. 

Along with same day, another bright spot highlighted was internet payments.

“From zero to just about 10 billion payments annually for consumer transactions initiated online. I think that’s really an incredible success story for ACH,” said Herd, noting that bill payments and other formerly paper-based payments account for much of the volume as those activities migrate online.

None of this is possible without the ACH Operators working together where appropriate, such as on network technical and operational matters.

“Collaboration is absolutely the key,” said Carone, noting how vital the ACH Network is. “ACH really is driving a ton of the U.S. economy. If it goes away for a day, it would be really, really, really bad.”

Romeo said both Operators work hard to ensure that doesn’t happen.

“We literally have an open line of communication every day. Our operations teams are constantly in contact sharing what they’re seeing,” said Romeo. “If there’s something out of the ordinary, something that just seems a bit unusual, that’s how you achieve the type of interoperability that covers 9,000 financial institutions.”

Herd said from Nacha’s perspective, it’s reassuring to know that both Operators are committed to keeping the ACH Network strong.

“We see them working together and collaborating for the betterment of the ACH Network,” said Herd. “Yes, they compete. But when we have issues, or initiatives that require the two Operators to implement something across the Network, there’s no hesitation on either one of their parts to roll up their sleeves and make that happen.”