Commentary: Same Day ACH - Bringing New Solutions to One Person at a Time

Posted December, 14 2015

Every year, I need to get a dryer vent cleaning done at my condo and use the same small businessman to perform the job. And every year, I have to write him a check, but first, I have to find my checkbook since I write so few checks these days. Cash is preferable to him – he just wants to get paid as soon as possible – but I never seem to have cash on hand. In the end, neither of us has the payment handled the way we want.

Wouldn’t it be easier if I could take out my mobile phone and send an electronic payment directly to his bank account, with his payment arriving that same day? Every time we go through this scenario, I’m reminded of how much the payments industry really needs to catch up.
The good news is that when Same Day ACH is implemented, it will be a significant step towards doing that very thing. It gives financial institutions a way to provide their customers what they are asking for: a simple way to pay and get paid.
Enabling Simple Payments
Just for a minute, think of yourself not as a banker but as a consumer. You’re out to dinner with friends. The bill arrives and you all scramble to figure out how much you owe. People reach for their wallets and some start pulling out their cards, each to be charged a different amount. Someone pulls out cash, but inevitably needs change. Wouldn’t it be great if one person paid the bill and everyone else at the table could simply pull out his/her phone and send their portion to that friend right then and there?
These peer-to-peer (P2P) payments are where we, as an industry, fall short – it’s time to change that – because there is not one service that enables everyone to easily make a payment. We have the ACH Network already connecting every bank account in the U.S., so let’s leverage it to make it simpler for this ideal to become a reality. Same Day ACH will support consumer payment needs by speeding up the payment process. It is a step in the right direction toward moving things faster and catching our payment processes up with other technologies.
Creating Opportunities for Financial Institutions
As we look to make these changes and speed up payments via ACH, significant opportunities emerge for community banks and credit unions. For Webster Bank, Same Day ACH is definitely a win-win situation for both our bank and our customers. Webster will gain operational efficiencies through faster processing and that will help us to be more internally effective.
Additionally, this new capability will help us to be innovative and we are exploring with our internal teams how we can apply this new solution to products and services. When we implement a solution for Same Day origination, it will tell our clients that we are a competitive industry player that keeps up with market innovations. We can use it to meet today’s demands, but our product development teams also can consider how it will factor into and support future needs as well. , The advent of Same Day ACH is prompting action. It has all of us thinking, “what’s next?”
While I may not have a crystal ball to predict things yet to come, I know that I can say that thanks to Same Day ACH, when my dryer vent cleaner comes to perform his annual service, I will be ready with my electronic payment.

Stacy NascimentoStacy Nascimento, AAP, is vice president and product manager, treasury and payment solutions, at Webster Bank. Webster Bank is a leading regional bank in the Northeast with $24 billion in assets and more than 160 banking centers from greater New York City to Boston. 

For more information on Same Day ACH, please visit our Same Day ACH Resource Center.
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