NACHA Issues Reminder Regarding ACH Responsibilities to Financial Institutions Potentially Impacted by Hurricane Matthew

Posted October 6, 2016

With Hurricane Matthew reaching the U.S., NACHA reminds financial institutions that if you intend to close your facility and are not able to process your ACH, you should contact your Regional Payments Association and your ACH Operator — Federal Reserve at (877) 372-2457 or TCH at (800) 875-2242.
In the event of a closing or interruption, the NACHA Operating Rules permit a financial institution to delay performance of its obligations under the Rules beyond required time limits if:
1.  the delay was caused by the interruption of communication or computer facilities; and
2.  the delay was beyond the reasonable control of the financial institution seeking the excused delay. 

Whether a delay is beyond the reasonable control of the party asserting an excused delay must be determined based on the available facts and circumstances surrounding the delay, including whether the financial institution exercised the level of diligence required under such circumstances. A delay caused, in whole or in part, by the default, misconduct or negligence of a financial institution  or ACH Operator, including the failure to maintain or implement an appropriate disaster recovery and business continuity plan, is not excused under the Rules for that financial institution  or ACH Operator.

A financial institution or ACH Operator asserting an excuse from any delay under the Rules should, as promptly as possible after discovery, notify other ACH participants of the delay and its reliance on the Rules to excuse such delay. The notice may be given directly to affected ACH participants, through membership organizations such as Regional Payment Associations, through an ACH Operator if the ACH Operator agrees to distribute such notice, or through other methods reasonably designed to notify the affected ACH participants. 

Same Day ACH for Returns
Financial institutions may want to consider using the same-day return windows available through their ACH Operator to return items more quickly. Same-day returns are not subject to the Same Day ACH fee and are not limited by the eligibility requirements for forward same-day entries. 

Note: Additional information related to excused delay may be found in Article One, Section 1.5 and pages OG 22-23 of the 2016 NACHA Operating Guidelines.
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