Rulemaker Seeks Industry Feedback to Move to Ubiquitous Same Day ACH Clearing and SettlementHERNDON, Va., December 9, 2014 – Nacha — The Electronic Payments Association® today released a Request for Comment (RFC) on Same Day ACH. The RFC outlines a proposal for new, ubiquitous clearing and settlement options to move virtually any ACH payment faster, expanding upon traditional ACH functionality.
“In today’s environment, everyone wants things faster, including payments,” said Janet O. Estep, president and CEO of Nacha. “Moving forward now signals an immediate, tangible commitment to provide choices for the consumers, businesses and government agencies who want to move money more quickly and efficiently, directly between bank accounts.”
In March 2014, Nacha announced a “phased approach” to implementing new Same Day ACH functionality, and that phased implementation approach is the basis for this Same Day ACH proposal. This approach introduces two new same-day settlement windows, for a total of three ACH Network settlements each day.
In developing the proposal, Nacha engaged an external, expert consulting firm to independently evaluate the industry’s costs, potential use cases and transaction volume for Same Day ACH. More than 200 surveys and in-depth interviews were conducted with financial institutions of all sizes, businesses, and core banking processors to get detailed information on anticipated volumes, opportunities and costs.
The research outlined how Same Day ACH payments would be generated from 10 primary use cases, and 63 sub-use cases, including same-day payrolls, expedited bill payments, business-to-business (B2B) payments, and account-to-account (A2A) transfers. The majority of Same Day ACH payments are expected to enhance existing ACH applications, giving consumers and businesses the choice of speed.
“Same Day ACH serves a variety of end-user needs,” said Estep. “It creates options for both credit and debit payments, and also supports existing capabilities of the ACH Network to send significant information with the payments.”
Under Nacha’s proposal, all Receiving Depository Financial Institutions (RDFIs) will be mandated to receive Same Day ACH files and to make funds available to their customers by the end of the work day. These requirements ensure certainty and value for consumers, businesses and government agencies who want the option to send Same Day ACH payments to any bank account in the U.S.
To support this ubiquity, the RFC also introduces an interbank fee as a mechanism for RDFIs to recover the implementation and ongoing costs necessary to enable Same Day ACH. The fee would be paid to the RDFI, which would be required to implement and support same-day payment receipt, by the Originating Depository Financial Institution (ODFI), which would have the opportunity to support new payment offerings for its customers.
“Being able to move payments faster to every financial institution in the U.S. is critical to creating value for the consumers, businesses and government agencies who move their money via ACH,” said Estep. “Requiring RDFIs to implement Same Day ACH ensures this value, and the use of an interbank fee supports this requirement.”
The proposal also includes a built-in “checks and balances” methodology to measure the effectiveness of the interbank fee at defined intervals, with opportunities to reduce the fee if actual Same Day ACH volume exceeds projections.
“Same Day ACH is an essential step to move payments faster,” remarked Estep. “It creates a solid foundation on which to build innovative services that meet today’s demands and tomorrow’s needs. We look forward to hearing feedback on the proposal and to moving forward with Same Day ACH.”
The RFC is open until February 6, 2015, and Nacha has created a number of resources to support greater industry understanding of the proposal. All ACH stakeholders are encouraged to participate in rulemaking and respond to the RFC. For more information about Same Day ACH or to comment, visit www.nacha.org/same-day-ach.