May 02, 2023

What’s Next for Same Day ACH?


Michael W. Kahn

Michael W. Kahn


Mike Herd, Nell Campbell-Drake, Jason Carone

(L-R) Michael Herd, Nell Campbell-Drake, Jason Carone.

LAS VEGAS—With Same Day ACH seeing momentous growth—including first quarter 2023 volume and value increases of 20.7% and 94.7% respectively—the question is what’s next. Some potential answers were on the agenda during the annual ACH State of the Union session at Smarter Faster Payments 2023.

“We’re outlining four possibilities for what could happen next with Same Day ACH,” said Michael Herd, Nacha Senior Vice President, ACH Network Administration. One is adding a later opportunity to submit same-day payments which would align with “the end of the business day in Pacific Time,” similar to the 4:45 p.m. ET window that aligns with close of business in Eastern Time. Herd said the use cases for Same Day ACH are the same in the West as elsewhere—payroll, bill payments, account transfers—and that those needs should be met.

Also under consideration: additional file distributions to receiving financial institutions on weekends and holidays. Herd said this would benefit account holders by helping them “understand what their account balance is, and what it might look like on Monday morning at the opening of business.”

A third idea would expand ACH processing with funds settlement to weekends and holidays. As Herd noted, people work and pay bills on weekends, which are “core ACH use cases, and we should be looking at adding ACH processing, including funds settlement, even once a day, or once on a Saturday.”

Also on the table is another increase in the Same Day ACH per payment limit. Jason Carone, Senior Vice President, ACH/EPN Product Management at The Clearing House, said that when the limit rose from $100,000 to $1 million in March 2022, the impact was “immediate.” 

“It went into effect Friday morning. By Monday afternoon we had seen over 10,000 payments that were over $100,000 but under $1 million that were same day,” said Carone. “People were waiting for this change. We saw immediate results.”

As to the future of the ACH Network overall, Nell Campbell-Drake, Vice President, Industry Relations, at Federal Reserve Financial Services, said ACH “is continuing to meet the needs of many institutions in their payment processes,” and will remain a trusted, scalable, low-cost payment rail.

“ACH is going to continue to be an arsenal in those options for those payment instruments that go across networks to meet the needs of end users, corporates, governments and other businesses,” said Campbell-Drake. 

Herd also took the opportunity to thank both ACH Operators, noting that the ACH Network “wouldn’t be thriving the way it is if we didn’t have The Clearing House and the Federal Reserve come together and work together collaboratively for the good of the ACH Network.”

Learn more about Same Day ACH at Nacha's Resource Center.