Nacha Operating Rules

The ​Nacha Operating Rules are the foundation for every ACH payment. By defining the roles and responsibilities of financial institutions and establishing clear guidelines for each Network participant, the Rules ensure that millions of payments occur smoothly and easily each day. 


Account Information Improvements Through the ACH Network

Responses Due by Friday, July 17, 2020
Nacha requests comments on a set of proposals that is intended to improve the capabilities of the ACH Network to validate and correct account information.  These proposed changes would provide ACH Network participants with more reliable, low-cost, ACH Network-based solutions to validate a Receiver’s account.  The set of proposals should be considered in its entirety in order to provide benefits to all parties in the ACH Network.

Meaningful Modernization

The overarching purpose of these proposals is to improve and simplify the ACH user-experience by facilitating the adoption of new technologies and channels for the initiation of consumer ACH payments; reducing barriers to use of the ACH; providing flexibility and increasing consistency related to the authorization of consumer ACH payments; and reducing certain administrative burdens on ODFIs and their Originators, and on RDFIs and their consumer customers.


Supplementing Data Security Requirements

The upcoming effective dates of the Rule on Supplementing Data Security Requirements are extended by one year, to June 30, 2021 and June 30, 2022, respectively.

Expanding Same Day ACH

This new rule expands access to Same Day ACH by allowing Same Day ACH transactions to be submitted to the ACH Network for an additional two hours every business day. The new Same Day ACH processing window will go into effect on March 19, 2021.

Supplementing Fraud Detection Standards for WEB Debits

The effective date for an upcoming change in the Nacha Operating Rules is being extended by the Nacha Board of Directors. The WEB Debit Account Validation Rule now takes effect March 19, 2021, rather than Jan. 1, 2020. The rule was originally approved by Nacha members in November 2018. The Nacha Board of Directors approved the extension in effective date to allow for additional time, education and guidance to be provided to the industry. 

Reversals and Enforcement

Responses Due by Friday, June 19, 2020

Nacha requests comment on a set of proposals that is intended to deter and prevent, to the extent possible, the improper use of reversals and the harm it can cause to consumers, RDFIs, and to the reputation of the ACH Network; and to improve Nacha’s ability to enforce the Rules in instances of egregious violations. 

ACH Contact Registry

An industry resource – the ACH Contact Registry - is being created for financial institutions to be able to more easily connect with other financial institutions about ACH operations, exceptions and risk management. In order for the ACH Contact Registry to be a valuable, Network-wide resource, all financial institutions participating in the ACH Network need to participate. This rule enables the creation of this resource by requiring the registration of contact information by all financial institutions that participate in the ACH Network.


Differentiating Unauthorized Return Reasons

This rule better differentiates among types of unauthorized return reasons for consumer debits. This differentiation will give ODFIs and their Originators clearer and better information when a customer claims that an error occurred with an authorized payment, as opposed to when a customer claims there was no authorization for a payment. ODFIs and their Originators should be able to react differently to claims of errors, and potentially could avoid taking more significant action with respect to such claims.

Increasing the Same Day ACH Dollar Limit

This rule is a major enhancement to Same Day ACH, as the dollar limit per payment quadruples to $100,000. Among the many uses of Same Day ACH, B2B payments are expected to reap some of the biggest benefits. Nacha estimates 97% of all ACH B2B payments are now eligible for Same Day ACH, compared to 91% under the previous $25,000 per payment limit.  Other common uses for Same Day ACH include Direct Deposit payments for insurance claims and disaster assistance.

Return for Questionable Transaction

This change to the Nacha Operating Rules will enhance quality and improve risk management within the ACH Network by allowing RDFIs to indicate within a return that the original transaction was questionable or part of anomalous activity.

Minor Rules Topics

These ballots amend the Rules to address a variety of minor topics. Minor changes to the Rules have little-to-no impact on ACH participants and no significant processing or financial impact.

ACH Rules Compliance Audit Requirements

This rule changes the structure of the audit requirement within the Rules, but does not change the requirement to conduct a Rules compliance audit annually.  

Same Day ACH: Moving Payments Faster (Phase 3)

New capabilities of Same Day ACH become effective over phases to allow financial institutions and businesses to acclimate to a faster processing environment, as well as to ease the implementation effort. Beginning March 16, 2018, RDFIs will be mandated to make funds available from same day ACH credits (such as payroll Direct Deposits) to their depositors by 5:00 PM at the RDFI’s local time. 

The Rule enables the option for same-day ACH payments through additional ACH Network functionality, without affecting previously available ACH schedules and capabilities:

Third-Party Sender Registration

DEADLINE for initial registration is March 1, 2018.
This rule requires Originating Depository Financial Institutions (ODFIs) to identify and register their Third-Party Sender customers. The registration process promotes consistent customer due diligence among all ODFIs, and serves as a tool to support Nacha’s continuing efforts to maintain ACH Network quality.

Register your Third-Party Sender customers here.

Same Day ACH: Moving Payments Faster (Phase 2)

New capabilities of Same Day ACH become effective over phases to allow financial institutions and businesses to acclimate to a faster processing environment, as well as to ease the implementation effort. Beginning September 15, 2017, Same Day ACH is available for debit entries, enabling the same-day processing of virtually any ACH payment. 

The Rule enables the option for same-day ACH payments through additional ACH Network functionality, without affecting previously available ACH schedules and capabilities:

Improving ACH Network Quality - Unauthorized Entry Fee

This rule is intended to improve ACH Network quality by reducing the incidence of ACH debits that are returned as unauthorized. Under this Rule, an ODFI will pay a fee to the RDFI for each ACH debit that is returned as unauthorized (return reason codes R05, R07, R10, R29 and R51). ODFIs will have an economic incentive to improve the quality of the ACH transactions they originate. RDFIs will be compensated for a portion of the costs they bear for handling unauthorized transactions, and will experience reduced costs due to a reduction in unauthorized transactions over time.

Same Day ACH: Moving Payments Faster (Phase 1)

Nacha has adopted a Rule to provide a new, ubiquitous capability for moving ACH payments faster. The Rule will enable the same-day processing of virtually any ACH payment. 

Disclosure Requirements for POS Entries

This Rule establishes an Originator/Third-Party Service Provider obligation to provide consumer Receivers with certain disclosures when providing those consumers with cards used to initiate ACH Point of Sale (POS) Entries.

ACH Network Risk and Enforcement Topics

This Rule will improve the overall quality of the ACH Network by reducing the incidence of returned Entries and the associated costs, both financial and reputational, that such returned Entries impose on the ACH Network and its participants. The approach to reducing risk with this Rule is multi-fold, as described by the various topics below. These changes are also expected to increase customer satisfaction with the ACH Network by reducing the volume of transactions subject to customer disputes.