NACHA: Anniversary Timeline

NACHA: Groundwork

ACH Volume: 1 payment in 1972

NACHA: Founding Year

ACH Volume: 1 payment in 1972

NACHA: Early Growth

ACH Volume: 5.4 million payments in 1977

Up NEXT: Expansion and Independence














NACHA at 40 NACHA at 40

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NACHA at 40

Celebrating the Past | Defining the Future

For 40 years, NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association has served as the trustee of the ACH Network,

managing the development, administration and rules for the financial network that moves more than 20 percent of all electronic payments each year. Through its collaborative, self-regulatory model, NACHA, and the more than 10,000 financial institutions it represents, have facilitated the expansion and diversification of electronic payments on the ACH Network, supporting Direct Deposit and Direct Payment via ACH transactions, including ACH credit and debit transactions; recurring and one-time payments; government, consumer and business-to-business transactions; international payments; and payments plus payment-related information.

Through NACHA’s expertise and guidance, the ACH Network is now one of the largest, safest and most reliable payment systems, creating value and enabling innovation for all participants.

A group of California bankers

forms the Special Committee on Paperless Entries (SCOPE) to explore alternatives to the rapid rise of paper check volume in the U.S.


ATM Installed in Long island

Chemical Bank installs the U.S.’s first cash-dispensing automated teller machine (ATM) at a Long Island branch.

First ATMs Early cash-dispensing automated teller machine

IBM forms a GSD

Although office automation is still dominated by mainframe computers and punch card systems, IBM forms a General Systems Division “to develop and manufacture low-cost data processing equipment” for businesses.

First Computers

ARPANET introduces email

ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet, introduces electronic mail.

Users have to be connected to ARPANET to exchange messages.


Golden State
Becomes first RPA

In keeping with the Golden State’s reputation for innovation, California becomes the home of the first Regional Payments Association (RPA): the California Automated Clearing House Association (CACHA). Similar associations soon arise in Georgia (GACHA), the Upper Midwest (UMACHA) and New England (NEACH).

The RPAs establish local rules and formats for electronic payments transfers, paving the way for the first electronic payment.


Pete Yeatrakas didn’t quite father the ACH Network, but he definitely helped birth and raise it…

Pete Yeatrakas


The four U.S. Regional Payments Associations already in existence—

CACHA, GACHA, UMACHA, and NEACH—join in June to form NACHA, the National Automated Clearing House Association.

NACHA’s primary function is to write and maintain the rules for the ACH network, with input from the Federal Reserve and government regulators, member financial institutions and Regional Payments Associations and other Network users. Founding board members are Virgil Dissmeyer, Russell Fenwick, James Jarrell, and J. Daniel Walsh.

American Bankers Association logo

NACHA operates as part of the American Bankers Association (ABA) in Washington, DC.

Federal Reserve logo

NACHA and the Federal Reserve Bank license SCOPE software for use as a national electronic payments platform.

AirForce logo

Aided by NACHA and the Federal Reserve Bank, the U.S. Air Force initiates a Direct Deposit payroll program. This is the first such effort by a U.S.-based employer. It marks the start of the slow but steady phasing-out of paying employees by paper check.


The founding board members of NACHA were Virgil Dissmeyer, Russell Fenwick, James H. Jarrell, and J. Daniel Walsh…

Nacha Founding Members

NACHA establishes a
94-character format

To make ACH input file structure uniform, NACHA establishes a 94-character format. It is based on the maximum length of a fixed-field record that will fit on a punch card. The format becomes a standard.

Social Security logo

PPD (Prearranged Payment and Deposit), which facilitates Direct Deposit, is launched. U.S. Social Security begins Direct Deposit tests, marking the growing importance of the ACH Network.

NACHA holds its first national conference at a hotel in Chicago.

solidifying NACHA’s status

The National Committee on Electronic Funds Transfers, established by Congress, determines that

U.S. electronic payments should be provided primarily by the private sector, thus solidifying NACHA’s status.
National Committee map

The Federal Reserve Bank continues to handle public sector involvement, where appropriate.

Seeking a popular name for electronic payments, NACHA licenses “SurePay” from the Oregon ACH Association. The name is used for many years, but does not achieve broad industry use.

SurePay logo SurePay Bird Logo

A National Network Emerges

The first interdistrict ACH payments occur, marking the emergence of a truly national network.

The U.S. government enacts the Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) Act to “provide a basic framework establishing the rights, liabilities and responsibilities of participants in electronic fund and remittance transfer systems.”

ACH Clearing House


Nacha SlideRuleCash Concentration and Disbursement (CCD) is launched, a leap forward for corporate cash management. By concentrating cash from multiple accounts and banks, CCDs help businesses with multiple locations consolidate balances cost-effectively. NACHA members use paper slide rules to calculate the timing of CCDs. The CCD will subsequently be renamed the Corporate Credit or Debit Entry to reflect its use for broader use cases by businesses.

Old 70s PhoneThe Federal Reserve implements Regulation E of the 1978 Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Act, with specific language covering pay-by-phone, ATMs, point-of-sale retail terminals, and preauthorized consumer account transfers including Direct Deposit and Social Security payments.


Right person, right place, right time: that’s a capsule of Rich Oliver’s long and distinguished ACH career. You might call him the dean of the industry…

Rich Oliver
Moon Lander
1969: We walked on the moon.
First Motorolla
1973: Motorola creates the world’s first handheld mobile phone, a prototype whose handset weighs 2.2 pounds.
Rubik's Cube
1974: Rubik's Cube is invented by Ernő Rubik.
Old Apple Computer
1977: Commodore, Apple and Radio Shack release the first mass-market personal computers.