Electronic Payments Group Gives Thumbs-Up to Same-Day Transactions

In a move that could make payments of all kinds a little less painful, NACHA members this week approved an industry shift to same-day transaction processing. The pitch required a little retooling before it passed muster with some members.

If transferring money is an annoying part of your routine—whether personally or in business—the members of NACHA may have just made your life a lot easier.

The electronic payments trade group on Tuesday announced that its members had voted in favor of amending the association’s operating rules to allow for “Same Day ACH,” a system that will let any transaction that goes through the automated clearing house (ACH) system to post the same day. Currently, payments and transfers generally take a few days to post—or, in a few select instances, may post the next day.

But with the world moving a lot faster, NACHA members are hoping to keep pace.

“The financial services industry has come together through private-sector rulemaking to increase the speed of payments,” NACHA President and CEO Janet O. Estep said in a news release. “Same Day ACH serves as an immediate action the industry has undertaken to modernize the payments system and creates a building block for a variety of products and services. Same Day ACH creates value for end users through the certainty of its reach to all bank accounts in the U.S.”

On the other hand, switching over to a same-day transaction system is a lot easier said than done—mainly because the ACH system handles a ton of money. Last year, the industry handled 23 billion electronic payments representing more than $40 billion in funds—a jump of 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively. Getting everyone on the same page with a system that large is a lot of hard work, and it took some time to get there.

In 2012, American Banker notes, a similar proposal put in front of NACHA’s members failed to reach the supermajority needed to get the plan into action. But three years of ongoing discussion with members led to a different outcome this week.

“Through dialogue, input, and outreach, NACHA was able to balance differing perspectives and incorporate industry feedback from many types of organizations,” Estep said. “The result of this dialogue is a final rule that will benefit consumers and businesses that need to quickly pay bills and receive funds faster.”

The program will be implemented in a three-phase plan that will be complete by September 2016.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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