Campaign Looks to Educate Consumers Ahead of Payment Changes

With Same Day ACH debits going live next month, the New England ACH Association launched a campaign to get consumers to check their accounts more frequently.

In anticipation of September’s rollout of the second phase of Same Day ACH, the New England ACH Association (NEACH) recently launched the Check@5 campaign to prepare consumers and financial institutions for faster debit payments.

Check@5 encourages consumers to check their bank accounts at the end of each business day. As part of this campaign, NEACH is distributing toolkits containing fact sheets, email templates, and sample social media posts to financial institutions that they can use to communicate the importance of this change to consumers.

“Getting people educated now on the habits of checking their accounts more frequently will be a great help to our financial institution members and corporate clients,” said Sean Carter, NEACH’s president and CEO. “We’re an educator and a resource provider on all things electronic payments. So, when you have such a big change like this, it’s absolutely incumbent upon us to help lead our organizations through this difficult time.”

Carter said it is critical for consumers to monitor their accounts to avoid overdraft and guard against fraud when payment processing speeds up next month. And while the financial institutions have readied their operations for rule changes, customers may not be as prepared.

“This is a method to get that other party—the end users—the information,” Carter said. “What we don’t want is consumers calling the bank and saying, ‘This shouldn’t have happened.’ It absolutely can happen.”

In the early 2000s, when he was working in a different role at NEACH, Carter was involved in creating educational pamphlets that were sent out to financial institutions in response to a past ACH rule change. “The motivation is the same today as it was then,” he said. “As a trade association, we have an obligation to help our members. The biggest thing our members have that they need to take care of is their banking relationships.”

But, in an age of social media and instant messaging, Carter said NEACH knew pamphlets would no longer work and that Check@5 would require trying something new. “Once we understood what we needed to get out to people, the next conversation was around what’s the best way of doing that,” he said.

The end result is something Carter hopes extends beyond the scope of NEACH’s members and partners. “It really won’t help in the long run, unless this is something everybody does across the country,” he said. “We’re hoping this campaign gets spread across the whole country—not just to New England consumers and banks.”

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Thorne McFarlane

By Thorne McFarlane

Thorne is an assistant editor for Associations Now and a literature buff who loves a great story. Have something interesting to share? Send it his way. MORE

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