By Ann Sookhoo, Senior Auditor
In today’s environment, we want everything faster, especially when it comes to our finances. National Automated Clearing House Association (“NACHA”) has adopted a new rule that will enable same-day processing for ACH credits received by the Receiving Depository Financial Institution (“RDFI”). This is phase one of three where virtually all ACH payments, including credits and debits, will be eligible for same-day processing. Phase one of the new rule became effective September 23, 2016, which allows funds to be available at the end of the RDFI’s processing day for same-day credit entries. Currently, most ACH payments are settled next business day. Any type of account that is able to receive ACH entries is eligible to receive same-day ACH entries. The exception to this rule is international transactions (“IAT”) and high-value transactions above $25,000, which will not be eligible. All RDFIs are required to receive same-day ACH payments, thereby giving Originating Depository Financial Institutions (“ODFI”) and Originators the certainty of being able to send same-day ACH payments to accounts at all RDFIs. RDFIs will be mandated to make funds available from same-day ACH credits (such as payroll Direct Deposits) to their depositors by 5:00 p.m. at the RDFI’s local time.
Same-day ACH also allows same-day processing of returns; however, RDFIs are not required to process returns on the same day an entry is received, regardless of whether the entry is a same-day entry. Offering same-day ACH products and services is optional for ODFIs. For those ODFIs that choose to offer same-day products and services, they should consider how they will be impacted by file submissions and delivery schedules to the RDFI for same-day entries.
Banks should have an action plan for the implementation across the three phases, including system testing to ensure that customer accounts are credited by the end of the processing day, and updating policies, procedures, and risk assessments.
With all the benefits that same-day ACH has to offer to consumers, financial institutions that use the ACH Network, in a 24/7, Internet-based environment, now have an innovative way to meet those expectations. Same-day will offer faster access to consumers to reach funds within their bank accounts at a faster pace.
Phase 2 of same-day ACH will be launched on September 15, 2017. Faster processing and settlement of debit transactions will be offered with this phase. Phase 2 will support additional use cases, such as consumer bill payment for utility, insurance, telecom, mortgage, loan and credit card payments.
For further guidance on same-day ACH payments, visit www.nacha.org.
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