WASHINGTON (12/2/14)--The Federal Reserve Monday approved new rules for posting automated clearing house (ACH) and commercial check transactions. The new plan changes the times when the Reserve Banks will post ACH debit transactions and commercial checks that are processed overnight.
The Fed said the changes, adopted as originally proposed, are intended to enhance the efficiency of the payments system.
As the Fed said in its December 2013 proposal, " Technology and processing improvements have enabled payment systems and depository institutions to achieve significant efficiencies since the Board first established the procedures, referred to as posting rules, to measure depository institutions' intraday Federal Reserve account balances.
"The proposed changes to these posting rules are intended to align them with current operations and processing times and to strategically position the rules for future advancements in the speed of clearing and settlement."
Under the new set of rules, ACH debit transactions processed overnight will post at 8:30 a.m. (ET) to banks' Federal Reserve accounts. The change makes the posts better align with the time that ACH credit transactions post and is 2 1/2 hours earlier than the 11 a.m. (ET) set by the Fed's former rule.
For commercial checks--those owned and used by a business or corporation-- the Fed adopted moving the posting time for receiving most credits for deposits and debits for presentments to 8:30 a.m. (ET), and establishing two other posting times at 1 and 5:30 p.m. (ET).
The posting rule changes for ACH debit and commercial check transactions will become effective July 23, 2015.
The Credit Union National Association had urged the Fed to minimize the costs and impact on credit unions, corporate credit unions and other payment providers that may be affected, and to provide at least six months or more for implementation.
The Federal Reserve Board cited comment letters and concerns from smaller institutions and credit unions, including CUNA's comment letter, and performed additional analysis to address concerns regarding smaller institutions.
Also on Monday, the Fed also adopted a set of principles for establishing future posting rules for the Reserve Banks' same-day ACH service. It also adopted companion amendments to Regulation J to permit the Reserve Banks to require paying banks to settle any checks within a half-hour after receiving them from the Fed.