NACHA seeks comments on new same-day ACH proposal

December 9, 2014

HERNDON, Va. (12/10/14)--Credit unions and other interested parties are asked to comment on a proposal that would help move automated clearing house (ACH) payments through the system faster.

The proposal is from NACHA, the Electronic Payments Association, and it would amend NACHA operating rules to enable a same-day processing option for most ACH payments.

Comments will be accepted by NACHA through Feb. 6.

Current ACH schedules and capabilities would continue to apply to transactions that are not designated as same-day ACH. Payments that could benefit from same-day ACH include business to-business, same-day payroll, expedited bill, and account-to-account.

"In today's environment, everyone wants things faster, including payments," NACHA President/CEO Janet Estep said in a statement. "Moving forward now signals an immediate, tangible commitment to provide choices for the consumers, businesses and government agencies who want to move money more quickly and efficiently, directly between bank accounts."

NACHA's proposal would mandate that all Receiving Depository Financial Institutions (RDFIs) receive same-day ACH files make the funds available to consumers by the end of the business day.

The proposal also introduces a fee which would allow RDFIs to recover costs. The fee would be paid to the RDFI, which would be required to implement and support same-day payments and by the Originating Depository Financial Institution (ODFI). ODFIs would not be required to originate same-day ACH transactions.

NACHA estimates that a fee of 8.2 cents per same-day ACH transaction, from the ODFI to the RDFI, would cover RDFI costs to build and operate the same-day ACH capability. According to a NACHA survey, costs would amount to an average annual cost of $586,000 per year for a large financial institution and $85,000 per year for a small financial institution.

The Credit Union National Association and its payments subcommittee will be reviewing the proposed rule in detail to assess the potential impact, including the costs and benefits for credit unions. CUNA has asked for more information from NACHA, including more survey details, and the definitions and attributes of "large financial institutions" and "small financial institutions" that participated in their survey.

CUNA also continues to meet and discuss same-day ACH and faster payments issues with NACHA, the Federal Reserve banks, financial trade associations and other stakeholders.

Implementation would occur in three phases, with the deadlines for the phases proposed as: Sept. 16, 2016 (phase one); Sept. 15, 2017 (phase two); and March 16, 2018 (phase three).

CUNA will be providing a comment call that summarizes the proposed rule shortly, and will seek feedback from credit unions.