NACHA announced this week that the financial institutions that comprise its voting membership have approved Same Day ACH. The new rule enables a ubiquitous same-day capability for virtually any ACH transaction.
Janet O. Estep, president and CEO of NACHA, said in a statement that 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.”
Same Day ACH will build upon NACHA’s existing, next-day ACH Network capabilities. Under the rule, two new same-day settlement windows will be added to the ACH Network, increasing the movement of funds between banks to three times each day. The rule also requires that all receiving depository financial institutions (RDFIs) receive same day transactions and provide faster funds availability to customers. To help RDFIs recover some of the costs of enabling and supporting same-day ACH transactions, the rule establishes the methodology for a same day entry fee.
Magnus Carlsson, AFP’s manager of treasury and payments, considers the approval to be a big step forward for payments in the U.S. “With the payments industry changing rapidly it is very encouraging that important legacy systems such as ACH can develop this quickly and obtain the approval for a faster payments infrastructure,” he said.
Though the final rule closely mirrors NACHA’s initial proposal, there were three key changes, reflecting feedback from the request for comment (RFC) process. The morning same-day window was modified to allow for more time to process transactions, with settlement occurring at 1:00 p.m. ET. This new settlement time becomes effective in Phase 1 instead of Phase 3, as originally proposed. Next, the rule creates an option for an additional method for originating depository financial institutions (ODFIs) to use, at their discretion, with their originators to determine intent for same-day settlement. Lastly, there was an adjustment to the methodology for calculating the same day entry fee to exclude opportunity costs from its calculation, making the total cost 5.2 cents compared to the 8.2 cents in the initial proposal.
“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.”
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