US electronic payments association Nacha is urging banks to step up preparations for the introduction next March of new rules for international ACH transactions (IAT) which will require payments to carry remittance information identifying the sender and recipient.
Nacha says the new rules, which come into effect on 20 March 2009, require all US financial institutions sending and receiving cross-border ACH payments to incorporate remittance data identifying all the parties to the transaction.
The organisation has partnered the ACH Operators and the Regional Payments Associations to encourage action, warning that all US financial institutions will be affected by the change because any may potentially receive international ACH transactions.
Nacha has also teamed with the Federal Reserve System and the Electronic Payments Network to send letters to the CEOs of banks to explain the rule change and encourage implementation and testing.
"Given the significance of this change, it is essential that financial institutions start now to understand and implement the rule," says Richard Oliver, EVP and retail payments product manager, Federal Reserve System. "The testing process, both internally and with vendors, will be extensive, and it is critical that all US financial institutions have this completed by March 20 2009."
Rosanna Salaris, SVP, The Clearing House, adds: "The US payments system and the ACH Network are rapidly adapting to the globalisation of commerce, and the new rule will permit financial institutions to perform due diligence with respect to each international ACH payment as required by OFAC."