Nacha Internet payment programme exceeds membership goal

Nacha Internet payment programme exceeds membership goal

Membership in Project Action (ACH Credit Transactions Initiated Online), a Nacha run programme to develop a payment product for Internet transactions utilising Automated Clearing House (ACH) credits, has reached 36 organisations, including 12 financial institutions.

This exceeds Nacha's original goal to recruit twenty-five members, including ten financial institutions by 1 July. The latest organisations to join the programme include ACI Worldwide, the Canadian Payments Association, eFunds, JP Morgan Chase, Metavante, Princeton eCom, State Employees' Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, Symcor, TeleCheck, and Toronto Dominion Bank Financial Group.

Under the Action payment model, a buyer (a consumer or business) would initiate a payment to a seller via its own financial institution, rather than authorising the seller to debit its account. This feature enhances security of payments while reducing many of the risks, says the Association.

Nacha has also named Project Action's executive officers. Charles Bretz, senior vice president of Compass Bank in Birmingham, Alabama, is to take the chair of Project Action. Harold Williams, vice president of BB&T Corporation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has been elected vice-chairman. Ann-Marie Bartels of the Mid-America Payment Exchange, Brad Lower of Wachovia, Thane Plambeck of VeriSign, Debbie Seidel of T. RowePrice, George Throckmorton of Corillian, and Rebecca Watson of the US Postal Service have been elected to the Steering Committee.

The Project Action members' main objective has been defined as the development of a detailed business case for a core product to support consumer-to-business payments, consumer bill payments, and business-to-business payments. The business case will include business and technical requirements; requirements for ACH operating rules and business practices; fee structure and revenue model; framework for dispute resolution and chargebacks; enrollment requirements; and legal framework. The target for completion of the business case is January 2002.

The members have also determined that Action will initially focus on ACH credit payments. According to Bretz: "Although the Action model may turn out to be applicable to other payment networks, we will be developing the initial business case based on use of the ACH credit."

The next business meeting of Project Action will take place on August 15-16 in Portland, Oregon.

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