US electronic payments association Nacha has issued new rules under which consumers will be able to make e-cheque payments over the telephone.
An e-cheque is an electronic debit to a current account that is initiated on the Internet, at the point-of-sale, over the telephone, or by a bill payment sent through the mail. The payment is processed using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network, and typically takes 1-2 business days to be posted to a bank account.
Under the new rules, which became effective 14 September, 2001, a consumer can verbally authorise an e-cheque payment by telephone. The authorisation is either tape-recorded or a written confirmation notice is sent to the consumer.
Since July 1999, Nacha has been conducting a pilot programme to test e-cheques by telephone. From its inception through July 2001, the latest month for which statistics are available, the pilot has originated more than 10.5 million e-cheques, says the Association.