NACHA —The Electronic Payments Association ® announced today that its voting membership approved Same Day ACH, an amendment to the NACHA Operating Rules to move payments faster.
The rule enables a ubiquitous same-day capability for virtually any ACH transaction, creating options for the businesses, governments and consumers who want to move their money faster.
“The financial services industry has come together through private-sector rulemaking to increase the speed of payments,” said Janet O. Estep, president and CEO of NACHA. “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 existing, next-day ACH Network capabilities and establish a new option for same-day clearing and settlement via ACH. Under the rule, two new same-day settlement windows will be added to the ACH Network, increasing the movement of funds between financial institutions from once each day 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. Additionally, the rule establishes the methodology for a Same Day Entry fee as a mechanism for RDFIs to recover some of their costs for enabling and supporting mandatory receipt of same-day ACH transactions.
The final rule closely mirrors the proposal outlined in the industry Request for Comment (RFC). With broad ACH Network user support for that proposal, modifications to the final rule were predominantly technical and operational in nature. Specifically, there were three key changes, reflecting feedback from the RFC process. First, 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 would become effective in Phase 1 instead of Phase 3, as originally proposed. Secondly, the rule creates an option for an additional method for ODFIs to use, at their discretion, with their Originators to determine intent for same-day settlement. Finally, there was an adjustment to the methodology for calculating the Same Day Entry fee to exclude opportunity costs from its calculation.
“Through dialogue, input and outreach, NACHA was able to balance differing perspectives and incorporate industry feedback from many types of organizations,” said Estep. “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.”
Same Day ACH will be implemented in a phased approach. In Phase 1, ACH credit transactions will be eligible for same day processing, supporting use cases such as hourly payroll, person-to-person (P2P) payments and same-day bill pay. In Phase 2, same-day ACH debits will be added, allowing for a wide variety of consumer bill payment use cases like utility, mortgage, loan and credit card payments. Phase 3 introduces faster ACH credit funds availability requirements for RDFIs; funds from Same Day ACH credit transactions will need to be available to customers by 5 p.m. RDFI local time. Phase 1 is scheduled to begin September 23, 2016.
NACHA estimates Same Day ACH payments will be generated from 10 primary use cases, and 63 sub-use cases, including same-day payrolls, expedited bill payments, business-to-business (B2B) payments, and account-to-account (A2A) transfers. The majority of Same Day ACH payments are expected to enhance existing ACH applications, giving consumers and businesses the choice of speed.