NACHA Finalizes Same-Day ACH Settlement

NACHA, the electronic payments association, today announced that its members voted to finalize a rule change that will accelerate ACH settlement, introducing two extra windows during weekdays — morning and afternoon — for credit transactions. The rule provides for fees so that receiving financial institutions can recover costs associated with handling same-day ACH.

Under the current system, settlement occurs overnight in batches. The new rules will not affect existing ACH schedules and capabilities, NACHA said. The rule is part of broader industry efforts to move forward with a faster payments system, speeding up payment of invoices, payroll, bill payments and funds transfers for businesses and consumers.

ABA applauded the NACHA’s final rule. “This gives users the freedom to make payments faster or to rely on the conventional overnight method,” said ABA VP Steve Kenneally. “Customers  will have a real choice. It is now up to the Federal Reserve to act quickly to avoid delaying this initiative.  We urge them to move forward with all due speed.”

The final rule changes the methodology used to calculate the same-day ACH fee, resulting in a 5.2 cent fee per transaction instead of 8.2 cents as originally proposed. It also shifted the morning same-day settlement window, setting a 10:30 a.m. deadline for ACH processing and a 1 p.m. settlement deadline. The afternoon processing deadline remains 3 p.m. with a 5 p.m. settlement deadline. As ABA requested in its comment letter, NACHA included an optional standardized method that originating institutions can use to identify transactions for same-day settlement.

The rule is mandatory for all financial institutions that use ACH. Same-day credit transactions will begin phasing in during September 2016, with debits following a year after. For more information, contact Kenneally.