Quicker Funds Coming

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Top 5 things to do to prepare for same-day ACH payments next year

By Jennifer L. Kirk

This past summer, member institutions of NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association approved a new ACH rule allowing for same-day ACH payments. This rule will be implemented in three phases, with the first phase taking effect September 2016. Nevertheless, there is plenty a community bank can do now to prepare for this epic change.

Here are five things your bank should do now to prepare for the rule:

  1. Become familiar with the same-day ACH rule. There are a lot of myths and hear-say about the new rule. Know what it actually says. For example, same-day ACH credit funds availability rules are not defined until Phase 3. The rule’s language can be found at https://www.nacha.org/rules/same-day-ach-moving-payments-faster.
  2. Anticipate the staffing impact of same-day ACH. Work with your community bank’s ACH processors to see what they plan to automate and what will be manual for your bank. Because this process is new, expect the unexpected.
  3. Understand that the rule is mandatory for RDFIs. Receiving depository financial institutions will not be able to opt-out. So RDFIs should plan to accept same-day credits and debits and to follow the rule as it pertains to funds availability, posting and exception processing.
  4. Begin discussing whether your bank will allow originators to send same-day ACH transactions. Just as with any ACH origination services, there is no mandate to offer same-day ACH origination services. However, originating same-day payments should become a premium service, which could be ideal. For example, this could ensure payroll files are not missed. But there are likely other scenarios where originating same-day ACH transactions could generate extra revenue for your bank, particularly from business clients.
  5. Look for resources, tools and education from your regional payment association. Your regional payments association, through its relationship with NACHA, has been actively tracking the process that adopted the same-day ACH rule. If those organizations are not doing so already, they are planning to offer training, newsletter articles, tools and resources to help your bank implement same-day ACH payment requirements.

Jennifer L. Kirk (jenk@epcor.org) is director of industry relations for the EPCOR – Electronic Core of Knowledge, a regional payments association member of NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association.