ACH picks up speed

In most cases, implementing same-day ACH will mean tweaking familiar processes.

The rails built for economical heavy payment traffic weren’t built for speed, but that’s changing with the introduction of same-day ACH. NACHA The Electronic Payments Association will move ACH to same-day credits and debits pretty quickly, predicts Peter Olynick, senior practice lead for retail banking at NTT DATA Consulting Inc., Plano, Texas.

“You’ll see multiple batch windows, maybe one every four to six hours. And that will become one viable fast payment option, but we won’t see just one winner. There will be multiple options with multiple speeds for multiple situations.”

This faster payment option is being phased in, notes Deborah Phillips, managing director for payments strategy at CUES Supplier member Jack Henry & Associates, Monett, Mo., with intraday transmissions already occurring in Step 1 of a three-step process. CUs and banks now must receive same-day ACH credit files at intervals throughout the day (“intraday” presentments).

“So far, the impact has been modest,” she says. “We’re primarily seeing expedited payroll files at this point. NACHA reports higher than predicted volumes, which could be an indicator of market appetite for faster payments.”


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