Earlier this week, the National Automated Clearing House Association, or NACHA, released a proposal outlining a possible roadmap for upgrading existing ACH networks to enable same-day bank transfers by September 2016. The proposal, which is open for comment through February 5, 2015, is the most detailed document yet showing how banks plan to improve the industry’s current next-day deposit schedule to offer same-day deposits.
ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments are essential to modern-day businesses because direct deposit payroll, B2B payments, and credit card sales deposits are all conducted via the ACH network. To date, the fastest possible timeline for a bank transfer or deposit has been capped at next-day deposits, but NACHA’s recent announcement indicates that this will soon be improved to allow for funds to be deposited within the same business day they are requested. Ultimately, for merchants, the bottom line here is simple: faster payroll and more predictable revenue flow.
The system-wide improvement will come with its share of delays and costs, however, which are detailed to some extent in the association’s proposal. For instance, to cover the costs of the network upgrades, NACHA proposes an interbank fee of $0.082 per transaction, which will theoretically decrease as same-day transfers become more common. It is unknown whether this 8.2-cent fee can or will be passed down to merchants and consumers.
The proposal also details a very slow rollout schedule, with same-day ACH credits first arriving in September 2016. Same-day debit transfers will not be possible until September 2017, while midday credit and debit settlements won’t be added until March 2018.
Although same-day ACH won’t be fully implemented until three years from now, merchants and consumers are encouraged to follow this process as it develops. Depending on the feedback NACHA receives during its request for comment period, the timeline and objectives of its proposal could change substantially.
NACHA Same-Day ACH Proposal Infographic via americanbanker.com