Nacha, who enables Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments, has approved eight amendments to their Operating Rules focused on infrastructure around improving Same Day ACH and providing a framework for authorizing consumer ACH payments that can be applied to the growing channels and technologies consumers want to use to make digital payments. Additional new rules pertain to handling unauthorized payments and ACH reversals.
The new rules will take effect throughout 2021 as Nacha continues to expand Same Day ACH to become a more competitive payment choice for consumers and businesses. Two of the new Nacha Operating Rules provide financial institutions (FIs), payment providers, technology companies and businesses accepting ACH payments a more detailed framework for authorizing payments that can be applied to more payment technologies and channels.
Michael Herd, Senior Vice President of the ACH Network Administration, discussed how the new rules are critical for “businesses and other organizations that enable consumers to conduct transactions using new technologies and channels.”
Another one of the amendments specifies timelines for FIs to handle unauthorized ACH payment claims. Other new rules explicitly define when ACH reversals are not valid and increase Nacha’s authority with enforcing rules for violations.
The announcement of these 8 amendments comes after NACHA reported strong ACH network transaction growth in the third quarter of 2020. There 6.8 billion payments made on the ACH network for the quarter, a nine percent increase year-over-year. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments were the fastest growing payment category, increasing by 52 percent over this time frame. Same Day ACH payments increased 41 percent year-over-year in the 3rd quarter to reach nearly 94 million transactions.
P2P payment network and bank consortium Zelle also reported that payments over their network continue to grow as consumer and business habits remained altered by the pandemic. Zelle reported $84 billion in transactions in Q3, an 18 percent increase from the previous quarter. Consumers used Zelle to pay small business $4.5 billion in the third quarter, often replacing cash and check payments. Zelle also conducted a user survey finding that two popular use cases for using their P2P payment service since the onset of the pandemic are providing financial support to family and friends as well as repaying someone who purchased groceries for them.
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