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Fed Adopts Same-Day ACH Enhancements
Friday, September 25, 2015 6:40 AM

The Federal Reserve board announced approval of its same-day automated clearinghouse (ACH) enhancements Wednesday. The changes will become effective Sept. 23, 2016.

With this news, Credit Union National Association reported concerns that the Fed didn't do enough about the increased burdens credit unions will face as a result. In comments to the Federal Reserve and NACHA, the Electronic Payment Association, CUNA pointed to the requirement that all receiving financial institutions have the ability to receive and post same-day ACH payments.

CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan said, “While we support the goal of a faster payments system, we believe more could have been done to consider the implementation and other ongoing costs credit unions will face—particularly our smaller credit unions.”

The rule enables originating depository financial institutions (ODFIs) that desire same-day ACH processing the option to send same-day transactions to accounts at any receiving depository financial institutions (RDFIs). It requires all RDFIs to participate and would assess an interbank fee to ODFIs of 5.2 cents per transaction.

In its comment letter, CUNA questioned the mandatory participation requirement, as well as the fee set at 5.2 cents, which CUNA says is too low. CUNA supports the interbank fee as a way to provide relief for the costs that will be imposed on RDFIs, but asked the Fed to explore a higher fee.  

In its July comment letter, CUNA said a higher fee would be appropriate for “credit unions that will incur higher implementation and ongoing costs relative to the small number of same-day ACH payments they will ultimately receive.”

The Fed currently operates a same-day ACH service, and institutions can opt in or opt out of on a monthly basis. The enhancements to the service will be adopted by incorporation of the amended operating rules into Operating Circular 4, which governs Federal Reserve Banks’ ACH services.