AUSTIN, Texas -- Corporate usage of ACH continues to grow, both in the number of transactions and dollar value of those transactions, NACHA President and CEO Jan Estep said Monday. “In 2016, we saw four consecutive quarters with greater than 5 billion payments,” said Estep, speaking at the Faster Payments 2017 conference. “This resulted in 5.4 percent growth in total ACH transactions in 2016, yielding 25 million payments and a value of $43 trillion. This growth has continued into 2017, where we have seen almost a 7 percent increase in the first quarter, versus the same quarter last year.”
ACH usage likely will increase, Estep predicted, when NACHA expands its Same Day ACH service in September to include debits. Same Day ACH credits now operationally connects all DDAs throughout the country, she added. “Its usage is strong; in the first quarter of 2017, we saw a 13.6 percent increase in same-day credits, versus the fourth quarter of 2016.”
Estep added that in a survey conducted late last year of FIs comprising about two-thirds of ACH origination volume, not a single bank saw any increase in fraud due to Same Day ACH.
Estep also provided a few examples of how corporates can use Same Day ACH, beyond payroll. Estep noted that Capital Public Radio recently changed its preferred payment donation method after it found that donors who used ACH were retained up to 20 percent longer than donors using other methods. Meanwhile, insurance companies can use it to pay customers’ claims in emergency situations. Protection 1 Security is using Same Day to provide refunds of overpayments to enhance its customer service. “We’re also pleased to announce that the U.S. Treasury—the largest user of the ACH network—is committed to supporting Same Day ACH, beginning in September 2017,” she added.
Lastly, Estep provided some insights for corporates who plan to use Same Day ACH debits in September. “With same-day debits, when a customer asks to be paid from their bank account more quickly, businesses can now respond. This delivers capabilities that are endorsed by consumer advocates and [the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau], giving the ability to pay bills on time,” she said. “As such, making sure that the effective entry date is accurate is absolutely key for everyone—no stale dates will be allowed.”
In order for NACHA to achieve a smooth implementation of same-day debits, Estep encourages corporate users and other participants to conduct end-to-end testing. “If your company hasn’t heard from a key organization that you rely upon for your support or testing, please reach out now and ask,” she said.
NACHA also has a wealth of resource materials for Same Day ACH users. For corporates in particular, it has released a Business Essentials Guide that provides action plans for sending and receiving same-day payments.