The Federal Reserve has a new service beginning August 2nd called FedACH SameDay that permits same day settlement for certain ACH transactions. This is the first significant change the Fed has made in settlement times for the ACH network in 37 years.
Banks can opt in as either originating or receiving institutions, or both. But therein lies the problem for merchants. Without universal banking participation, merchants won’t know when a particular transaction will clear since the buyers' bank may or may not be a participant.
It would be much better if the banks were mandated to participate. A change in rules to require universal banking participation would turbo charge use of ACH as a payment option for merchants.
Demands for faster funds availability are driving the payments marketplace. In order for the ACH network to maintain position, it must offer fast settlement.
But a universal participation rule has to be passed and implemented by NACHA, the organization that regulates the ACH network. NACHA has its work cut out for it, convincing thousands of participants in the ACH network to agree to the faster settlement. Fast settlement is important for merchants but it may not a priority for many of the banks in the ACH network.
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