Same Day ACH NACHA Initiative

NACHA making a splash with same day payments initiative
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Marcin Cichon author pictureAuthor: Marcin Cichon

The NACHA payments system is one of the cornerstones of the American economy. Last year the network processed 23 billion transactions accounting for $51 trillion dollars in value. Growth has been consistent at 5-7% per year since 2016, with B2B payments growing 9%. This growth is explained by increasing adoption of electronic payments and NACHA’s initiatives aimed at improving performance and security of the network.

One of the new initiatives introduced by NACHA is the capability to execute same day ACH payments.

ACH has traditionally had a settlement period of 2-3 days, requiring corporates to plan their AP runs to ensure they do not miss payment deadlines. Starting from 2016, NACHA introduced same day ACH with same day settlement times but limiting transactions to $25,000 dollars. Since its introduction, same day ACH volume has grown to 177 million transactions representing $160 billion in value since 2018.

This has the following benefits for corporates:

  • Tax and other late payment penalties can be more easily avoided
  • Emergency payroll transactions can be made
  • Vendor discounts can be easily taken advantage of with same day payments
  • Payments will be processed faster, leading to accounts being credited sooner

Same day ACH roadmap

From 2019 – 2021 several enhancements are planned to make same day ACH more ubiquitous. The major milestones on this implementation roadmap are as follows:

20 Sep 2019 – Introduction of second ACH processing window

Starting on September 20, 2019 – funds settled via same day ACH will be settled sooner. The processing windows will look as follows:

Processing window RDFI receipt time Funds availability time

Same day ACH

(1st window)

12:00 noon ET 1:30 pm RDFI local time

Same day ACH

(2nd window)

4:00 pm ET 5:00 pm RDFI local time
Non-same day ACH credits If received prior to 5:00 pm local time 9:00 am RDFI local time for all SEC codes


20 Mar 2020 – Increase dollar limits

Starting on March 20, 2020 – the transaction limit for ACH will increase from $25,000 to $100,000. 

19 Mar 2021 – Extend access to network

Starting on March 19, 2021 – an additional ACH processing window will be added, with the processing and settlement times aligned across a single time zone. The processing window will look as follows:

Processing window ODFI deadline RDFI receipt Settlement

Same day ACH

(1st window)

10:30 am ET 12:00 noon ET 1:00 pm ET

Same day ACH

(2nd window)

2:45 pm ET 4:00 pm ET 5:00 pm ET

Same day ACH

(3rd window)

4:45 pm ET 5:30 pm ET 6:00 pm ET
Next day ACH 2:15 am ET 6:00 am ET 8:30 am ET

Taking advantage of same day ACH

The first step for taking advantage of same day ACH is to approach your vendors and see if they are willing to move to receiving ACH payments. Make sure to verify their bank information to ensure their date database is updated.

Secondly, approach your banking partners to determine what kind of services and solutions they offer for ACH processing.

Payments can be made directly via the banking portal or through a file transfer done via SFTP or SWIFT connectivity. When making use of a file transfer, inquire with the bank to gauge whether they can accept payments in either NACHA or ISO 20022 XML format.

NACHA has been keen on supporting industry tools and solutions that allow ACH users to leverage the ISO 20022 payment standard for both payment initiation and remittance notification. An ISO mapping guide is available for banking partners, thus allowing you to make use of one format to initiate payments for multiple payment types including wires, checks, and ACH.

Thirdly, determine the types of ACH payments your organization needs to make. NACHA uses SEC (standard entry class) codes to show how the transaction was authorized. For corporate payments, the following SEC codes are the most common:

  • CCD/CCD+
    • This SEC code is used for business to business payments. CCD+ has the benefit of allowing one line of remittance information.
  • CTX
    • CTX is also used for business to business payments but allows for a much larger amount of remittance information compared to CCD+.
  • PPD/PPD+
    • These represent business to consumer payments and are commonly used for salary payments. The PPD+ variant allows for one line of remittance information.

Lastly, work with your corporate IT and AP user teams to implement the solution. File transfer methods potentially require technical resources to set up the connectivity and to configure the ERP system to export the payment files. AP users will also require training on making payments via this new method.

Would you like to learn more about BELLIN’s payments solutions? Just reach out to us for a tm5 demo, or visit our main tm5 page.

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