Faster is Safer

Posted March 13, 2015

Fast Same Day Payments Key ACH Security Issue for NACHA, the Electronics Payments Association

Not all that familiar with NACHA? Okay, it used to be called the National Automated Clearing House Association. But, there’s no point in trying to remember what the acronym stands for since these days the organization only goes by NACHA. We don’t know why, but since it’s one less acronym to have to remember we’re not going to complain about it.

Anyway, NACHA manages the development, administration and governance of the ACH (Automated Clearing House) Network, the network for consumer, business, and government payments that facilitates billions of payments each year. NACHA is funded by the financial institutions it governs.

Tracy Kitten cites Jan Estep, NACHA’s president and CEO, in an article on, saying that payment security and speed are critical issues for the Federal Reserve System and NACHA. In her piece, Kitten reports on NACHA’s plans for the next five to ten years. The following has been excerpted from Kitten’s story and edited to fit our format. You may find the complete article by clicking on this link.

NACHA moving ahead with plans

As the Fed fine-tunes its roadmap for how banking institutions and other payments providers should update and enhance their methods to move transactions through the ACH network and other payments rails over the next five to 10 years, NACHA is already moving forward with its plans,

New advisory board

Estep describes how a newly formed Board Advisory Group will help NACHA, which serves as trustee of the ACH network… work…for faster and more secure payments [to] meet the needs of banking institutions, merchants and others.

NACHA’s ongoing work to support ubiquitous same-day ACH will be a building block for the future of payments the Fed envisions, Estep says.

Moving $39 trillion faster

NACHA recently closed an industry-wide request for comment about a new rule for ubiquitous same-day ACH, which NACHA has been working on since 2012, when it published a blueprint for the ACH network.

“There is, frankly, a lot of alignment in the NACHA ACH blueprint from 2012 and the Fed’s plan,” she says. “Right now, we are looking at same-day ACH as a way to move payments faster in the U.S. … But we also are doing more strategic work on directories, on payments and information, on formats that aid cross-border payments,” which also is part of the Fed’s vision for payments in the future.

The ACH network moves almost $39 trillion and nearly 22 billion electronic payments annually, according to NACHA.

New Board Advisory Group gets input from retail and e-commerce

The new Board Advisory Group will help ensure NACHA is adequately addressing the concerns of a broad range of industries, Estep says. The group includes representation from a diverse pool of non-banking entities, such as retailers, e-commerce providers and transaction-security vendors.

“The Board Advisory Group was really designed to create a robust dialogue from many different users or providers in the ACH network so that the board could hear those other critical voices as they have discussions around strategic topics,” Estep adds.

Security surrounding faster payments will be a key issue for this group, says Joe Proto, CEO and chairman of payments solutions provider Transactis [and a new Advisory Board Group member].

New payments transactions on the way

Like the Fed, NACHA is looking beyond ACH transactions as emerging payments tools, such as mobile, are quickly changing how businesses and consumers transact, Estep notes.



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