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Same Day ACH – Banks Like It But The Feds Might Not

The Federal Reserve Board has some reservations about NACHA’s latest proposal for expediting ACH payments.

That proposal, released for comment late last year, includes an interbank fee that would require originating banks to pay 8.2 cents per transaction to receiving banks. The fee is intended to help banks compensate for the cost of making technological upgrades in order to receive same-day payments and to compensate for other “opportunity costs” such as lost wire transfer revenue. But the Fed has given it a lukewarm reception.

According to American Banker, the Fed’s comment letter, dated Feb. 6, cited “three significant objections to the plan.” The Feds say NACHA should allow businesses to have their say when it comes to making the rules. This would help avoid the banks passing off the fees to businesses making same-day payments. Secondly, the Fed’s letter highlights concerns about the “definition and determination of allowable costs for the proposed interbank fee.” Finally, in its third concern, it points out that the proposed interbank will “inhibit the usage of the same-day ACH service,” making the payments system less effective.

In response to the Fed’s recommendation that NACHA ask for feedback from the parties who would originate same-day payments, the group noted that it has been soliciting input from businesses and consumer groups for the past two years, including insight it gathered through a survey it conducted with the American Payroll Association.

The group’s proposal for same-day ACH has prompted supportive comments from the ICBA, ABA, The Clearing House and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, among others.

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