The ACH payments and financial data exchange nonprofit NACHA is developing a digital platform to streamline payments by facilitating data sharing via a centralized hub, NACHA announced Wednesday (Feb. 5).
The NACHA Phixius platform enables connected service providers to securely exchange payment-related data. The innovative hub addresses the industry’s plea for an easy, automated way to exchange transaction information.
The present system uses laborious bilateral agreements, which limits wide-spread collaboration. In addition, manual processing currently used can lead to misapplied payments while opening the door to fraud.
George Throckmorton, NACHA managing director and executive director of Afinis Interoperability Standards, said using the conventional bilateral agreements for payment data sharing “limits broader industry adoption” and doesn’t meet expectations.
He added that “Phixius changes all of that” by using congruent regulations and “leveraging blockchain technology.”
Phixius lets businesses share payment-related data to “improve fraud protection, automate manual processes and improve customer experiences,” according to the announcement. Aside from using the blockchain, it will use Afinis interoperable and standardized APIs, as well as ISO 20022.
NACHA also announced that Ernst & Young (EY) will assist in the development of Phixius.
“EY is delighted to work with NACHA on the development of Phixius,” said Jennifer Lucas, managing director of EY and the EY Americas FSO advisory payments lead. “This industry platform is designed to address many pain points in the adoption of electronic payments.”
NACHA said Phixius will launch to early adopters in May.
Payments on the ACH Network reached a 12-year high in 2019, with 24.7 billion payments, up 7.7 percent over 2018. Payments value hit $55.8 trillion, up almost 9 percent from 2018.
While RTP emerged as a new payment rail to address payment friction, NACHA’s Same Day ACH is helping to accelerate the adoption of the rail.
While it’s unclear how much of that Same Day ACH transaction volume facilitated B2B payments, NACHA did note that B2B payments recorded 1 billion ACH transactions in the fourth quarter, a 12.6 percent jump.