A year after launching the same-day Automated Clearing House process for credit payments, Nacha says same-day ACH for debit payments began Friday.

The same-day clearing processes are part of an overall effort in the U.S. to deliver faster payments, allowing businesses and consumers to send and receive payments and payment-related information on the same day through the ACH network.

Nacha, the electronic payments association that oversees ACH, says that handling debits on faster rails builds upon the existing credit capabilities and leads to new options to pay bills and provide consumers more accurate data on available account balances.

“After a successful year of same-day ACH credits, we are excited to implement same-day ACH for debits and continue to expand this faster payments option in the U.S.,” Janet O. Estep, president and CEO of Nacha, said in a Sept. 15 press release.

“With debits accounting for almost 60 percent of overall ACH volume, we expect that use of same-day ACH debits will grow and become a faster payments method that benefits all users of the ACH network, from financial institutions, businesses of all sizes, to governments and consumers,” Estep added.

Same-day ACH debit payments enable a variety of transactions such as an urgent bill payment, faster payments for Internet and point-of-sale purchases, and invoice payments.

Until now, all ACH debits have been “next-day” payments. According to a survey conducted by Nacha, 92% of the association's top originating depository financial institution members will be ready to originate same-day ACH debits beginning today, and all U.S. receiving depository financial institutions are required by the rule to be ready to receive the payments.

“Same-day ACH for debits expands on the innovative solutions that began with same-day ACH for credits, supporting the demands to move money and information faster,” Estep said.

Nacha says on March 16, 2018, the third phase of same-day ACH goes into effect, requiring funds from same-day ACH credits to be made available by 5 p.m. local time.

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