The U.S. made a big jump toward "faster payments," as the Federal Reserve Board approved enhancements to its automated clearing house service that will require its banks to process same-day transactions.

The changes emulate those of Nacha's Same Day ACH rule, which was approved in May and followed by a Fed comment-seeking period. Both the Fed rule and Nacha's rule are effective Sept. 23, 2016.

Morning settlements should be cleared by 1 p.m., and afternoon settlements by 5 p.m., according to the approved plan. Originating banks will be required to pay a 5.2-cent fee to receiving banks for each same-day electronic payment. Nacha has long pushed for faster payments processing, considered a key element as m-commerce payments mature.

“Same-day ACH is a game-changer, as it will enable new options for consumers, businesses and government entities that want to move money faster,” Janet Estep, chief executive of Nacha, said in a Sept. 23 news release.

Same-day payments also “will serve as a building block for enabling payments innovation in the development of new products and services,” Estep said.

The Herndon, Va.-based Nacha is the bank industry group that oversees the ACH network. Nacha's membership approved the rule proposal in May.

The interbank fee is meant to help offset costs of implementing same-day transactions, including upfront investments needed to immediately accept, post and make funds available.

Payments now tend to be settled the day after a transaction takes place. The FedACH SameDay Service is optional to financial institutions both on the sending and receiving ends of payments transactions, although fewer than 100 institutions have opted in since the offering became available.


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