Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Final Rule Analysis on Federal Reserve Same-Day ACH
Posted October 05, 2015 by CUNA Advocacy

On September 23, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (The Federal Reserve) approved enhancements to the Federal Reserve Banks’ (Reserve Banks) Same-Day automated clearing house (ACH) service. The Electronic Payments Association  ̶  NACHA ballot, which was released in May, has a provision that would have automatically suspended the rule if the Federal Reserve did not affirmatively support the change by Sept. 23, 2015. Since the Federal Reserve approved it, Same-Day ACH will move forward and goes into effect in September 2016.

The Federal Reserve has approved enhancements to FedACH SameDay Service that requires Receiving Depository Financial Institutions (RDFI) to participate in the service and Originating Depository Financial Institutions (ODFI) to pay a fee to RDFIs for each same-day ACH forward transaction. The enhancements will be adopted by incorporation of NACHA’s amended operating rules into Operating Circular 4, governing the Reserve Banks’ ACH services.

In our comment we expressed serious concerns regarding the requirement that all RDFIs have the ability to receive and post same-day payments. The letter argued that implementation and other ongoing costs will be burdensome to credit unions, specifically for smaller credit unions with low Same-Day ACH transaction volume. In the final rule the Federal Reserve states that it acknowledges the concerns raised regarding the burden of mandatory receipt of same-day ACH transactions for small depository institutions, but that exempting small institutions would undermine the ubiquity—and therefore the utility—of the service.

The Federal Reserve’s final rule establishes an interbank fee of 5.2 cents per forward transaction. CUNA’s comment argued for an interbank fee, so we are happy to see this since the FedACH SameDay Service does not have one. We did suggest a higher interbank fee would be more appropriate to help RDFI’s offset costs. The final rule states that the Board will reevaluate the amount and appropriateness of any interbank fee if low-cost next-day ACH origination services are widely replaced by same-day ACH services, increasing costs to originators.