When it comes to secure and efficient payment by check, credit card, and other methods, you just can’t beat Automated Clearinghouse payments -- known all around the United States by the ubiquitous acronym “ACH.”
Millions of people all around the United States see “ACH” on their bank accounts every month, if not every week, and may not necessarily know what it means. ACH is used in e-commerce, in payroll, and in institution-to-institution transfers all around the nation.That volume of transactions adds up to over $38 trillion in 2013. And the overall value of ACH transactions is quickly increasing, too. However, up until recently there has been one issue even the most advanced ACH processor has been unable to route around: The processing period of three to five days associated with ACH transfers. In most situations, a slight processing delay is a small price to pay for the industry-leading security and great name recognition that you get when you use ACH. However, “nearly instant” ACH payments are “nearly” upon us. How NACHA Is Going To Revolutionize ACH Payments NACHA is the National Automated Clearinghouse Association, the elite group of professionals responsible for the overall direction of ACH. Great ideas are developed by NACHA, clarified in the form of new protocols for institutions to use, and filtered down to the industry. Recently, it’s come to the attention of NACHA that there are several countries whose ACH-like services process multiple cycles each day, leading to greatly enhanced speed. In the NACHA conference this past April, top minds started to work on similar new rules for ACH. The technology and processes that individual institutions use to implement ACH will change with these rules. At National Processing, pre-planning for faster ACH payment processing has already begun, so we will be ready to make the switch as quickly as possible. How Things Will Change Thanks To Instant ACH Payments There are some excellent reasons to root for faster ACH: 1) It’ll Become Possible To Use ACH To Cover Emergencies Right now, ACH is great for scheduled transactions, such as payroll, and items like online shopping that have few time constraints. Soon, however, it’ll be possible to use ACH to quickly cover emergency spending as well. 2) It’ll Be Easier For Customers To Evaluate Their Fiscal Health End users are careful about seeing “ACH Hold” in their bank account, because it can sometimes obscure the total amount of money available to them. ACH is sure to become an even more popular and welcome solution when “ACH Hold” is a thing of the past. 3) ACH Payments by Phone Will Make it Easier to Sell on the Spot Many businesses are working on great new ways to use mobile technology to engage users, introducing them to micro-targeted advertisements and offers. As ACH becomes faster, it will quickly move into the “mobile age” and become the clear choice for mobile payments.