Third Same-day ACH Window Would Improve Payment Efficiency

CUNA supports proposed modifications to the National Settlement Service and Fedwire operating hours in order to allow the addition of a third daily automated clearing house (ACH) processing window.

“The changes proposed are necessary for the implementation of a third ACH settlement window.  Adding a third ACH window will improve the efficiency and speed of the US payment system. Unfortunately, due to the complex and interdependent nature of multiple systems needed to process and clear ACH transactions these changes cannot be made in a vacuum, which is why the proposed adjustments to infrastructure will be necessary to facilitate such necessary improvements.”

Currently there are two daily windows for submission of same-day ACH transactions, the latest of which concludes at 2:45 p.m. (ET) for all financial institutions regardless of location. This occurs before the halfway point of the average business day for most West Coast financial institutions.

A proposed third window would have a 4:45 p.m. (ET) submission deadline, which CUNA called “particularly valuable for West Coast credit unions and will allow east coast institutions to offer expanded, same-day benefits” to consumers as well.

CUNA notes that “ideally, the third window would be set even later, to provide full day benefit to western institutions,” but acknowledges the associated tradeoff with the need for multi-national East Coast credit unions to close their books and prepare for the next banking day in Asian markets.