Transactions on the nation’s automated clearing house network exceeded 5.6 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30, rising by 354 million transactions, or 6.7%, compared to the same quarter in 2017, according to numbers released Thursday by NACHA, the regulatory body for the ACH.
The third-quarter growth means volume has increased more than 5% year-over-year in 13 out of the last 15 quarters on the network, which connects virtually every financial institution in the country. The increase also comes a year after NACHA added same-day debit processing and two years from the start of same-day credits.
Same-day transactions, which clear and settle the day they are initiated rather than the next business day, totaled 43.2 million in the quarter, a 192% increase over the third quarter last year. NACHA this summer announced changes in same-day processing that will usher in faster funds availability, an increased dollar limit for each transaction, and extended processing hours. The association clearly expects the changes will drive up same-day volume even more sharply.
“More people than ever are benefiting from same-day ACH,” said Jane Larimer, chief operating officer at Herndon, Va.-based NACHA, in a statement. “With the enhancements to same-day ACH, the ACH Network is delivering the capabilities requested by corporate end-users.”
In the hot person-to-person payment category, the network logged a 32% increase in transactions, to 32.7 million. These payments are WEB credits in ACH parlance and reflect a business in which heavyweights like PayPal Holdings Inc., with its popular Venmo P2P service, and major banks, with the Zelle network, are battling for consumer loyalty.