Thursday , November 21, 2019

The ACH Posts Its Highest Growth Rate Since 2008

The nation’s automated clearing house network went on a tear in the quarter ended June 30, notching its highest growth rate since 2008 thanks to double-digit growth for key categories like Internet payments and business-to-business transfers.

Total volume for the quarter came to 6.1 billion transactions, an increase of 7.7% from the same three months last year, according to Nacha, the Herndon, Va.-based organization that administers the 45-year-old network. The system has been steadily posting 5%-plus quarterly growth rates in recent years as new features such as same-day processing have been introduced.

Contributing to the growth for the latest quarter were transactions Nacha classifies as Internet-initiated payments. These totaled 1.6 billion, up fully 13%. Also helping out were B2B payments, which rose 12% to 995 million.

Larimer: “With quarterly growth experiencing its greatest increase in 11 years, there can be no doubt that the ACH network is strong and vibrant.”

Same-day volume, which is part of the faster-payments trend and has been closely watched since the ACH introduced same-day credits in 2016, jumped 46% to 59.8 million. This volume includes both credits and debits, which were added in 2017. Nacha expects to add a third processing window in March 2021 as part of its years-long effort to facilitate same-day processing.

Other key categories also saw robust growth. Person-to-person payments, a small but highly competitive segment, increased 30% to 35.2 million, Nacha reported.

The ACH network connects virtually all U.S. financial institutions. “With quarterly growth experiencing its greatest increase in 11 years, there can be no doubt that the ACH network is strong and vibrant,” said Nacha president and chief executive Jane Larimer, in a statement. Larimer earlier this month took over from long-time CEO Jan Estep, who is expected to retire at year’s end.

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