Tuesday , April 16, 2024

As Instant Payments Make Headlines, Same-Day Payments Continue to Lift the ACH

Growth in same-day automated clearing house volumes slowed in the second quarter, but same-day ACH is still posting impressive gains from 2022, according to the latest data from ACH governing body Nacha.

Herndon, Va.-based Nacha says the second quarter saw 199.4 million same-day ACH payments, up 7.7% from 185.1 million transactions a year earlier. Payments value hit $612.6 billion, an increase of 26.1% from $485.8 billion in 2022’s second quarter.

In the first quarter the ACH network processed $565.3 billion in transactions initiated and settled on the same day, up nearly 95% from 2022’s first quarter.

 The number of same-day transactions totaled 186.2 million, a nearly 21% jump from a year earlier.

The latest numbers bring the value of first-half same-day payments to almost $1.2 trillion, an increase of 51.7% from the year-earlier period, on 385.6 million transactions, up 13.7%. Nacha attributes much of the same-day growth to last year’s increase in transaction limits to $1 million, up ten-fold from the old $100,000 limit.

“The same-day ACH dollar-limit increase in March 2022 resulted in a significant increase in payment volume in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter of 2022,” a Nacha spokesperson tells Digital Transactions News by e-mail. “This also resulted in a one-time lower growth rate for the second quarter of 2023.”

“Whether it’s emergency and unscheduled payroll, insurance claim payments, account transfers, or business-to-business payments, these results show that same-day ACH is a leader in faster payments,” Jane Larimer, Nacha president and chief executive, said in a statement.

Larimer issued a statement July 20 congratulating the Fed, calling FedNow “a significant achievement.” But she added that the new instant-payments services as well as the ACH “will together meet the evolving needs of the marketplace.”  

“Large volumes of scheduled and recurring payments between known counterparties on known due dates—payroll and benefit direct deposits, bill payments, [business-to-business] payments, and account transfers—will continue to be served well by ACH,” she said. Larimer further encouraged the Fed to continue expanding the operating hours of its National Settlement Service “to enable other payments systems, including ACH, to settle payments at new times and days, increasing competition and reducing risk.” 

In all, the ACH network handled 7.8 billion payments in the second quarter that transferred $20 trillion in value, up 4.3% and 2.9%, respectively, from a year earlier. Among the higher performers among Nacha’s many types of transactions were business-to-business payments, with transaction volume up 10.4% to more than 1.6 billion.

Internet-based transactions grew 4.5% from a year earlier to 2.4 billion, while person-to-person payments rose 1.7% to 82 million.

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