An upcoming change in the way payments are processed will allow electronic ACH debits under $25,000 (excluding international transactions) to go through on the same day you pay them. This processing change, effective September 15, may reduce the time between when you make a transaction and when it clears your account.
To meet the needs of businesses and consumers in an increasingly fast-paced world, the National Automated Clearinghouse Association (NACHA) began a phased implementation of same day ACH transactions last fall. The first phase of the rollout began in September 2016 when same day processing was made available for ACH credits (deposits). The second phase of the rollout, which goes into effect on September 15, will expand same day processing to ACH debits (withdrawals, purchases or payments). Prior to the availability of same day processing, all ACH transactions were processed using standard processing with transactions generally posting in one to two business days.
While same day ACH debits will help ensure payments get to their recipient faster – it also means some of the normal purchases or payments you make may appear on your account sooner than they have in the past. Be sure to check your account balance regularly using online, mobile and telephone banking, and always plan for the funds to clear your account immediately.
For more information about same day ACH, please review the frequently asked questions below. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.
- What is an ACH transaction? ACH stands for Automated Clearing House, the network via which money moves between banks – from one bank account to another. It facilitates electronic transactions made using your account number and the bank’s routing number, including online, phone and other authorized electronic payments as well as checks that have been electronically converted by the payee. The rules surrounding these types of transactions are maintained by NACHA, the National Automated Clearinghouse Association.
- How does the change to same day ACH debits affect me? This change means any payments made by writing a paper check, by telephone or payments authorized via a biller’s website could clear your checking or savings account the same day. You should always check to make sure you have available funds in your account prior to authorizing a payment or writing a check.
- How is ACH processing changing at the Merrimack? Currently, the Merrimack posts ACH credit transactions (deposits) to accounts three times per day, while ACH debit transactions (purchase, payment or withdrawal) are posted to accounts only once per day. As of September 15, 2017, ACH debit transactions will also be processed three times per day.
- When will my ACH transactions post to my account? Transactions processed using standard ACH processing will post to your account in one to two business days. Transactions processed using same day ACH processing will post to your account before 5:00pm on the same day so long as they are received by the FED deadline for Same Day ACH. The merchant/payee decides which method is used and the Bank is required to process the transaction using the method selected by the merchant.
- Do I have the option to choose if an ACH debit is made using standard or same day processing? Sometimes. If, for example, you pay a bill online or over the phone directly to a merchant you use, that vendor may offer you the option of paying your bill same day – sometimes for an added fee. However, in other cases, the payee may simply choose to process ALL of the payments they receive using same day ACH. In this case the payment would automatically be processed same day without notice to you.
- Will my online banking bill payments be affected? No. Our bill pay vendor begins processing payments on the “send date” selected by you. On that date the payment is sent to the payee (electronically or by check) and the funds are withdrawn from your account on the second business day. We do not currently offer same day bill payments.
- Will my direct deposits be affected? No. Your direct deposits will continue to be credited to your account on their normal posting date.