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US ACH network volume on NACHA hits new heights


NACHA, the US electronic payments body that used to be known as the National Automated Clearing House Association, has announced its growth rate last year was the highest since the 2008 financial crash. The ACH Network processed 21.5 bn transactions valued at more than $46.8 trn, representing increases of 5.7% and 6.9% respectively.

In excess of nine billion automated clearing house (ACH) credit transactions were made in 2017 in the US over NACHA’s network, with a total value of more than $30 trillion, while more than 12 billion debit transactions had a total value of +$16 trillion.

The new fast Same Day transaction element on NACHA’s network grew 478% to 75m transactions from a low starting base. This can be expected to grow strongly in 2018 after the third phase of the Same Day project came on stream last month. Fast payments will increasingly take up a larger and larger proportion of NACHA’s traffic in the years ahead.

According to NACHA Chief Operating Officer (COO) and General Counsel, Jane Larimer: “2017 marks another significant achievement in the evolution of the ACH Network, as transaction volume was exceptionally strong and Same Day ACH was made fully available.”

“The robust growth comes as no surprise as the ACH Network continues to evolve to meet the needs of financial institutions (FIs), businesses and consumers,” she added in a statement.

The value of the body’s ACH Network transactions was more than double the US gross domestic product (GDP) figure last year, and the transaction volume was more than 66 times the number of people in the US, said NACHA, who provided a breakdown as follows:

  • 5.6% increase in business-to-business (B2B) transactions (3.3bn transactions)
  • 5.8% increase in payroll and other consumer Direct Deposit transactions (6.5bn)
  • 13.1% increase in internet transactions (5.2bn)
  • 23.3% increase in person-to-person (P2P) transactions (97m).

The other alternative faster payment platform that is currently live in the US, conforming to the US Fed’s Taskforce recommendations, is The Clearing House’s (TCH) US RTP (real-time payments) platform, which doesn’t yet have the same scale but is loaded with extra functionality and speed. Regulators in the US want a competitive environment for real-time payments and this is now emerging. Where traffic flows go in future years will be closely watched.


Author: Neil Ainger