Same-day, B2B payments fuel ACH growth


Dive Brief:

  • The ACH Network processed 30 billion automated clearing house payments totaling $76.7 trillion in value last year, Nacha announced Wednesday. Those figures increased 3% and 5.6%, respectively, over 2021.
  • “Late night” ACH is delivering roughly 10 million automated clearing house payments daily between Monday and Thursday, but the network delivers more than 50 million ACH payments on Fridays, according to the press release. The late night services enable distribution of ACH files to financial institutions by 11:30 p.m. ET on business days.
  • Direct deposits dipped by 4.1% last year, but healthcare claim payments saw a 6.1% bump. Business-to-business payments rose 11.8% year-over-year, and same day ACH for business-to-business payments rose 44% last year, the release said.

Dive Insight:

Nacha, which governs the automated payments system, attributed the drop in direct deposits to the conclusion of federal COVID-19 pandemic relief and fewer unemployment benefit payments. Looking ahead, the organization said it is focused on encouraging the dental industry to use ACH payments because it does not use as many electronic claim payments as other healthcare providers. 

In addition to B2B payments, other categories experienced volume growth last year as well. Internet payment volumes increased 7.7% to 9.4 billion and peer-to-peer payments rose 8.6% to 294.7 million, according to Nacha, formerly known as the National Automated Clearing House Association

“2022 marked the tenth consecutive year in which the total value of ACH payments increased by at least $1 trillion,” Nacha President and CEO Jane Larimer said in the statement. “This underscores the fact that the ACH Network is an industrial-strength, modern payment system serving hundreds of millions of consumers, businesses and other organizations.” 

Though the U.S. lags other countries in its payment processing, Nacha, the Federal Reserve and The Clearing House have been working to speed up the process. Last fall, those three entities introduced the late night ACH services, speeding up the delivery of payments that would otherwise not arrive until the next business-day morning.

In another attempt to make the network more efficient, the ACH Network increased its same-day transfer capacity last March, to $1 million. In April of last year, The Clearing House also increased the limit for the RTP network from $100,000 to $1 million. The cap increases were designed to meet the needs of financial institutions and businesses issuing payments digitally during the pandemic.

That limit increase helped boost same-day ACH value past the $1 trillion mark in 2022, Nacha said. Same-day ACH payments totaled 697.5 million valued at $1.7 trillion last year. Those were increases of 15.5% and 86.3%, respectively, over 2021.


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