What you Need To Know about Same Day ACH
In March 2018, the Automated Clearing House started supporting same-day credit settlement between two financial institutions in the US. That was a landmark improvement since 90% of all funds transferred in the country are processed through this system.
How ACH works
The Automated Clearing House network is the main system of electronic funds transfer in the US. Since the 1970s, it aimed to allow the transfer of predictable and regular payments without the need of paper checks. The main principle of the network was stability, not speed.
An ACH instruction begins as an instruction from an originating bank to a recipient bank. The instruction is sent in the form of a digital file through the Federal Reserve, which acts as the clearinghouse. The recipient bank is required to process their backlog of instructions by 8:30 AM every day, called the settlement window. The ACH uses a pre-email system of electronic file transfer where there is no contact between the two banks. The settlement windows are the only time when the originating financial institution will be informed that the recipient bank has processed the originating bank’s ACH instructions.
The players involved
Before delving into the mechanics of Same-Day ACH, it is necessary to be familiar with the players involved in the ACH system.
- First is the NACHA, or the National Automated Clearing House Association, which managers the development, governance, and administration of the ACH Network. The NACHA is funded by the financial institutions under its wings.
- Second, are the ODFIs and RDFIs. The ODFI or originating depository financial institution is the financial institution in which the ACH transaction originated from. The RDFI or receiving depository financial institution is the one receiving the ACH transaction. Both the ODFI and RDFI are financial or banking institutions.
- Last is the third-party platforms that make use of the ACH network for simpler and straightforward transactions. The third-party platforms are an easy on-ramp to the ACH network, providing a few API endpoints that can be integrated inside of your platform to facilitate ACH transactions.
After many years of constant lobbying from experts and customers in the financial industry, the governing body decided to move ahead with “Same-Day ACH.” The approved plan includes implementing two new settlement windows every business day – one at 1:00 PM EST and another at 5:00 PM. – which means there are now 3 settlement windows every day. Because of the system-wide three processing deadlines, any bank will be able to send a Same-Day ACH transaction at 9:30 AM, which will be processed by 1:00 PM the same day.
The project of having all banks in the US aligned on a three-times-a-day settlement scheduled passed through three phases. These rules apply only to domestic transactions under $25,000:
- From September 23, 2016, all financial institutions were required to process ACH credit requests in all three settlement windows, which means processing requests and adding funds to an account.
- On September 15, 2017, banks need to accept debit requests in the same three settlement windows.
- Beginning March 16, 2018, banks can have funds available by 5:00 PM local time for ACH credit transactions that were processed in the first two settlement windows of the day. This means that amount should not appear as “Pending” on the bank ledger but as a fully completed transaction.
While the new settlement schedule made possible the same-day credit transactions of funds, same-day debit settlement is not yet possible. The reason is that ACH debit transactions need a mandatory waiting period. Since the originating bank made the request to pull money from another bank, NACHA rules allow the party to lose funds two days to stop the transaction before settlement. Same-Day ACH, however, moves the mandatory waiting period half-day earlier than what was the practice before.
The effects of Same-Day ACH
Same-Day ACH cannot make available instant payments or even same-day funds. Every US bank can now process outstanding requests three times a day rather than once under the old practice. Not all financial transactions are eligible to be completed the same day, but almost everything can be processed faster.
Same-Day ACH is an important development for the US payment system. ACH is a strong safeguard to handle institutional funds transfer of all sizes. The three times a day processing allows business-to-business payments to speed up, bill payment becoming more flexible, and many companies will be able to change their payroll processing.
Before the launching of the Same-Day ACH project, NACHA’s research identified more than 60 potential use cases for Same-Day ACH, some of the most prominent include:
- B2B payments – Trading partners are able to settle their invoice payments faster, including remittance information amongst the parties.
- Payroll – Credit settlement on the same day allows companies to pay temp workers or hourly employees faster. The companies can have the funds ready by the end of the day once the payroll is initiated.
- Urgent funds transfer – It is now possible to make extremely time-sensitive payments, such as medical insurance disbursement or paying a bill before it becomes overdue. This will be helpful to people who forgot that bills are due and who remember only at the last minute. These people will have to pay late penalties under the next-day ACH payments.
Benefits of Same-Day ACH
Everything is faster in the US today, and payments are no exception. Same-Day ACH payments benefitted three sectors:
- Businesses – Same-Day ACH allows treasurers and people managing the books to pay attention to the certainty of efficiency savings and payments with faster accounts payable and accounts receivable. A business will have improved flexibility and control over its payroll. If there is a payroll mistake, it can be corrected more efficiently instead than waiting for the transactions to clear first. It will be easier and faster also to make payouts to workers who are operating within the gig economy. Payment will be faster and all businesses will enjoy the benefits of improved and consistent fund flow.
- ·Consumers – The main concern of an average consumer is to get paid on time. Same-Day ACH will eliminate the headache of waiting to get paid. Emergency payments will be quicker and you can pay your bill at the last minute in case you forget or you were still scrounging for funds.
- Financial Institutions – Same-Day ACH will allow banks to acquire new devices or improve existing ones to bolster revenue opportunities for the originating financial institutions to be compensated. Their customers will be happier as sending faster payments and getting access to their money faster will make people happier.
ACH is an elective option
Same-Day ACH is an elective option that payment originators can make. Not all ACH transfers follow the Same-Day schedule. It is similar to choosing the next-day delivery of your parcel instead of the regular ground shipping option. The Same-Day ACH rule included the new $0.052 fee that must be remitted to the recipient bank as a subsidy for the added cost of meeting the three processing deadlines a day.
The ACH network continues to support the traditional next-day transaction, but for a small fee, the originating bank can choose to have the transaction request immediately processed in the matter of a few hours.
One of the best ways to increase your revenue effectively is to focus on the clients that you currently have because they already have trust in your products and/ or services, and in turn you also already know what they like and what they need which then means that you know what else to offer them. By having loyal clients, you already have an edge in terms of boosting your income and what you need to do is to simply find more ways on how else you could serve them and offer something much better.
Always keep your existing customers in mind and know how to keep them engaged in your business or your services because through them it will be easy for you boost your revenue as they can raise the size of their transaction, or maybe even purchase more frequently if they are attracted to what you are offering them. Customers will also appreciate it if you give them something extra and if they feel that you care for them too.
To make your business more effective and your goal to add revenues a success, you need to make an effort in educating your consumers so you can guide them on how to want or desire your products or services even more. Revenue enhancement does not come so quick after all.
Here then are some tips as to how you can boost your business revenues and average size of purchase as well as raise the frequency of your sales:
Raise your income by increasing your prices
If you raise your prices, make sure that your clients understand the importance of why the amount of your products has changed. Make them feel that they are getting a more superior or outstanding quality so they can appreciate the new cost. Let your clients know the reason for the change in prices whether it is because of higher manufacturing cost, change in government taxes, enhancement in certain areas such as customer- service or the system itself, better materials or ingredients, etc.
Learn to upsell
Encourage your customers to buy a higher end product because through this you do not only raise your revenues, but you also sort of make an enhancement to their personal satisfaction and you will end up having happy clients! To make this happen, you have to really know their needs so you can properly match those to a product or service that will offer them the best shopping experience. If you have happy clients then you will also have a happy business.
Entice clients to check your other products
if your business have several product lines or service, invite them to explore more options and make them aware that if they use the whole range of your expertise, they can have more convenience and by getting complementary products or service all together, they can save on the amount as they just need to pay one tax for everything.
Come up with bundle options
Try bundling up your business either by packaging similar products together or by combining a product along with a service, etc. Doing this, you are not only increasing your chance to get a higher revenue, but you are offering convenience to your clients as well as giving them a complete package will save them time and effort. When you have this option, you can charge a premium as well.
Offer frequent buyer incentives
Thinking about your clients and genuinely caring for them goes a long way for your business. Offer your frequent buyers some free stuff whether a gift in the form of a product, a voucher, or even a service like a free delivery and the like. Give them discounts or offer a premium service. Maybe you can also shoulder the government tax on a particular purchase. The list goes on.
Provide products or services that will complement what you already have
Try to be like a one-stop shop for your clients so that they do not have to look elsewhere for their needs. Give them other products that are based on your existing items so that everything will be complementary. Revenue enhancement do not just happen with a single product anyway and income will not be increased by a limited selection.
Communicate with your clients
To get higher income, you need to spend a certain amount of time with your clients by communicating with them constantly. Make them feel your presence through email, phone, newsletters, in- store displays or by post. Try to sell the need of getting that certain item in a particular period so they can take advantage of system’s discount or promos and perhaps save on taxes. You may try to offer a system too where they can have the products all at once and which will come at a discounted rate or something like that.
Create special events
in order to boost your income and sales revenue, an amount of effort is needed and this includes holding special or exclusive events for your loyal customers. Create a preview day or night where customers can see your latest products then perhaps you can offer lower government taxes for that event so they can be encouraged to shop more.
Make an alliance with other businesses
Promote other companies’ products or service and negotiate about getting a cut, then make them to promote your business through theirs as well.
Learn to say “no” to bad prospects, customers or opportunities
Try to devote your time to your best customers because in the end they will be the one to give you a revenue enhancement anyway.
Through these methods, you can effectively gain revenue enhancement at a fast rate and always remember to prioritize your customers and give them a genuine concern.
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