FedACH® Services Business Continuity Guide

In the event of a service disruption, refer to Service Status to obtain the current operational status, instructions on what you can do and contact information for further questions.

A contingency provider relationship can allow your organization to process your FedACH® transactions using another institutionís equipment in the event of a local service disruption. For more information, please contact your FedACH Central Operations Support Site.

To enroll in the FedACH® Services Electronic Notification Service (ENS), contact FedACH Central Operations Support.

Financial institutions that use FedACH® Services via FedLine Advantage®, FedLine Direct® or FedLine Command® can participate in FedACH application contingency tests to help minimize the impact of a service disruption.

 

Disruption to FedACH Services

Central Application Disruptions

The Federal Reserve Banks have centralized application servers at various sites. Complete redundancy is available at each site to support connections to critical applications, including FedACH. In the event of an application service disruption involving FedACH, the processing of ACH files and the associated financial accounting entries may be delayed, with services resumed as quickly as possible at the contingency sites.

Building Disruptions

In the case of events rendering buildings inaccessible, the FedACH application should not be impacted. Geographically dispersed back up facilities will be prepared to handle operational functions while personnel relocate to the alternate processing locations.

How You Should Prepare

Financial institutions are encouraged to become familiar with the Federal Reserve Banks' FedACH business continuity plan. To minimize a disruption of service, financial institutions are encouraged to implement the following:

  • Bookmark Service Status and refer to it regularly.
  • Conduct periodic training to ensure that personnel are familiar with the information included in the plan.
  • Identify key personnel to communicate with Federal Reserve personnel and disseminate information as quickly as possible during service disruptions.
  • Have the business continuity plan and contact information readily available for access by appropriate personnel during service disruptions.

Financial institutions with electronic connections to the FedACH service are invited to participate in FedACH application contingency tests. During these tests, customers assess their ability to resume processing of their transactions following a FedACH application recovery simulation.

For detailed information regarding the resilience of FedACH, please review the FedACH Resilience Statement (PDF).

For more information about contingency planning for FedMail, please review the FedMail Contingency Guide for FedACH Services (PDF).

Contingency guides for FedACH Services for the FedLine Web and FedLine Advantage access solutions are available via the EUAC Center.

What You Can Expect

If you suspect a disruption to FedACH operations, it is not necessary to contact us. Be assured that the Federal Reserve Banks and their personnel are working diligently to reinstate service as quickly as possible.

What You Should Do

Communication

  • Notify all pertinent personnel at your institution of the disruption.
  • Refer to Service Status to obtain the current operational status and other instructions.

Reconciliation

If a disaster occurs during midday processing, financial institutions should attempt to reconcile at the file level to the point of failure before additional files are transmitted.

For Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection service disruptions

If your Internet connection becomes unavailable, your VPN device may have an auto dial backup feature or you may configure the device to connect via a secondary Internet Service Provider (ISP).

When Internet connectivity is restored, dial backup connections will revert back to connecting via the Internet automatically, and secondary ISP connectivity will remain in place until your organization reverts back to your primary ISP.

For Dedicated Wide Area Network (WAN) connection service disruptions

Financial institutions do not need to do anything to re-establish communications. Once host processing is restored, communication connections will be re-established, with all data security procedures remaining in effect.

For Dial FedLine service disruptions

Financial institutions do not need to do anything to re-establish communications. Updates and instructions will be provided via recorded messages, fax, and/or direct telephone calls.

Note: Upon the restoration of normal operations, if financial institutions cannot complete transactions, they should contact the Customer Contact Center (CCC).  

After a Disruption

  • All input and output files should be retained for possible retransmission.
  • All out-of-balance transactions should be retained until reconcilement is possible and completed. At the resumption of service, account balances will be based on Federal Reserve records. It is the responsibility of the financial institutions to resend ACH files previously sent but not shown on Federal Reserve records.

Recovery Timeframe for FedACH Services

Disruptions to FedACH Services are categorized into two levels:

Level 1 – Same-day resumption of services: this disruption level is expected to be in effect for a period not exceeding 8 hours. FedACH Services are expected to resume during the same accounting day.

Level 2 – Relocation of Federal Reserve operations: this disruption level is expected to last for more than 8 hours. It may require the relocation of personnel to back-up sites.

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