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Account Services

Reminder - Testing and training opportunities for billing data file layout changes

August 15, 2016

The Federal Reserve Banks will be making changes to Account Services by integrating Service Charge Information (SCI) into the Account Management Information (AMI) application later this year.

Changes will impact:

  • The AMI Application
  • The Monthly Statement of Service Charges
  • The Service Charges presented on the Daily Statement of Account
  • The billing data file format

These changes have been communicated over the last several months and are also outlined in detail on the Account Services SCI into AMI Resource Center.

Testing Opportunities
The testing window for Data File customers ended on July 15. All other customers are encouraged to test now through implementation in order to help ensure that they are able to view AMI changes and billing statements/data files in the AMI Depository Institution Test (DIT) environment.

Training Opportunities
To help you prepare for these changes, we have been offering several complimentary webinars throughout the past few months. These webinars cover specific changes related to the SCI into AMI transition, including:

  • Integrating SCI into the AMI application
  • Changes to the Monthly Statement of Service Charges and Monthly Billing Data files
  • How the settlement of Billing charges will be presented on your Daily Statement of Account

Registration
Register today (Off-site Link) for one of the remaining complimentary SCI into AMI webinars. Sessions are about an hour long and will take place on the following dates:

  • September 14, 1-2 p.m. ET
  • September 22, 12-1 p.m. ET

Webinar dates and information, including Frequently Asked Questions and testing details, will be provided on the Account Services SCI into AMI Resource Center.

If you have questions regarding this effort, please contact the National Accounting Customer Support Team at (800) 309-6156.

Reminder

The Federal Reserve Banks will be making changes to Account Services by integrating Service Charge Information (SCI) into the Account Management Information (AMI) application later this year. These changes have been communicated over the last several months and are also outlined in detail on the Account Services SCI into AMI Resource Center. If you have questions regarding this effort, please contact the National Accounting Customer Support Team at (800) 309-6156.

 

Check/Check 21 Services

Check Adjustments Tip: Proper usage of the PREQ and OSCR investigation types

August 15, 2016

Check Adjustments Tip LogoIn continuation of our series of tips on Check Adjustments, Tip Sheet #3 (PDF) explains the proper usage of the Photocopy Request (PREQ) and Original or Sufficient Copy Request (OSCR) investigation types (ITYPs). While both are service requests with no entry provided, the PREQ can be used by all parties (Senders or Receivers of the item). The OSCR, however, can only be used by the Receiver of an item presented/returned in an ANSI X9.37 image cash/return letter or as a substitute check.

Refer to the Check Adjustments Tips (PDF) to see previous tip sheets as well as other tips related to Check Adjustments. Please contact Customer Support at (877) 372-2457 if you have any questions.

 

Reminder - Announcing 2017 Check Services pricing changes

August 15, 2016

Since the Check 21 Act became effective in 2004, industry participants have worked together to successfully implement the nearly ubiquitous imaged-exchange of checks that exists in today’s check-clearing environment. Contributing to the industry’s success were the Federal Reserve Bank efforts to create transitional products and operational offerings to support financial institutions with their individual transition decisions.

Now that the industry has reached a mature, imaged-exchange environment, we believe it is appropriate to update our product offerings to reflect the current nature of the marketplace. As a result, our Check 21 Services fee schedules will be restructured effective January 3, 2017.

We believe these changes create a suite of services that best responds to the needs of the mature marketplace. We also thought the scope of the changes warranted providing your institution with this information now so that you can plan for the coming year.

What is changing?
Key changes will include:

  • Simplifying our deposit services (both FedForward® and FedReturn®) by offering only fully mixed deposit options with varying levels of fixed and variable pricing to best support customers of all sizes
  • Eliminating all current sorted deposit options
  • Maintaining differentiated pricing by deposit deadline
  • Continuing the receiver-based tiered pricing model based completely on volume, but implementing a set of transparent volume guidelines to define a receiver’s tier assignment (guidelines will be updated and published on an annual basis)
  • Eliminating the FedReceipt® deposit discount
  • Reducing the FedReceipt fees (both daily fixed and per item)
  • Maintaining the current RPPR deposit discount, but applying the discount to each item deposited rather than each item received

How did the Federal Reserve Banks decide on these changes?
The existing Federal Reserve Check 21 product and pricing suite of services was designed to help drive the industry toward image-enabled check clearing and has been very successful in aiding that transition, so now those transitional pricing structures are due to be updated. In the evaluation process examining new product and pricing options, we considered industry input and feedback, examined current and alternative pricing solutions, explored applicable public policy, considered resulting competitive impacts and measured the aggregate impact and benefit to the industry.

Additional Resources
A Summary of Changes (PDF) document as well as updated Check 21 Fee Schedules and tier listings are available for your reference.

The impact of these changes on individual financial institutions will vary and depend on how each institution is using existing Federal Reserve Bank Check 21 Services. Please note that per our usual process, pricing for all other Federal Reserve Bank services and access solutions (Fedwire®, FedCash®, FedACH®, FedLine®, etc.) will be announced in late 2016. If you have any questions, please contact your account executive.

Announcement

The Federal Reserve Banks' Check 21 Services fee schedules will be restructured effective January 3, 2017. A Summary of Changes (PDF) document as well as updated Check 21 Fee Schedules and tier listings are available for your reference. If you have any questions, please contact your account executive.

 

FedACH® Services

ACH network quality fee

August 15, 2016

As part of NACHA’s ongoing efforts to improve Automated Clearing House (ACH) network quality, you may recall that in August 2014, a rule change referred to as “Improving ACH Network Quality – Unauthorized Entry Fee” was approved with an implementation date of October 3, 2016. The new rule is expected to improve ACH quality by reducing the incidence of ACH debits that are returned as unauthorized.

Under the new rule, an originating depository financial institution (ODFI) will be assessed a fee for each ACH debit that is returned as unauthorized (return reason codes R05, R07, R10, R29 and R51). As a means of compensating the receiving depository financial institution (RDFI) for a portion of the costs associated with handling unauthorized transactions, the fee collected from the ODFI will be credited to the RDFI. Over time, it is expected that RDFIs will experience reduced costs as a direct result of a reduction in unauthorized ACH transactions. The assessment, collection and disbursement of the unauthorized entry fees will be facilitated by the two ACH operators.

Billing statements for August and September 2016, received in September and October respectively, will provide FedACH® Services customers with an early glimpse at their unauthorized return item volumes. While the “soft implementation” period is intended to give FedACH Services customers an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the functioning of the new fees, it is also an opportunity for ODFIs to identify those originators generating unauthorized returns.

With the October 3, 2016, effective date for the rule, the unauthorized entry fee of $4.50 per item will be set, and customers will see the ACH quality fees on their November 2016 billing statements for October data. The billing codes defined for the fee to be collected from the ODFI and for the credit to be passed on to the RDFI are provided below:

Fee NameBilling CodeFee
NACHA Unauthorized Entry Fee 57996 $4.50/item
NACHA Unauthorized Entry Credit 57997 $4.50/item (credit)

If you have any questions about either the August 2016 “soft implementation” or the October 3, 2016, implementation of the network quality fee, please contact FedACH and Check Services Customer Support at (877) 372-2457.

Announcement

In August 2014, NACHA approved a rule change referred to as "Improving ACH Network Quality - Unauthorized Entry Fee" with an implementation date of October 3, 2016. The new rule is expected to improve ACH quality by reducing the incidence of ACH debits that are returned as unauthorized. If you have any questions please contact FedACH and Check Services Customer Support at (877) 372-2457.

 

Enhanced ACH Return Item Report

August 15, 2016

The FedACH FedPayments® Reporter Service Return Item Report has two new options for generating reports of return items, either at the originating depository institution level (ODFI) or at the originator level:

  • An acknowledgment option to generate a report even when no returns are identified
  • The ability to limit the report to only return codes of interest such as those for unauthorized returns

Advanced Return Item - ODFI Report Setup

As has always been the case, the FedPayments Reporter Service lets you automatically provide Return Item Report information to your originators through use of an encrypted email option.

You can also automatically provide notification of change (NOC) reports to your originators. There are also reporting options for your receivers that provide remittance detail.

Learn about all the FedACH FedPayments Reporter Service can do by:

Announcement

The FedACH FedPayments® Reporter Service Return Item Report has two new options for generating reports of return items. Learn about all the FedACH FedPayments Reporter Service can do by Viewing sample reports (PDF), Reading report descriptions (PDF) and asking that we contact you.

 

FedACH SameDay to remain as service name

August 15, 2016

As many recognize, the Federal Reserve Banks were a leader in providing same-day settlement for Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions, offering a proprietary opt-in service for years.

The opt-in requirements and sign-up forms will go away with the implementation of Phase 1 of the Same Day ACH Rules change that impacts all ACH network participants. The Federal Reserve Banks, however, will continue to refer to their same-day processing and settlement as the FedACH SameDay Service.

The proprietary opt-in version will stop processing effective September 9, 2016, and there will be a two-week period during which same day ACH settlement will be unavailable. On September 23, the FedACH SameDay Service will resume processing qualified transactions for same day settlement in accordance with the ACH Rules.

Stay informed about Same Day ACH developments with the Same Day ACH Resource Center and frequently asked questions (FAQs).

 

Same Day ACH and government returns

August 15, 2016

Do you know that starting September 23, 2016, your institution may receive Automated Clearing House (ACH) returns during the new late afternoon window, with settlement at 5:30 p.m. ET? Do you know that returns from the U.S. Treasury and its agencies are also eligible for that window?

Return items are not held to the forward item Same Day eligibility requirements, so any non-future-dated return received prior to the 4 p.m. ET deadline will receive same day settlement, whether it is government or commercial.

Return items submitted between 2:45 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET with a same-day effective date will be delivered with a file APPLID of AJ19. Please ensure your application has the ability to process an AJ19 APPLID file.

The federal government will not participate in Phase 1 of Same Day ACH with its forward ACH origination volume. However, returns will be processed and settled as same day items if they are not future-dated and if they are received by the FedACH Service within the processing window for current-day return settlement (i.e., after 2:15 a.m. ET and before 4 p.m. ET).

The Same Day ACH Resource Center is designed to help ACH network participants prepare for the September 23, 2016, Phase 1 implementation of the ACH Rules change regarding Same Day ACH. The center provides relevant information in one centralized location and is an evolving resource that is updated as new information becomes available.

You may want to bookmark the resource center page so you can return often to check for updates.

Announcement

Do you know that starting September 23, 2016, your institution may receive Automated Clearing House (ACH) returns during the new late afternoon window, with settlement at 5:30 p.m. ET? Do you know that returns from the U.S. Treasury and its agencies are also eligible for that window? The Same Day ACH Resource Center is designed to help ACH network participants prepare for the September 23 Phase 1 implementation of the ACH Rules change regarding Same Day ACH. You may want to bookmark the resource center page so you can return often to check for updates.

 

FedCash® Services

Learn what your institution should do with a suspect counterfeit note

August 15, 2016

Does your institution know what to do with suspect counterfeit notes?

Accepting a counterfeit note could lead to financial loss for individuals or businesses. If you suspect that you have received a counterfeit note, contact your local police department or local U.S. Secret Service office (Off-site Link).

In addition, the U.S. Secret Service provides the financial community with information on specific counterfeiting threats through its USDollars Note Search (Off-site Link) website. The site requires a user name and password. Financial institutions can register for access (Off-site Link) to this website.

One of the best ways to determine whether a banknote is genuine is to rely on its security features. As a reminder, you can familiarize yourself with the security and design features of U.S. currency with these free resources from the U.S. Currency Education Program (Off-site Link):

If there are others at your organization who would like to receive future communications related to U.S. currency, please have them complete the sign-up form.

Announcement

Does your institution know what to do with suspect counterfeit notes? If you suspect that you have received a counterfeit note, contact your local police department or local U.S. Secret Service office (Off-site Link). As a reminder, you can familiarize yourself with the security and design features of U.S. currency with free resources from the U.S. Currency Education Program (Off-site Link) .

 

General

New layout for Federal Reserve Financial Services forms

August 15, 2016

We are rolling out a new Federal Reserve Financial Services forms format gradually across all forms throughout 2016 and 2017. The Federal Reserve Banks are streamlining forms with a more consistent layout designed for easier completion. Any forms completed under the previous layout are still valid, and you do not need to resubmit any forms in the new format.

 

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FedFlash is your source for the latest Federal Reserve Financial Services operational news. Each bulletin keeps you informed of issues critical to your day-to-day operations, providing you with National and District updates regarding our products and services, processes, technical protocols and contact information.